When I am not writing books, I am a caregiver for elderly folks. I have always loved the elderly. It started with my grandmother, really. I was sure she was among the wisest of all the people I knew. Today, I think most elderly folks are pretty dadgum wise. They’ve lived a long time and have had time to make mistakes and make amends. So, my love of elderly folks continues.
I have been working with two ladies, one in the mornings and one in the afternoons. Today started my weeks’ vacation from caregiving with the first lady and also marked my last day with the other lady. She will be going to a care facility nearby.
It is always a difficult decision to make – putting your loved one in a nursing facility. It is probably one of the hardest decisions one can make. So many feelings are attached to it. Among those feelings, often-times, there is a sense of betrayal. It is important to know we are not betraying our mother or father, aunt, uncle or cousin. It is equally important to note this new phase of life can be positive.
I worked, for a time, in a nursing facility and while there were residents who resisted being in the facility , there were the more social ones who liked getting together with friends their age to play games, exercise, go on field trips, paint or what have you. There is an adjustment period, as with everything else in life. It is our job to make our elderly folks feel just as important in a facility as well as at home. Just because they have moved, doesn’t mean they should be left with no visits. I have seen many residents who had no visitors. The main thing is to make sure they are not forgotten.
Most folks I know who have placed their relatives in care facilities continue to visit and are active with their relatives. This eases the transition in every way.
So, I am praying for my little lady. I know her family will continue to embrace her and help her transition to be a smooth one. It was my honor to be able to care for her during this time.