A day in a life of a caregiver

What is a caregiver? We can easily break down the actual word for the definition, do a Google search, or check the dictionary. But the better question is, who is a caregiver? And when I ask “who”, I mean in terms of character. The job or role of a caregiver is not black and white. It cannot simply be composed of a list of tasks that can be checked off when completed to signify a job well done. There is more to being a caregiver than someone who gives direct care to someone else (e.g. helps or provides protection). That’s like saying a teacher is someone who makes sure a student received her textbook, hands out assignments and tests on time. We all know there is more to being a teacher than that. So there is definitely more to being a caregiver than simply providing direct care. A person’s character is what should be used to fill the role of caregiver. The role of caregiver is so under-appreciated that it’s scary. The pay is barely minimum wage at times and that is astounding. Let’s go through what a typical day for me and my mom is as caregivers.

First, Monday – Friday is split between me and my mother. My mother has from 5:30 a.m. to 6:30 a.m. to get my grandmother up out of bed, freshened up, dentures in, dressed and fed with medicines given too so that my grandmother can be on the bus to the senior center on time (they come at 6:30 a.m. to pick my grandmother up). Then, while I’m at work, my mom is able to have the rest of the day and most of the afternoon to herself to catch up on rest, groceries, chores, feed her cat, etc. My mom returns to my house around 3:00 p.m. to get ready for my grandmother (who sometimes is dropped off at 4:00 p.m. or 5:30 p.m. or anytime in between). My mom gets dinner ready for herself and my grandmother before my granny arrives. Once home, my mother changes my grandmother. This could mean a full bath or a sponge bath. But it definitely means a new pull-up and a change of clothes to comfy pajamas. I’m usually home by the time my grandmother finishes her dinner but if I’m running late, my mother squeezes in some exercises. Once I’m home, I tag my mom out so she can go home and recharge for the next day and I start my caregiver duties for the night.

My full time, round-the-clock care often starts when I get home from work on Friday as I live with my grandmother and there is no senior center for her on the weekends. That means I’m on point for all needs, all weekend long, with minimal breaks in between.

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?

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  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!

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  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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