Being a Caregiver can be a Bitch


Oh my God! I instantly get pissed off when I read crap about caregiver abuse.

I posted an article about a family member and the caregiver abuse that was involved. How can people do this?

I know from my own personal experience; being a caregiver for a patient can be very stressful. It’s even worse for a family member to be the primary caregiver.

Caregivers have to watch the illness take over the life and watch to the very end; which many times ends up in a sad situation.

Family caregivers fight with various emotions. They are watching their loved one become less than the person they knew.
Many times there isn’t enough relief and the hours turn into many long and lonely hours.
Sometimes caregivers fight the memories. Why didn’t they do more, say more syndrome?
Then there is the background noise. People suddenly start claiming property or trinkets as if the patient was already deceased.

Thoughts have to eventually turn to the future. Questions roaming in the mind can often be; how will I make it? Why didn’t we prepare burial insurance? Will I have to sell the house? I can’t keep doing this forever; I have a job!

So many questions, so much emotion, and yet we continue to move through the days. Why? Because we genuinely care about the patient or they are our spouse and we love them.

My brother, Al, was no easy piece of cake to take care of. He was mentally challenged in his thinking, especially. Having Multiple System Atrophy and Parkinson’s, kept him even slower with his thinking.

Various times I was screamed at, threatened, verbally abused, and there were even a few times I was hit by him. Sure, the normal part of me said, FORGET THIS CRAP!!!! I DON’T HAVE TO DEAL WITH THIS.

That thought entered my mind. For God’s sake; I am human, but the love I felt for my brother; kept me going on for those seven years. I was blessed with, from God, to be a caregiver.

I actually loved and still love taking care of people who need help, but let’s face it, every day isn’t a picnic. Next month will be four years since I lost my brother to MSA. I wouldn’t change a darn thing I did. I know I did a good job. Well there is my little part of patting myself on the back; if you wish to see it that way.

The point I am trying to make is; not everyone is born to be a caregiver. Some can’t face watching the patient decline. Then there are those who seem to have the gift. They put their heart and soul into it, and care about nothing more than giving good care and comfort.

If you find you can’t care for a person. Don’t continue to do so out of guilt. Bad things happen from guilt. Examples, anger builds, neglect can happen and so many other things.

Except you are not the person to be performing this type of work.. Look at alternatives. Ask for help. Seek Respite care, family members, nursing homes, elderly attorneys. Do what is right for you and the patient.

When I read about caregivers who abuse and neglect their patients, I try to understand how it happened, but the fact is; it happened.

Thank-you for letting me get this off my chest.

Terry Shepherd
A former caregiver for many years
Now dealing with Parkinsonism/ Ataxia/ Dystonia

#MSA#Parkinsons #Caregivers#Patientcare

 

illness

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