Monday, August 15, 2005

something to keep in mind

Sometimes after interacting with staff at Patti’s 24/7 care facility I walk away amazed at the sheer numbers and shifts of fresh people that “replace” what I did as one person on a daily basis, day in – day out, 24 hrs a day, 365 days a year.


Their definition of ‘caregiving’ is almost a different word. No spouse/caregiver, no home/caregiver, no home/carer I have ever known has ever used “shift”, or “day off”, or “off duty”, or “team” in conversation.


Thinking back I am only now beginning to understand that medical professionals over the years may never have grasped the magnitude of what was involved at home. Their frame of reference is skewed by a ‘professional’ model with fresh shifts, multiple staff, equipment, etc. Because our ‘society’ licenses the professional model their frame of reference is only reinforced.


To the medical business, you at home are the 'amateur' caregiver, they on the other hand are 'trained professionals'. There are times these impressions could be significant enough to confuse communication. This is something to keep in mind.


  1. i am one of those professionals you speak of and i would never demean or belittle the time and effort that go in to being a home care giver.  I also feel the need to remind you that while you are one person taking care of one person, the aides that give the most direct daily care usually have 7 or more people to care for. Each offer challenges in their own way.
    I want you to know that people who do full time at home care, are 24/7 caregivers usually with absolutely no relief are highly respected by the aides who do the most direct care. At least where I work. We also tap in to the at home care giver to help the adjustment period go easier. Who knows them better than the family member.
    Don't think that all health care professionals think of at home care givers as amateurs.

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