Care Giving With Good Care
Last updated: November 2022
Let me begin by saying kudos to all of the conscientious, caring, willing, thoughtful, hard-working, compassionate, skilled, and helpful Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs), Home Health Aides, and Personal Care Attendants. If you are a caregiver of any sort and "see" yourself in any part of the forthcoming content in this article, trust me, the care you render to your charge can be so very impactful in their overall well-being.
From the patient perspective
From the standpoint of a person receiving said care - me - due to being disabled after being stricken with multiple sclerosis (MS) a chronic, debilitating disease, it's already a challenge having to be dependent on someone to such a degree. Already a struggle to remain emotionally and mentally sound enduring this plight. Already a difficult road to tread.
Caregivers who overstep boundaries
An aide complained to me that a client to whom she'd been assigned was "too big to have to roll back and forth and can't even help." I suppose she missed that I, too, am a 'big' woman and am unable to assist much in rolling, or at all, in transfers.
An aide also complained to me about the little pay they receive to "do all this work - cleaning people and their house - and getting assigned to go to sometimes two or three houses needing the same things done." Well, I suppose she missed that two of my required tasks are personal care and light housekeeping.
In both scenarios, it was quite unprofessional to have those conversations with me, no matter how good our rapport or how comfortable she felt talking to me. Hearing her, how do you think that made me feel in my position? Additionally, I felt for the clients being referred to.
Caregivers who don't listen or complete work
There are also aides who do not respect my request to be left alone during the periods when I am writing or reading. Instead, they still make banal small talk and chatter meaninglessly, possibly in vain attempts to engage me in conversation for companionship. I have to either forgo my time until the end of their shift or cut them off and remind them to please allow my quiet time when applicable.
I recall those that do the bare minimum, for lack of want or skill, in some or all areas and capacity of need. Unfortunately, this prompts me to either micromanage (which I hate to do) or ignore what's not done appropriately or completely, (which I find worrisome) until my children step in.
A good MS caregiver
I'd prefer my aide to be conscientious, helpful, and care enough to care for me in ways that make me comfortable not just in my space, but in this 'place' in my life. What I would prefer to avoid is the fiasco of finding an aide who gets it. I talk about this in my article, The Pros, Cons And Search Of A (New) Home Health Aide.
In closing, it's just important for caregivers to be cognizant that good caregiving can actually enhance and help me, and others like me, to maintain a good quality of life. Or not.
Do you ever have moments where you question your self worth because of your MS?