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My Own Experiences as a Temporary Caregiver

Posted by on July 28, 2014 under Caregiver Corner | Be the First to Comment

Taking care of my grandfather

Hello there! My name’s Jeanne and I recently started at TotalHomeCareSupplies. I thought a good way to introduce myself would be to tell about when I was a temporary caregiver.

A few years ago, my mom and I visited my grandfather, who lived on his own in a two bedroom apartment in a different state than us. On this particular visit, upon arrival, we found him on the floor, alert and unhurt, but confused. He’d fallen, and a visit to the doctor told us he had pneumonia. He had to be checked into the hospital for a few days, and during this ordeal, decided a move to a nursing home might be prudent (he had tried living with my parents before, but found the altitude did not suit him).

After my grandfather checked out of the hospital, my mom needed to head back to work. My job at the time was more flexible, so I stayed to help him finish getting over the pneumonia, find him an acceptable nursing home and move him in.

We looked at three homes, and the last one had space for my grandfather and was acceptable to him. He would be able to move in after a week. In the meantime, I had to pack his apartment, get him to all his doctor appointments, work as much as possible at his friend’s houses or McDonald’s (since I needed the Internet, and he didn’t have a connection) and keep us both fed and relatively happy. And I had to do all this without a car, since the rental car was due back at the airport.

Somehow I pulled it off. I didn’t do it alone. His church friends helped him move, the town shuttle took us to appointments and the pharmacy, and his friends would stay with my grandfather when I needed to work. Still, it was exhausting. And there were upsetting things every day: new doctor appointments that meant I couldn’t spend those two hours working instead, my grandfather’s refusal to take recommended vitamins or just not getting as much done in one day as I would have liked. But in the end, his pneumonia cleared up and we moved him in. He was fairly happy there and we visited often.

My grandfather died, likely of pneumonia, about a year and a half later. It was sad, but I feel confident he was ready to go. Although those two weeks caring for him were stressful, I’m glad I was able to spend that time with him. I learned a lot, not only about him, but about myself.

Working at TotalHomeCareSupplies.com has reminded me of these experiences, and they give me a healthy respect for those caregivers that are not at all temporary. I’m looking forward to helping those that help others!