Watch the cheese melt: Caregiver selection
What does the selection of a caretaker have to do with melting cheese? Wait… Read further. A selection of a caretaker is not an easy task. Included is a list of characteristics that I considered and implemented for the selection of a caretaker. This list provides first-hand experiences during the selection of a caretaker. Will intent of this document is to give you pointers that may assist you in selecting a caretaker. Furthermore, it is peppered with lessons learned during this selection of a caretaker for me. I am single and do not have a spouse that could assist with this selection or caretaker activities. Additionally, I live alone therefore the importance of a qualified knowledgeable caretaker was important.
Here are general characteristics you should seek in a caregiver:
Selected caretaker should have basic first aid knowledge. This knowledge may be called upon unexpectedly when you are in need of help. For example, the absence of this knowledge could have had worse results. A caretaker that was being utilized treated a sprained ankle of mine incorrectly. This could have been worse. This strain was not confirmed in a broken bone may have been the issue. This caretaker oblivious to this potential break moved my foot in various directions dismissing my screams of discomfort and may make an uneducated diagnosis of “all is well”.
Another fall linked to the MS resulted in the impacting my rib into a hard table. Similar to the ankle twisting excitement this same caretaker hurled me from the wheelchair onto the mattress and once again I screamed in pain. Like before, she stated in an uneducated fashion “all is well”.
Your caretaker has the responsibility to keep you on track. That means for example they should remind you of needed medication. Perhaps with many persons, it is common to forget and in this case forgetting MS medication.
Their responsibility is linked to timeliness and communication. An example of a different caretaker failed to come to my house to help me. As a result, I lay on the floor for three hours. The caregiver’s telephone number was not operational and I could not contact her for help. As a result I called for EMS help. This is not a problem however it’s an additional cost that was never needed. Furthermore, her absence resulted in my refrigerator being empty for three days. At that point near day three I started to eat condiments and leftover meals that I had stored in the freezer. Eating meals from the freezer is not the issue; I keep meals in the freezer only for emergencies and to not waste food.
Their responsibility links to needed medication, basic first aid, and accessibility, physical assistance for example accessing heights that are not reachable from the wheelchair and transferring from different surfaces. In summary, your caregiver must accept the responsibility of being in contact. You may need help and you need your caregiver to be in communication.
Your selected caretaker should have basic skills needed to live at home. To clarify they should be able to make simple meals, cut fruits and vegetables, and perform general housekeeping. For instance I learned that I needed help cutting fruits after I punctured the palm of my hand with a knife in the kitchen while cutting fruit.
Respect your dignity
Although dignity is not always tangible it is however apparent. The importance of maintaining your dignity was realized when it was ignored. One caregiver wanted to arrange my house the way she liked it. I have items in my house position so they are accessible to me while I am seated in a wheelchair or standing at a grab bar. Furthermore I have the cabinets lowered and the upper shelves removed from the refrigerator. This caregiver ignored my arrangement and place things were she considered them as aesthetically acceptable.
Another caregiver excelled at indifference. She wheeled me in my wheelchair front of the toaster oven and stated to me a command to watch the cheese melt so she could talk on her cell phone. When she laughed my house she I trash one of my couches. This instance and her behavior were devastating to my dignity, I have a doctorate college degree in engineering and doing such a simpleton activity was humiliating.
Does your employer provide workplace accommodations due to your MS?