Reason for getting home help when you can do it yourself

@suspenseful (40312)
Canada
July 17, 2009 3:24pm CST
I was wondering about caregivers that is those who are family members, why do they get home care when it is obvious that they took on the job themselves. I am sure that length of strength, or lack of care is not the reason, so I was wondering whether it is the sight of seeing your loved one deteriorating, or is it that he or she is so used to having you around that he or she snaps at you if you do not do it right and he or she would not snap at a stranger. I am sure that disability does not bring out the best in some people, but shows their true character. I am also sure that many caregivers get depressed at watching their husband or wife get gradually weaker. And getting a break now and again is better then doing something horrible or taking a long vacation. So for all you caregivers, would you rather that a home care worker relieve you of a few necessary chores related to the care of your loved one or rather you do it all yourself and then suddenly take off for a month or so as my sister-in-law did when she was taking care of her husband (he died a number of years ago.) and my husband said that she never forgave herself.
3 people like this
9 responses
@stephcjh (32303)
• United States
18 Jul 09
I think I would always try and do it all myself for my loved one. I would not want someone else in my home and I love and care for him enough, if I have the strength, I will fo it.
2 people like this
@suspenseful (40312)
• Canada
18 Jul 09
I do care for my husband. It is just that I make mistakes and I get he!! for that, and yet if a stranger or a home care worker came in once in a while and did the same thing, and made a mistake, he would not get mad at her. I think much of the cases of caregivers wanting help is not because they really want the help or need a break it is the attitude of the disabled towards them. There is a warning that a disablity does not make one's character better.
1 person likes this
@KrauseHome (36731)
• United States
19 Jul 09
Well, when it comes to helping care for a Loved one, I think overall it really needs to be a matter of balance. I know back when I got really sick almost 5 yrs. ago I had to have Home Health care and it was important for my husband to work so I had someone come in here every other day to help out. For me, I think that was the Best deal just to give my husband time to do normal things without having to spend all of his time around me worrying even more than he was as well. But at the same time I don't think it would be an easy thing if you left them alone and then something was to happen to them, as it would be really hard to forgive yourself as well.
2 people like this
@suspenseful (40312)
• Canada
9 Dec 09
I do not mind a friend looking after him for an hour or so, but a stranger would be hard. I do have my cell phone on when I go out so that they can get in touch with me and then we can drive back. It is just that I have no idea other then baths, when I would need the help.
@peavey (16960)
• United States
18 Jul 09
I think, more than anything, emotional stress makes it really hard to care for someone close to you all the time. Anyone needs a break from a situation like that, and you can trust a trained professional to take over for you, whether it's on a regular basis or just when you really need a break.
2 people like this
@suspenseful (40312)
• Canada
9 Dec 09
That is what I have been told. Oftentimes when it is a family member they are harder on you then on someone who is not related. I could just as easy give him a shower but he sometimes think I do not do as good a job. I could also get someone to turn him over in bed, but he sleeps in the altogether.
@Darkwing (21586)
18 Jul 09
I can't speak from personal experience here, but I do have a friend in America, an ex-nurse, whose husband is a few years older than her. He contracted Alzheimer's disease several years ago, and was unable to fend for himself. He lost all interest in the things he used to love doing and despite watching football matches on TV, had to ask her the score, or who was playing. It's a sad situation to find yourself in after several years of marriage; wanting to be there for them, yet feeling helpless and exhausted from caring for them. Nevertheless, she stuck with him through thick and thin, not allowing help other than her own nursing of him. It became harder and harder. He would get up in the middle of the night and start trying to cook, or he would attempt something outdoors, taking bad falls because he wasn't concentrating on what he was doing, owing to the steadily worsening disease. They kept telling her she needed help to care for him... time off, like you say... but still, she wouldn't accept. Then one day, he tried to go outside, forgetting the steps, and fell heavily on his face. Besides broken limbs, he broke his nose and they couldn't stop the bleeding for ages. He spent a lot of time in hospital, some of it on a life support machine, but she visited every single day and stayed for many hours. She had that need to be there, with him. He did recover from his injuries, but the hospital told her that he only had a few months to live, which left her devastated. It's difficult to know where to draw the line and allow somebody to help you with the caring, I would imagine. You think you can do it alone, but there comes a time when you find that a carer might have prevented something happening which you couldn't. With Alzheimer's the patient can't be left alone for a moment, for fear that they might do something very dangerous without thinking. So, in some cases, I think you need to employ a carer to help out, especially at times when you need to take a break, cook dinner, or whatever because however safe you feel you're keeping the patient, there is no telling what might happen with them. Brightest Blessings, my friend.
@suspenseful (40312)
• Canada
19 Jul 09
My husband might have ALS and I have asked for help so someone will give him a shower twice a week. I do want a break now and again and I do not want us to wind up in a nursing home and that is the reason I wanted us to stay in the house. I just do not want to reach the point when I go crazy. Right now he can still walk a bit, but I will need help in moving him from the bed to the chair without the walker soon. And then there are the other things. I am not the martyr type in that I will suffer and do it all myself, but I do not want to feel guilty or have someone make me feel guilty because I do not want to be with him 24 hours a day.
@GardenGerty (118221)
• United States
18 Jul 09
When you become "caregiver" sometimes you cease to be spouse or family member. You lose the identity of the relationship. For that reason I would suggest that any caregiver get some scheduled help all along. Also take advantage of respite help for a day or two if needed. Then you can focus on the relationship and on saying the important things to each other, instead of one becoming a slave to the other. In my experience, I had help at home on a weekly basis for as long as I could. My hospice social worker continued to remind me that I would never be able to fix the situation, no matter how hard I tried. My husband felt he was taking too much of my time, and asked to be put in a nursing home. While he was there, I eventually spent twenty two hours a day there, but I was there as his wife, and the employees were there as care givers.
1 person likes this
@suspenseful (40312)
• Canada
19 Jul 09
The trouble is that my husband said that if I could no longer care for him, he would sell the house and that is the one reason why I am taking care of him because no matter how bad he gets I do not want to sell the house, and move into an apartment while he is in the nursing home, because how long am I going to be in that senior's apartment. Not just one year or two, it would probably be at least 30 years. 30 years in an apartment? That is too long.
1 person likes this
@GardenGerty (118221)
• United States
19 Jul 09
It is soon to be time for you to look into durable power of attorney for healthcare and for finances. He should not be able to sell the house out from under you. You will of course need a diagnosis to make good plans. Also ask him if he wants a DNR order, or a living will of any kind. Actually, if you call in hospice for care, usually their social worker will help with figuring out what kinds of paperwork you need. Is your name on the deed to the house as well as his? What do the Canadian laws say about surviving spouses rights? Do you both have wills?
1 person likes this
@suspenseful (40312)
• Canada
9 Dec 09
We both have a joint account, but the trouble is his retirement fund is just in his name. However, he is transferring it over next year. I do not want to put him in a nursing home. I know that if he did and if I stayed at home, the cost of travel would be too much and also they might charge a fee that would make it cost too much. He is concerned when he has to go to the bathroom, so I am hoping that we can work out some signals so I know when he wants to go as that will be the main problem.
@reinydawn (11649)
• United States
25 Jul 09
Oh, I thought you meant for like an hour or two, to get some rest for yourself. That is something I know is good for the caregiver. But for a month? No way could I do that. MAYBE (and that's a "probably not" maybe) for a weekend, but that would be the longest... When you have a spouse/relative who is ill enough to need constant care, you need a break or you're going to wear yourself down.
1 person likes this
@suspenseful (40312)
• Canada
9 Dec 09
It was not me I was talking about, it was my husband's oldest sister. She went on a cruise for a month and when she came back, her husband had gone downhill so badly, she felt guilty. Did you not read the discussion? I just want a respite for an hour or so so we could get some shopping done or to go to a women's society meeting or to have a nap without worrying about him calling me since someone else is on hand. I thought I made it clear.
• United States
25 Jul 09
I was an HHA (home health aide) for many years. The reason the people get in home help are as varied as people. Here are some: If the family caregiver is the sole support of the family, and giving up their job would be detremental to the care of everyone concered. Every caregiver need time away from the job. If you have to do a job 24;7, then your quality of work necissarily decreases. You can give more of yourself and do a better job if you have a regular opportunity to get away. Professional caregivers often have tips, and techniques the layman dosn't. Also the client/family member often will resond better to professionals than family on difficult tasks that either embarass or hurt. This also gives the family caregiver and the recipient a better chance to enjoy the time they are together. I could go on but I am sure you get the drift.
1 person likes this
@suspenseful (40312)
• Canada
9 Dec 09
We are getting home care= he has someone else give him a bath and the last reason was why. He would be less likely to complain about nothing to them and not criticize them if they did not do it exactly to his satisfaction. I get the drift. I want to enjoy our time together not to worry if I am doing something wrong.
@meapas (2433)
• India
18 Jul 09
It is a natural phenomenon. Sun rises and sun sets. You can see the birds flying away in the morning and comes back at dusk. So are we humanbeings. meapas.
@suspenseful (40312)
• Canada
9 Dec 09
That is nice but this is about someone who cares for someone who is gravely ill and is an invalid when there are no relatives nearby. It is not like where the whole family and inlaws live in the same village or street or in the same house. Much of our relatives and family had to move elsewhere to get jobs. So what happens is that one spouse or daughter or son is taking care of the sick relative and has to depend on getting hired help when they need a break.
@mipen2006 (5528)
• Australia
17 Jul 09
This is a very delicate subject suspansful. I don't know about Canada, but here in Australia family caregivers get paid by the government, so many qualified family mambers can take care of loved ones, while getting paid. I guess this takes a little of the pressure off them. They can take breaks when needed, and get outside help during that period.
1 person likes this
@suspenseful (40312)
• Canada
18 Jul 09
I do need the breaks and since the home care workers are more qualified, I would feel more at ease. I wish it were like in Australia and that family caregivers would get paid, but most of the pay goes for discounts to the disabled.