JUNE 28, 2019 BY JAS 🍦
Contributor, Joule, Guest Author
I am sure Joule and I connected because we both have come to understand that our role as caregiver is a treasure, a gift of experience, that each one of us on this planet gives to another out of love. She taught me that we are here to walk beside others, encouraging them to do what they can, as long as they can. Grateful for this angel.
I am happy to introduce you to Joule, our exceptional PSW and our first guest author.
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We Are All Caregivers
Where do I begin? My job is like a blank canvas, you just never know what you’re going to get. Of course, every patient is different, with different issues, therefore you must be ready for the challenges.
I see the good in everything, sometimes the situation is grim, but, of course, I see the positives.
I go in with a big smile; I introduce myself. Then I enter their world. I follow the protocol. I get to insert myself, my spin on things. I always attempt to reach my patient where they are.
Whether they are verbal or non-verbal, or have a language barrier; male or female, young or old, they all have something in common: they have a need. I address that need in whatever capacity.
In addition, I always express myself by lifting the atmosphere, whether it is with laughter, conversation, or it could just be something in the room. Everyone has likes and interests and sometimes it’s the painting on the wall, elephants in the room, cars, vases, décor or just a photo that opens the door to our conversation.
My goal in administering care is always to leave something positive with my client. Often times we speak about what is going on that day. Sports, weather or current events. Everyone needs to feel some level of comfort. It could be in motioning as they sit, stand, or just take a step. It all translates into letting them know that you care for them.
The joy in knowing the exchange between patient and caregiver ends on a positive note, gives me satisfaction and encourages me to continue to serve.
Being a part of the chain of care leaves me with an assurance that when the need arises, any patient can depend on me, or any caregiver, because we all serve in the same capacity.
We are all caregivers. We are going to need care. We have been a caregiver or will be a caregiver at some point.
We Are All Caregivers (c) 2019 Joule
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It was nearly five years following My Love’s diagnosis when we finally were allocated professional support from the Provincial Health program. My Love had been through varied illnesses, doctor visits, testing and hospital stays, so many anxiety attacks in addition to increasing aggression toward me, generated from his progressing dementia. I was slipping off the end of my rope.
In my early retired life, I never dreamed I would have to take 100% care of another human being, and certainly not for years. But over time, my perspective went from fear to acceptance.
We were surviving, and I actually found out how. In the process of caring for My Love, I met so many wonderful people in the care industry. My Love and I both needed help and it came from the folks who really did care about other human beings.
I began to understand how much of themselves these caregivers were giving when My Love was showing serious aggression. I felt threatened and was at my most vulnerable.
I noticed it was the medical and health care professionals, psychotherapists, the personal care workers, the service workers, the non-profit caretakers, and those who support them who were the ones making a difference in our lives. I had never met so many care-focused individuals.
I always say the Universe has guided my life.
To my surprise, our personal service angel was assigned to be there, not just for My Love, but for both of us. She accepted the mission to bring love and care back into our life.
I watched as she observed My Love’s memory loss levels, an area I had been neglecting because of exhaustion and perhaps a bit of apathy after so many years. I could feel she was refueling my being so I could carry on my role. She had become my caregiver, as well as a role model for me.
How fortunate we were to have weekly support from such a capable, knowledgeable, caring, beautiful soul and I had been given the chance to watch her in action.
I asked her what her magic was, and thus, we spent hours talking about her role and her gift of caregiving. I felt her genuine caring nature lifted me up from wherever it was I had fallen. She definitely was a jewel.
So naturally, when I had an opportunity, I asked her to share her magic on this blog. I am glad she was willing. I am glad you came to meet her.
Each day do something to make others smile and your heart sing! ~jas
Original photograph in post by Mabel Amber, still incognito…from Pixabay
“We Are All Caregivers” © 2019 Joule and Judith Allen Shone
see also Did You Hide the Cookies? Part Two of the series, also available at Amazon. Publication date August, 20,2020.