Why I am a caregiver at a memory care facility and why I have a passion to make a difference. My Grandmother had alzheimers and I watched her die from it. My Grandma was a very important part of my childhood, she played a role in raising me. In my early twenties we all started to notice strange behaviors like forgetting to cook her bacon and one time I followed her home from a family dinner and she was stopping at green lights and going on red. We took her keys. At first my parents thought they could build an apartment on to their house for her but eventually it became more difficult and she needed 24 hour care and more assistance then my parents could provide.
Once in a nursing home she was in a wing of the facility that was specifically for patients with dementia. Her care there was less then adequate. At the time I was raising three small children, I did what I could and visited often. I would go in and shower my grandma so she would get more then one shower a week. I have been told that family is no longer allowed to do this at this facility. I will say that I was one of the family members that annoyed the staff with questions and sometimes got upset with them when my Grandma did not appear as clean as I thought she should be or other various issues. My Grandma died 12 years ago.
Over a year ago I was looking for something new. I had been a recruiter for the pulp and paper industry for several years, but was unfulfilled. Without even realizing what it was I was looking for, a job at a memory care facility fell in my lap. The community was amazing and the owner of the memory care facility was passionate about her mission, to care for individuals with dementia, setting a high standard of care. I started in activities and quickly moved to a caregivers position. I also remembered instantly I was really good at this work. In my twenties I worked with the developmentally disabled community for about 8 years, I was really successful and quickly climbed the cooperate ladder. But I needed flexibility with having busy children at home. I then worked for a family with a disabled daughter. I worked in their home, could bring my children if needed, she was full care, feeding, bathing, everything. I then went on to be a recruiter, I still wanted flexibility but also wanted more money. Which I found. But money isn’t everything and did not bring me personal happiness, at the end of the day I did not feel like I had made a difference. That is what lead me to return to being a caregiver.
I looked at all of the residents that I cared for like there were my Grandma, I take care of them the way I would like my own family taken care of. It is trying at times but at the end of the day I know I am doing important work. Now I am searching for ways to make life happier and more rewarding for loved ones and caregivers. For those so selflessly caring for there loved one at home and for those having to make the difficult decision to put there loved one in a facility, ( I like to call it a community because is just sounds better and that is what it should be anyways).
I hope I will be able to provide useful information and referrals you can trust. I plan to take it to the next level and be able to recommend something or someplace and others know it comes from my heart and my passion and with the purest intent.
I know I will never get rich from being a caregiver. I will have a rich life.