Please read my stories with an open mind and heart. I write these stories as entertainment and to record my stories as a carer not to blame or offend anyone.
Caring is a messy business.
There are days when I am so exhausted that I just want to cry. Living with a dementia patient means that there are no two days the same. Some days Mr.J. is clear, kind, chatty and funny, some days he is grumpy and rude. There is no way to prepare for the changes of ‘seasons’ so to speak but by being flexible, understanding and compassionate. It somehow requires that the carer pushes all her emotional needs way to the back of her mind and leave them there for days on end. It is impossible to imagine what it is like to live with one single focus and that is the person you care for. I think mothers with new-born babies understand it the best. However, the emotional connection and the affection that bond a mother and a child is not apparent in a carer-client relationship.
It was interesting for me to observe how visiting carer’s have very little understanding of what it is like to do live-in care. Their work is to pop in and pop out of a customer’s life after having prepared a meal, done the laundry, cleaned the house, or washed the customer. They do account many challenges, too. BUT THEY DO NOT LIVE WITH THOSE CHALLENGES 24/7.
Sadly, I am more and more convinced that the only way to do a good job as a live-in carer is to turn into a senseless robot.