More than a Caregiver: How Caregivers Are Changing the Lives of Their Patients

caretaker and senior

Hannah (not her real name) spend the last seven years taking care of Josefina (again, not her real name). A few days short of the seventh year she has been with the same family, Hannah found Josefina lifeless. After a years-long battle with several medical conditions, the 87-year-old Irish-American woman was laid to rest. So, Hannah packer her bags and moved back home to her family, whom she barely saw the last seven years.

It’s about time she gets to spend time with her children, many of whom are now all grown up. But about a month after Josefina’s death, Hannah received a call from her daughter. Josefina had a last will written up, and in it is Hannah’s name. That was the latest entry in her updated testament.

Hannah is to receive about $100,000 from Josefina’s wealth. It was a parting gift to her caregiver, the one who has been with her the last days of her life. Hannah was surprised. Josefina’s family paid and treated her well. She knew about Josefina’s wealth, but she never thought she would leave something to her. That was the farthest from her mind. Wanting to honor their mother’s wishes, Josefina’s children gave Hannah the money.

Surely, this isn’t the first time you heard something like this. Last May, Canadian singer-songwriter Michael Bublé gifted Filipina caregiver Minette the home that his grandfather lived in. It was the fervent wish of Bublé’s grandfather for Minette to have her own home. The singer-songwriter heeded his grandfather’s wishes and even remodeled the house for Minette.

Caretaker

senior and caretaker laughing

A caregiver takes care of the elderly patient and the household. Caregivers do the grocery, run errands, prepare meals, clean, and manage the finances. On top of that, they remind the elderly to take their medicines, answer calls for them, and help them move around the house. They also take them to walks in the park and drive them to visit their children.

After training in a home healthcare franchise, caregivers seek opportunities in families who need someone to take care of their elderly. While they cannot administer medical procedures, professionally-trained caregivers can monitor the health of their patients. They also take their patients to the doctor if needed. Caregivers manage the entire household and the lives of those they need to take care of.

Many families prefer a stay-at-home caregiver. It is far easier for them to continue living their lives when they know someone is taking care of their elders. They make up for it by spending time with them on weekends, bringing their grandchildren to the house. As a result, many caregivers become like family to these people.

Emotional Companion

But more than a caretaker, they are also emotional companions. As someone who is suddenly unable to move without help, it is hard for senior members of the family to rely on someone. While they don’t initially want to hire anyone to care for them, they also don’t want to be a burden to their families. They don’t want to see their children giving up their careers and personal lives because they have to take care of them at home.

Over time, these caregivers become emotional companions, too. They listen to their woes. They take them to their friends’ houses to socialize. Sometimes, caregivers open up their own families for their patients. If possible, they invite their patients to their kids’ birthday parties. These activities allow the elderly to feel they still have a purpose in life.

Caregivers are trained to provide the necessary emotional support to the patients. They listen intently to their concerns and apprehensions. They even communicate on behalf of them. Some older patients can no longer argue with their children about the kind of health care they think they need. The caregivers are usually the ones who communicate with the children about what their parents like to happen.

The last years of the elderly’s lives are usually the most challenging for them. They have to come to grips that they can no longer control how their bodies react to specific triggers. These are emotional and psychological problems exacerbated by the lack of family connection.

As the years pass, is it any wonder that these senior adults look at caregivers as part of their family? They see them in a whole new light the more they depend on them. And even though they are paying the caregivers to take care of them, no money is worth the care they receive. That’s something these seniors treasure.

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