Caregivers need care

When my parents became sick, I was the only family member that could take on the responsibility of taking care of them.  My mom was diagnosed with Terminal cancer and at the same time she was caring for my dad who was suffering from Parkinson’s with dementia and totally disabled..  As her conditioned worsened, I found myself trying to get help in every direction and fast.  One day my mom’s condition got so bad that I actually left my home and never went back.  I slowly moved in with my parents because they could no longer care for themselves.  With my mom going in and out of the hospital, it became difficult for me to watch over my day and be with her in the hospital.  My dad became worse as each day went on and he also was in the hospital at the same time as my mom.  I spent most of my days with them in the hospital, listening to advice from every specialist that the hospital had.

Eventually, there was nothing more they could do and I made the decision to bring both of them home.  I was so overwhelmed and exhausted and didn’t know how I was going to care for two seriously ill people at once.

I decided to call on the help of a home health care agency.  I am writing about this because it was the one decision that I don’t regret making.  Over a few week’s time, I interviewed numerous agencies.  The great news is that the process does not take long.  One phone call put the process in motion.  It starts with an RN coming out to access the condition of my parents and then what services would be needed.  Within a day or two, I had wonderful, compassionate care givers coming into my home to relieve the burdens that I could not handle.  In fact, some of the care givers went above and beyond their call of duty to help me my entire family.  they actually became part of our family as time went on.

Their services range from housekeeping and cooking meals, to bathing and aiding in walking, diapering, playing games, plus much, much, more.  You can use caregivers for a few hours a day  to a live in.   They also came with me to doctor’s appointments because my dad could not walk.  I ended up using these caregivers until my dad and mom passed.  I was very happy that I was able to keep them both at home until the day before they died.  At that time, they were transferred to an impatient Hospice facility, that made the end process so dignified and peaceful.  You can read the article on Hospice care on our site as well.

My advice to anyone that is a caregiver is to not wait too long to bring on help.  I have known many family caregivers that got sick and died before their patient because the mental and physical energy that is needed can take a toll on you.  These loving, caring people at the home health aid agency made a very unbearable situation, much more bearable and I don’t know what I would have done without them.

I used Comfort Keepers in Cherry Hill and found their caregivers to be some of the best out there.  When an aid comes into your home for the first time, it takes some time for them to get used to you and your family.  It also takes time for the family to adjust to  having a stranger in their home for long periods of time.  When an aid is assigned, don’t be afraid to call the agency if you feel that the aid is not fitting into your family.  Everyone has different personalities and gets along differently but they will keep sending aids until you find the perfect fit, which I am grateful that we did.