The Many Faces and Ages of Caregiving

MissAngie

The Many Faces and Ages of Caregiving

MissAngie
many faces of caregiving The many faces of caregiving


Many times I think our society thinks  of caregivers as middle aged with aging parents or spouses .Although that is true there are many children and young adults who are thrown into caregiving roles. My kids who are now in their early 20's have helped me care for my grandmother when she was alive and now my mom as well.They have over ten years of experience with medications, food prep,laundry care and companionship. Of course no one will hire them around here because most facilities are sticklers about having any experience EXCEPT for caring for family members."You must have one year caring for someone other than family," they chirp.Why is that? My kids are sympathetic to the needs of Alzheimer's and dementia sufferers and frankly know more than some of the medical assistants that I have come across in my mom's geriatric clinic.

According to the American Psychological Association, many children in the U.S. and elsewhere are involved in many aspects of providing care for ill parents, grandparents, or siblings.Read this informative article here

Not to long ago my daughter, Haley, who styles hair clients after school in my family room, told me  a heart-breaking story of a young girl whose hair she styles.The young lady is only 23; she attends college, works part-time and cares for her mom who is terminally ill and has given up. Oh, this young lady also drives her brother to school who is a teenager and provides for him as well. Her mom is incontinent, can't bathe herself and requires 24/7 care. Her parents are divorced so all of these responsibilities lie on the poor girl. She has a hospice nurse that has come now that the mom is nearing the final stages of her disease.

I almost offered to tell her about a caregiving support group at the local hospital but I did not. Why because when I was her age and went to one of those meetings I wasn't treated very well because I was young at the time. Isn't that crazy? When I went to the group for the fist time they said, "Oh the pregnancy group meets down the hall." I told them I was taking care of my grandma, Dad and my mom had just been diagnosed with another illness and they looked shocked. I informed them since they were so insensitive, I would not be back. They came running after me down the hall apologizing but I never went back. Who would want to experience that or be around such insensitive alleged support peers? No thanks. That's why I refer others to caregiving.com. You can be comfy in your jammies and chat or rant and you're welcome here. Thanks, @Denise.

Just yesterday my daughter informed me that the young lady's mom passed away. Although that is sad the mom is no longer suffering and it will relieve stress off of the daughter and son.

My grandmother passed 15 years ago when I was 30 and my mom was 70. I remember her church members asking why I looked so at peace. I informed them that Grandma's suffering was over and I was glad I didn't have to watch her suffer in hospice anymore. Then I mentioned, " Oh that faith thing you sing about works when you apply it to your situation and not just talk about it."They never asked me anything else again. I found a non-denominational church since then although my mom's little deacon friends from her church still visit her and expect me to give them Sunday after church snacks.I don't mind at least they visit mom unlike two of my siblings. They don't read my blog or books anyway so I'm safe but hey now that I'm over 40 I don't care if they see this or not. Veritas Veritas. In Vino Veritas. (I shouldn't blog while sipping blush wine.)

I'm  hoping  to start a caregiver support group soon in my community not just for dementia and where all ages are welcome. I am looking forward to getting coaching from Denise when I have some free time on starting this in 2015.

I have to run now my dogs don't like the rain and they are taking being cooped up in the house out on my son's new slippers.

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lookingheavenward

Thank you so much for writing this - I became my Mom's caregiver at the ripe old age of 18. No one understood or accepted my life. My peers and friends faded away. I am now 33 years old and I don't have very many friends - I know my life is at a different stage, and I am accepting of it....I have a blessed life, I get to spend 24/7 with my Mom whom I love very much. We have great companionship and we get along very well. I have talked to many people who have lost their Mom's and their main regret is not having been able to spend as much time with their Mom as they would have liked. I won't have that regret as the past 9 years I have spent day and night with her as her full time caregiver. I hope your community caregiver's group is well received!

Denise

Hi Angie--I love that you wrote this. You are completely right--communities (workplace, neighborhoods, social service agencies) expect a family caregiver to be a certain age. Caregiving can happen to anyone at any age. It's imperative we have support and resources available to anyone who needs them! We can't have another young MissAngie not having what she needs. \r\n\r\nI'd love to help with your group!! Just let me know what you need. :)\r\n\r\nI think you should write more blog posts as you sip wine. Sounds like heaven to me!