Caregiver Becomes the Caregivee
I know there is no such word as “caregivee”, but I like the word. As a full-time caregiver, I find that it is strange to have someone take care of me and for me to become the “caregivee.” I ended up in the hospital this week and it just reminded me that I can no longer be a caregiver.
Sadly, due to my own health issues, I have to let go of Mom after over four years of full-time caregiving. It is heartbreaking to know that the only other option at this point (for my mom) is a nursing home. Thankfully, it is a small place in a rural area and is one of the top 100 nursing homes according to U.S. News & World Report. As soon as they have an opening (which will be any day now) one of my family members will fly here to California to take Mom back to Virginia. At least Mom will be closer to more family members. I just hope they take the time to visit her and appreciate her for as long as she is alive (even if she does not know them).
I did not like being the “caregivee” this week. It was a humbling experience. My own health (due to a chronic illness) is deteriorating, so I will need help in the near future. I learned enough about this process (of taking care of Mom) that I do not want my partner or children to take on caring for me (at home) when I am no longer able to care for myself. I would rather be in a facility (probably a Veterans Affairs hospital/home) than have my family members be under so much stress. I know they will argue with me so I have it all written out in my Advanced Health Directive.
Despite my sadness of Mom leaving, I have a sense of relief (and feel guilty as a result). I feel like I need to enjoy some freedom and enjoy life while I can still walk and talk. Sometimes life gives us challenges with no easy answer to a problem. I took care of Mom until I could no longer physically do it. For that I have no regrets. It still does not make it easy. Now it is my turn to be the “caregivee”.
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- Co-Caregiving: Recognizing the Pitfalls and Avoiding the Sinkholes (caregiving.com)
- Tell Us: Your Advice to a Friend New to Caregiving (caregiving.com)
- Who Speaks for the Speechless? (caregiving.com)