Being a Caregiver is Exhausting
by MALU BRADFORD BEYONCE
Jun 19, 2014 | 1372 views | 0 0 comments | 18 18 recommendations | email to a friend | print
I recently put my mom on hospice care. It was a hard decision. The entire experience is exhausting. Having a 91 year old mother is exhausting. Especially when you decide to take care of her yourself when you have a two year old and a two week old child.

I sent my two year old to stay at his grandparents for a couple of weeks because it was just too much for me to handle. It was a hard decision but I thought it was better for him to be with them and get spoiled than be here with me and get less attention.

There is that old saying, God won’t give you any more than you can handle. I had to repeat that to myself several times a day. At one point, my mom hadn’t had any real sleep for about three days. I was exhausted but I made it.

I think the most frustrating thing was when I would get my baby asleep and then moments later my mom would wake her up. It would take me another hour to get the baby back down and after she was asleep my mom would wake back up. It went like this over and over again.

The people at hospice were really helpful. They even offered respite care. I had no clue what that even meant. Basically, if I get overwhelmed and need a break or have to take a trip, they will put my mom in a nursing home for up to five days. I didn’t take them up on that offer yet but it is reassuring knowing I have that option.

Sometimes I think hospice care gets a bad reputation. My brother was on hospice care and he died the next day. However, it wasn’t because he was on hospice, it was just his time. Another misconception about hospice is that they are in charge. That is false. I am in charge. They follow my wishes.

For me, hospice is a team to help you when your loved one needs it the most. For me, it feels reassuring to have a team when my mother is ill. For me, it was a great help to call the hospice nurse on a saturday afternoon and say I need help and for her to show up a little while later.

Hospice provides a lot of different services including spiritual support. They don’t just help my mother, they help me. Each time hospice shows up, I am just as big of a concern for them as my mother. They help me understand what is going on with my mother, give me advice and make sure I am doing okay.

What a great team to have on my side. I think caregivers are often overlooked. Sometimes friends and family will call and ask how is my mom doing and never ask how I am doing. They aren’t being selfish, but caregivers get lost in the shuffle sometimes. Hospice helps with that.

At home hospice isn’t for everyone. It is the choice I made for me and my mother. It is working even though at times it can be exhausting. For me, every exhausting minute is worth it. © 2014, MaLu Bradford Beyonce, All Rights Reserved.

You may reach MaLu Bradford Beyonce at malubeyonce@gmail.com.

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