Yes, We Still Care for Our Carees in Assisted Living

Denise

Yes, We Still Care for Our Carees in Assisted Living

Denise
hands-981400_640CNN.com featured a study today that highlights the amount of time spent each month caring for a family member with dementia. (Read: 100 Hours of Help, No Pay for Caregivers.)

According to the report, The Disproportionate Impact Of Dementia On Family And Unpaid Caregiving To Older Adults, family caregivers spend more than 100 hours a month, on average, assisting elderly people with dementia who live in the community and not in residential care or nursing homes. Those who care for a family member without dementia spend about 73 hours each month providing care and helping.

Researchers then looked at how much time individuals spent caring for a family member with dementia who resides in independent or assisted living. When a caree resides in a facility, family caregivers spend about 45 hours per month caring and helping.

And, here's what rubbed me the wrong way.

CNN closed the article with this sentence:

Even though they provided fewer hours of care, "it's interesting that you still found a high percentage of (family) caregivers who were in contact with people when they were in residential facilities," Kasper says.


Yes, we still help and care for our carees who reside in a facility. We're still ever present--advocating, caring, nurturing. We're looking for lost dentures, stepping in when we have concerns about care, checking to ensure our caree receives the right care. The best possible care happens because of our efforts and insistence.


It's frustrating that a researcher researching caregiving issues would be surprised at our level of involvement when a caree lives in a facility. I also am irritated that the researcher doesn't understand the struggle behind that 45 hours per month. That figure, I'm assuming, includes long-distance family caregivers who must manage and oversee the care from miles away, not an easy task by any means. It also would include working family caregivers, who try their best to balance their career and caregiving responsibilities, which means that hours spent at the facility aren't as many as they would like. It also would include family members who made a truly tough decision that a caree is no longer safe at home or needs more care than can be provided at home. And, that's a gut-wrenching situation.


I just can't understand a researcher making an assumption--we're not in contact with our carees in facilities--and then expressing surprise when the assumption is incorrect.


Caregiving isn't about a location. It's ensuring our carees receive the best possible care, whether it be our caree's home, our home or the nursing home. It's a journey of the heart and soul.


Or, maybe it's just me overreacting to a innocent comment.


What do you think?

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Jo Rozier

Amen <a href='http://www.caregiving.com/members/anita0419/' rel=\"nofollow\">@anita0419</a> !!!\n\nI fear the CNN researcher has fallen for the Hollywood stereotype of forgotten, forsaken residents at the \"old folks home\". Unfortunately like many stereotypes, there is a kernel of truth in it. Because I spend a lot of time at my Mom's Alzheimer's facility, I see who get regular visitors and who seems to never get visits. \n\nMy story is similar to Anita's and as she commented, echoes that of many on this site. we advocate, provide oversight and even augment what the facility provides. \n\nI'm at the facility enough that the staff routinely shows me pictures of their children and grandchildren. I spend enough time there that my arrival sounds like the opening scene from the old TV series Cheers, people call out, \"Hello Jo\" when I arrive. \n\nWho would have thunk it that an Alzheimer's facility would be the place where everyone knows my name.

anita0419

Denise,\n\nYou are so right. My mom was in a nursing home for 3 years because I couldn't take care of her in her condition. That doesn't mean I wasn't there for her. I was there every week sometimes more. I was on call 24 hours a day in case she needed me. There were no vacations or sick days. I washed 2 loads of her clothes every week and took them back and forth. If I saw something that she wasn't getting, I contacted doctors or nurses to make sure she did get it. I was her advocate to make sure she had what she needed or wanted. I watched to make sure her medications she was taking and if I thought she needed something else. I took care of her bills, paying them, making sure she wasn't overcharged. I loved my mother very much and would have done anything for her. I lost her in August and I feel my life's purpose is gone. I miss her so much, but I have no guilt about not doing the best I could. I think everyone on this site can say the same when their caree is gone. God Bless the caregivers...........\n\nAnita