Sunday, November 11, 2012

National Caregiver Month

I never knew that there was anything out there to recognize caregivers and all that they do, till today. I made eggs for breakfast and was sitting at the table flipping through the Washington Post. I came across Michelle Singeltary's column titled "Avoiding the approaching 'Caregiver cliff'". While she talks about the political side of it she also talks about her personal experience with caregivers.
Being a caregiver, this caught my attention. In my 5 years I never knew there was a month dedicated to my job.

Caregiving is an unappreciated art. We get no benefits, no pay raises, no fancy office. We simply do. And we do out of love.

We go to our assigned homes and do, well, everything. The changing, the cleaning, listening, driving, medication administration. You name it, I've done it.

You have to be a giver to be a caregiver. In my experience you're the second mother. In fact I had a client call me mom in the very end.
You're the one there day in and day out, playing, teaching, listening, loving, taking them to the doctor or therapy, telling them it will be ok when the doctor comes back with the scary needle. Protecting them from the scary monster in the closet during nap time. Getting them ready for bed before you leave, then the one giving them breakfast in the morning.

Just learned to ride a bike
I love my job, I've learned more and continue learn more than I ever could in a class room.

Caregivers don't get national holidays or weekends off.
You are always needed.
I can't tell you how many doctors appointments I put off, how many parties I missed so I could have a moment to my self, how many family gatherings I couldn't attend.

 I sacrificed my needs and wants, ( just as all the other caregivers out there have) for the client. According to a survey 80% of caregivers have put of necessary doctors appointments to be there for the other family/ client.

Waiting for the bus
This job has been the perfect preparation for being a mother. You love the client, you WANT to be there every day, you WANT to hold their hand, you WANT to them to succeeded in everything.  It's taught me unconditional love, compassion, and patience.

Future Bouley
So in the spirit of National Caregiver Month, if you have a caregiver who shows up day in and day out, take time to thank them for all they have sacrificed. If you don't have one, but know one, talk to them, I always loved when people asked me about my job.

 Take time to care for the persons who care unconditionally for so many.

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