I was a caregiver to visit a younger man who had been in an automobile accident which left him with Acquired Brain Injury (ABI). This resulted in some infrequent epileptic type seizures. On our initial visit, which is really a ‘getting to know you’ visit, one of his sons was there too. I informed him of my past medical history – being born having a Grand Mal epileptic seizure, then more frequent Petit Mal’s from the age of 7 until my corrective surgery at age 32. On my next visit, it was just the client and me. He related to me that his son had mentioned, after I had left on the initial visit, “She GETS you!”
How did you become a caregiver?
After my own surgery, I decided to become a caregiver, and I took a care giving course.
How has your relationship with the person(s) you care for changed? If so, how?
I am more able to empathise with some of them
What is the hardest thing about being a caregiver?
Getting close to them and then they go into LONG TERM CARE OR you lose them entirely.
What is the most rewarding thing about being a caregiver?
The ability to show compassion to another person.
What advice would you give to other caregivers?
Be yourself and try to put yourself in your charges’ shoes
In ten words or less, what has caregiving taught you?
Empathy, compassion, love, and appreciation for my own health.
Describe a successful caregiver challenge that you met and how?
An older man with sporadic bouts of anger (Alzheimer’s related) attacked me while walking along the corridor in his apartment building. I got him to sit on the floor with his back to the wall then waited until he had calmed down again, then I was able to lift him up from behind and get him walking back to his apartment.
May we share your story?
Yes, please share my story with others.
We hope this information is helpful to you in the important work you do as a family caregiver.
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