Spotlight on Care of the Elderly

chrysoliteStarred Page By chrysolite, 2nd May 2012 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL
Posted in Wikinut>Family>Elderly Relatives

Not every "good, old dear" is a good old dear and not every carer is a violent bastard. I worked as a mobile carer for the elderly for 2 years in the UK and I hope I can raise awareness to a few problems with this article.

Should the family care?

In my opinion, yes, the offspring should actually care for their parents in old age. But it seems that this is often not possible in this society and many sons and daughters don't even want to care for their parents. Why not? I heard the stories. If parents don't bring up their kids lovingly, if they are beating them into shape (yes, it's still done today although it's against the law), then I could imagine that the grown ups will not take too kindly to caring for their parents in old age. Many somehow feel unconsciously that it's "giving back time" now. This is reprehensible, but they are facts of human life.

Many of the younger generation also don't have the space anymore to accommodate an extra person in their tiny apartments, maybe both of the couple work and can't give full time care to a parent and very often they don't even know how to even if they wanted to. So a place in sheltered accommodation or in a care home must be found.

There is also the possibility that parents stay in their own home, the kids have moved out and when the necessity arises, then a mobile carer comes in to help with what is necessary.

The "Good Old Dear"

On my job as a mobile carer I have met and cared for many lovely people, men and women, often we had even a good laugh or cry together and really I should report on those lovely people, but nice people don't make headlines!

Let me just tell you about the "good old dear" that suddenly went with a knife for one of my colleagues and the poor girl was too young and not experienced enough to handle the situation, so she just ran off and informed our care company. Sure enough, they phoned me, if I could visit the lady to see what the problem was. I got through the door and inched along to the kitchen crossing the sitting room with my back to the wall. There she sat, her eyes full of hatred, her mind certainly not "quite there" anymore. Carefully I passed her, tried to speak to her without success, fixed up the lunch and served it to her when she started threatening with the knife again. I said something sweet, cheerful and nice to her and left. A doctor was called in immediately and the lady was transferred to a psychiatric clinic.

What had caused this terrible hatred in her eyes? I will never know.

When carers break down

Caring for the elderly is obviously a job laden with responsibility. You are not a doctor or a nurse, you cannot make a diagnosis, but you must report when you notice something "strange". But where is the fine line? You don't want to jeopardize your job, you want to cope, but the line to walk on is very fine indeed.

Take New Years Eve 2000. All carers wanted to go out and celebrate, just a couple of us accepted the offer of 4 x the hourly rate and instead of working just the usual hours, we worked all day and most of the night taking on as many visits as we could. Constantly our mobiles rang: "Can you do another one, please, please?" I had a massive list to work through, I did the best I could as fast as I could and most of the elderly where quite understanding that this night we had to hurry.

A couple of days later I was cited to our office for something that could only be called an inquisition! A man had died that night. Somebody said that he had been on my list to visit, but I could prove that he hadn't been. Organisation! I felt terrible! And I felt even more terrible knowing that the man's family lived next door but never even once looked in on him.

I had a nervous breakdown. My husband suggested to quit the job as I was obviously not "tough" enough to do it. He was right. I cared too much. I worked too much. Some of my colleagues had already adopted the no-care face, in-out in a jiffy, do as you are told and don't get into any real caring, feeling or emotion.

Violent Carers?

Here's a link of a story that was reported and if you read it to the end, the carer was well liked by all the other folks, so the question arises: "What had gone wrong here?" But we just get the report:

Treat your kids as you want them to treat you one day

Violence is what some parents in this society still understand by educating children. Children have no lobby to protect them, every dog has more protection that children have. The family is sacred, nobody is allowed to meddle. Why not? Read the story and tell me how you think this child will one day care for the parents:

Is there a solution?

No, I don't think there is actually, neither to child care, nor to care for the elderly. There is no education at all for the masses on how to properly educate their children, lead a good marriage and care for the parents when the time comes. A society that does not function on those basics will break up and we see this happening in front of our eyes right now. Drugs and medication to forget the problems or make them bearable is never a solution, only education is. This article is too short for getting into details, but there are a few points everybody can take on board:

  • If in doubt about educating children or caring for the elderly, get a good book and learn about it
  • Learn patience, it is not difficult to stop rushing about shouting and making wrong decisions.
  • Learn to show love, learn to say loving words
  • Stay human in difficult and exasperating situations
  • Call for help (doctor, social services), if you can't cope. Repeatedly if you are being rejected or ignored

It is my dearest wish that parents educate their children lovingly and children then will care lovingly for their old parents!

Related Links

Old Age, the Nightmare of the Middle Aged

Elderly Care Courses at Courses Plus

Smart Ways to Teach Your Child!

Have you got a good thought on this subject? I would be glad if you left me a comment in the comment box below, or sign up free with Wikinut and write an article about it. I'm sure I won't be the only one who will read it and appreciate it.

Thanks for calling in!


Books, Care, Children, Elderly, Help, Learn, Love, Old, Parents, People, Problems

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author avatar chrysolite
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author avatar Val Mills
2nd May 2012 (#)

My brother & sister in law are care givers and we hear lots of amazing stories like this.

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author avatar chrysolite
3rd May 2012 (#)

I hope your brother and sister and law will be able to sustain it. It is very hard every day to work as a care giver. I will pray for them to have the strength!

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author avatar Madan G Singh
5th May 2012 (#)

very important and topical post

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author avatar chrysolite
7th May 2012 (#)

Thank you, Madan, for your comment. I wish more people would actively plan the time of retirement from work. It is so important to make those plans and decisions before reaching 60 or 65!

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author avatar jennyreeve
7th May 2012 (#)

This is a good article and worthy of the star page. I must say, I would hate my children to feel they have to take care of me in old age. I would feel such a burden on them.

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author avatar chrysolite
9th May 2012 (#)

Thank you jennyreeve for your comment. I think if we keep healthy and active, we won't be a burden, but a joy to be with our children. Active grand parents seem to be always welcome. It is in our hands to stay healthy and fit!

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