Home Care is Essential `
Thank you SEIU for sponsoring this post. and giving me the opportunity to share the amazingness that is in-home care!
We have had several amazing home care workers support me in my journey to learn to love the new version of mom as much as the version of pre-dementia. Home care workers are essential, frontline healthcare workers who provide the skilled, compassionate, dedicated care seniors rely on to live safely and independently at home.
A year and a half ago, I became the full-time care partner for my mom with dementia and type 1 diabetes. This is a tricky combination because of the demands of dementia and diabetes. There is constant checking, giving insulin, and monitoring blood sugar while supporting her independence and cognitive needs. To say I was drowning in the responsibilities would be an understatement. That is when a home care worker stepped in and supported my family. She was a true blessing during those first months as she taught me how to be a caregiver for my mom. I knew how to be my mom’s daughter, but I had no training in being my mom’s full-time caregiver and the complexity that this new role brought. Home care jobs support all of our communities, and home care workers make it so people can successfully care for their loved ones.
Learning how to care for someone with a neurocognitive disorder that impacts their cognitive functioning, communication, independence, and memory requires a VERY special skill set. It requires knowing how to support their independence with tasks that they can no longer do independently (bathing, toileting, etc.), handling agitation/aggression, and keeping this person physically safe. Our hired in-home caregiver did all of that. She taught me about caring for the new version of my mom and partnered with me in honoring who she is as a person. Without her, my mom would have ended up in a care facility because of the demands of this role. Our fantastic home care workers made it so my mom, who was in need of long-term care could stay with me, and be under the care of a person that loves and cherishes her.
She planned, implemented, and adapted activities to keep my mom’s body and mind active. Home care workers. Visit CareIsEssential.org to learn more about home care workers — who they are, what they do, and why they are fighting for the respect, protection, and pay they deserve. Click here to show your support for home care workers: nearly 90 percent of home care workers are women, more than 60 percent are people of color, and 31 percent are immigrants. Source
Home care workers provide the care, support and companionship that allows their clients to be the best versions of themselves, engage in a variety of activities and feel safe. This home care worker helped me to save my mom. She helped me to gain extra time with my mom that I otherwise wouldn’t have had. Without her, working as a Kindergarten teacher would have been impossible, and my mental health would have deteriorated right alongside my mom’s. I am a happy, mentally stable, and successful care partner because of the support received from home care workers.
Being a care partner for a loved one living with dementia is HARD. It is emotionally, physically and mentally challenging, but somewhere along this journey you find pieces of joy. One of the biggest sources of joy for both mom and I have been the in-home caregivers that we have met along this journey. Home care workers deserve to be celebrated and respected. They deserve to be thought of as essential and paid wages that reflect the wonderful work they do. Home care is important!