Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Caregiver Reality: Sometimes it stinks

I rarely endorse specific products, although sometimes a caregiver will share with me a product that they feel saved their life. This is one of those times. Dorothy Mayer, a senior care professional who is also an instructor for online courses at our site for nursing home and assisted living administrators (www.EasyCEU.com) asked me if she could share her story – and her pitch for a product that made her own caregiving journey just a little more pleasant.

Here it is – you can check out her website (www.mayer.sentsy.us) for details:

I have been a caregiver for most of my life as my parents were 36 and 57 when I was born.

When my Mama died on December 15, 2008 I became the full-time, only caregiver for my father. He is now 90 and, although he has three other living children, I am his caregiver.



Sometimes badly.

More often than I care to admit, reluctantly.

But we are definitely a “we” as opposed to some caregivers who have a real life. I don’t really. This is it. This is what I promised to do and I will – even when the doctors suggested that he needs to go to a nursing home. I said “no” and surprisingly got some of them quite angry.

He is my responsibility.

In the summer of 2009 he got quite ill. To be polite I will call it intestinal distress. We went to the hospital three times and he was never admitted – in fact his problem was rather dismissed. On the third visit I went to the CEO’s office and demanded that he be admitted (luckily I went to high school with the CEO) and he was admitted immediately.

It turns out that he was fine (although in my mind I had diagnosed him with colon cancer). He had just listened to one of his other children and been told that as you age you lose the ability to produce hydrochloric acid and so he was supplementing his diet with hydrochloric acid (I am not a physician but I do not recommend this).

Between the hospital stays this house smelled horrible to put it mildly. Between his “intestinal distress” and his habit of taking off a depends in the middle of the night and throwing it on the bathroom floor I was literally unable to go into his bathroom to pick up the depends.

A friend called me and invited me to one of those home party that sell things. At first I said, “No way,” but decided to check it out. The product they were selling was “Scentsy” – and I was impressed.

Scentsy Wickless Candles are just that – wickless. The wax melts by a light bulb so there is no open flame. Most of the scents are quite nice and relatively strong.

I bought one that day and it has lived in my dad’s bathroom ever since. I do have to change out the scents as they run out of, well, scent but I became a convert that day and we now have three in this house. Because they do not have wicks and are therefore flameless they are allowed in nursing homes and assisted living facilities – as well as other work places where traditional candles are not.

I am such a believer in this product that I tell every other caregiver about it. Go look at my website: www.mayer.scentsy.us to get an idea of this great product.

Thank you caregivers for all that you do – it is a thankless job sometimes but necessary.

Dorothy Mayer

1 comment:

Long Term Care Insurance Alabama said...

I idolize you for being a good daughter to your parents. It is true that sometimes being a caregiver do stinks. However, when we remember how our parents took care of us when we were young, our hearts melt and we wanted to return the love and care they always give to us.