A day in a life of a caregiver

I don’t know about you but just me writing this all down was exhausting. And it sort of sucked the life out of me a bit. It’s not the most interesting and exciting of days. And now, in between everything I listed above, remember that I have to get myself ready for the day as well. I need to have breakfast and bathroom breaks and showers, lunch, dinner and snack times and remember to take my vitamins. But I also have to clean the house, the kitchen, do the laundry, walk the dog, do groceries, etc. I also have to find time to acknowledge and talk to my husband to see how he’s doing and I also have to find time for myself to relax and unwind and possibly write a blog. So I’m sprinkling all of that in between my grandmother’s schedule. And know imagine that all didn’t go well and instead, we had a bad day thrown into the mix. Weekends can be difficult. any day can be difficult actually, but weekends are the toughest. And at least I have my husband to help out where he can. One weekend a month my mother takes my grandmother to her place from Friday to Sunday. Another weekend a month I have my grandmother the entire weekend. Two weekends a month, my mom comes to my place for about 4 – 6 hours (either on Saturday or Sunday) to watch my grandmother so that my husband and I can go out together.

Now, imagine if that was someone’s job? That wouldn’t be someone’s responsibility 24/7. More like 4 -8 hours a day max with a particular client. And that person would be making anywhere from $8 – $10 an hour. That’s it. If someone was paying you only $8 – $10 an hour for 4 hours a day to take care of my grandmother, would you put your whole heart and soul into it, day in and day out? This would have to be your passion. This would have to be your calling in life. And if it was your calling in life and your passion, that you gave your whole heart and soul to the caring of others, would you be okay with only being compensated $8 – $10 an hour? Now consider that while you are caring for my grandmother that she’s having a bad day. My grandmother is stressed, cannot communicate her frustration and every step of the way, she fights you on everything. Now add the time restraints to get her ready from Monday – Friday. Now consider that you might be preoccupied on the other list of chores and responsibilities in your own life that you need to do when you get home, the fact that you may be tired or hungry or not feeling well. How pleasant and patient will you be with my grandmother? When would you start taking your frustrations out on her?

The point to this post, and I thank you for devoting the time to read it this far, is to shed some light on how truly difficult being a caretaker is regardless of the hours that are put in, be they 4 hours or 24 hours.  We cannot take this role for granted. We cannot allow just anyone to care for our loved ones without knowing for sure that (s)he understands the circumstances and can be patient and loving and diligent to the little details. Caring for another being is truly the most important role there is and it’s also the most difficult and stressful role. Too important to be underpaid, under-appreciated and taken for granted. I’m not sure how to change who we treat and care for our caregivers. I’m not sure how to create a better system for them to feel satisfied, appreciated and valued. Do you?

7 thoughts on “A day in a life of a caregiver

  1. Thank you for this! I saw how difficult this was when I visited my aunt and uncle (they took care of my grandfather who had Alzheimer’s). But this post made me more aware of how many things need to be cared for, and the importance of motivation (be it for any job) and the need for well deserved wages… I could sense the exhaustion just reading this, I cannot imagine how tiring it would be everyday… you’re doing a great job! Being able to love your grandmother everyday amidst all of this 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for following and reading! It is definitely tiring but it is definitely worth it. I guess, to a certain extent, it’s like what parents feel like raising children. And I just keep thinking, “what if it’s me in her shoes one day”, you know?

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow seriously reading all the things you have on your schedule everyday with your grandma is exhausting. I definitely don’t know how you do it. You truly have a heart of gold and so much patience. As I was reading I was suddenly reminded of how much you needed this trip right now. It’s a mental wellness trip bc you need a break and just be ‘Missy’ and ‘Missy and Alex’ right now. You are so strong. Can’t forget that you also have a senior diabetic dog to take care of too. I can’t even imagine. Fighting my friend!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you for this post. My husband and I care for my father who is battling Stage IV Prostate cancer. He is now on hospice and we receive help from nursing staff 3 times a week. I admire your strength and your ability to take on each day with a fresh perspective. But I totally understand the days when it is tough just to get through each minute. I get it. I understand. And I will be keeping you in our thoughts and prayers. Thank you for writing with vulnerability!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh wow! Good on both of you for taking on that level of care. It’s amazing how we can get renewed strength despite thinking we are at our lowest with nothing left to give. I wish the government would give us all more days of care from nursing staff. It’s great to have 3 days but seldom do people realize just how intense and draining (emotionally and physically) it is to care for a parent. You and your husband are beautiful souls indeed. Thank you for finding the time to read and comment. You all will also be in my thoughts and prayers. It takes a village, right? I’m glad to know we are not alone.

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