Being told you are appreciated is something caregivers rarely hear. The people in their care are often to ill or too confused to be aware of everything their caregiver does every day. Family members who are too far away or too busy with young children, jobs and everyday life often take caregivers for granted. Far too often they drop in to question and or criticize decisions that only someone who lives with these terrible diseases know enough about can make.
Yes, appreciation would be nice. But, make no mistake, it’s not why they do it. They do it because the need is there. They do it out of love. Many spend years caring for people who have abused them in the past because no one else will. They don’t do it for appreciation but it would be nice to receive some once in a while.
More than the precious the moments of sincere appreciation caregivers need help. Don’t take my word for it. Read the following comments from caregivers responding to the Dr. Phil Challenge. (More to come tomorrow.)
Electra Posada – Comment: I am a paid caregiver, but I started by taking care of my father when he was dying from metastatic melanoma that had spread to his brain when he was 48. And yes, it was EXHAUSTING! I had one break for dinner out during the 5 months I was with him. I had to take away his keys and explain to him that he couldn’t drive any longer. I ended up having to try to feed him, but he was not eating by that time. I also had to clean out his mouth and brush his teeth when one of his tumors ruptured and gave him a massive nose bleed the night before. I was holding his hand when he died. I was 24 and not prepared for such things, but he wanted to stay home and wanted my sister and me to be his caregivers during the last 6 months he knew he had on this earth. This is just one story in millions people go through every day. We ask you to support and honor what we as caregivers do. We give a huge piece of ourselves, both physically and emotionally in order to make another person as safe and comfortable as possible in their time of recovery or facing the end of their lives. Thank you for helping us shed light on the difficult path we are called to take.
sheila hare – Comment: I challenge dr. phil to this as well good luck and hope to get answers I work as a cna since 93 and now I take care of mom too she is 88 my sis lives in another state their is no one else I work it live it but I still love it is my health going o yes ive gained weight again single who wants a fat girl and cant leave to go anywhere well hopeing he will create a spa for caregivers we talk about this all the time calgon take me away!
Dylan Fliers – Comment: I am a caregiver and as I watched this segment of the show on it’s original air date, I thought it was completely useless as well.
Jennifer Pepera – Comment: I challenge you too!:) I am a caregiver to my 81 year old Mother.I would love to see some shows regarding this topic please.
Renee Herndon – Comment: There are too many caregivers to count, both full and part-time who give selflessly and without pay, or often any breaks or support from anyone else. You let us down and didn’t adequately represent what we go through or offer any true help or advice.
Dawn – Comment: Dr Phil … I am a single Mom of a 22 severely disabled Son requiring 24/7 care. Additionally I work an extremely demanding job as an insurance consultant that is way more than a 40 hour work week. My back-up is my 13 old son. I eat right, try to get rest…we all know that. What we need is help. I’ve spent numerous days and hours advocating for our children with no voices at the Legislative Office Building in CT ..in an effort to get funding and assistance. What many don’t understand is the impact it has on the entire family unit. Please help us as you are so kind in helping others.
Tobi – Comment: I’m a Personal Support Worker and see the burnout of many family members taking care of their older parents and it is heartbreaking what they give up. I know of a special woman who has given up everything to live with her elderly parents and help them. she is also a very smart woman and knows that she should take better care of herself and she tries, but her parents are always on her mind. I think there should be a lot more education to the caregivers about programs to help the caregivers out more and make their life a little easier. I think they should be educated on the funding’s for renovations on homes to make it life easier for the elderly. Programs like multiple home care companies to come in and assist with chores and take the weight off the caregiver. There are companies that make nutritious meals and be delivered to your door. Apetito is one such company then there is meals on wheels. I think Community care should be paying more visits to the homes and talking to caregivers alone about what help they need. I’m always looking for ways to make my clients and their families life easier for them. It’s hard when you don’t know what direction to look in.
Michelle Morrison – Comment: I am full time carer of my father who has LBD, Parkinson’s. I hate how I need care yet the resources go only him the one over 65. It is a two way street. If I was not his daughter the person who baths him, washes the clothes, feeds, administers meds, etc. would expect compensation, and rest. I get advise. I get how dare you expect anything. Help those keep those with these conditions in a homey loving place not the pasture as my father has called nursing centers.
Beth Tomac – Comment: Where I didn’t see the episode, I do agree that caregivers need help taking care of themselves. I know this from personal experience as I was a caregiver for a 91 year old woman with early signs of dementia. I was a live in caregiver for 2 weeks straight without being able to take myself or the woman out of the house.
Yvonne Holloway – Comment: Please help we all need a break. I just got told by thr sister of my momI’m doing a terrible job and that I should get away as much as possible. Yet all medical personnel tell me she should not be alone. Plus my mom says she does not need any help.
a. fry – Comment: AMEN! I’ve been there, done that more than once. 10 years ago, it was my in laws ( RIP) Right now I care for not only my ill spouse who had a stroke, is diabetic, has severe eye problems ( NOT from the diabetes) and aphasia ( can’t understand half what I say), I also have a 30 year old son who is bi polar one that I help manage his finances and health care, etc.
We share housing and costs with another couple in the almost the exact same boat. If we were not supporting each other, sharing expenses and giving each other breaks so we can at least get to the grocery store without paying for help, BOTH our spouses would be in nursing homes! NO, there is NO covered care where we live for family caregivers. Our families ( and most of the general public) have NO concept whatsoever what REALLY goes on to spite us trying to tell them numerous times. One of our children was actually barred from the home due to stealing items, harassing for valuables and threatening us because they were more concerned about their “entitled” inheritance than whether we got proper care for our spouses. Do NOT coddle us, smile and say how fantastic we are. We do NOT want to hear it. We want our health care system to DO SOMETHING!
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