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Old 03-21-2012, 05:44 PM   #1
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New Job since Feb 2012

The only experience I have as a caregiver was helping my grandmother (and grandfather for 4 of those with her) for seven years to live as independently as possible until last year (Feb.) when she died. Also, I assisted a 30yr old man in wheel chair for two months over last summer.
Now, since Feb 2012, I agreed to help a friend of mine's Mom a few days a week with supervising showers, minimal meal prep, doc appts, escort for shopping etc. light housework. etc.
The first month was wonderful and easy. She is very independent. She was usually lively and agreeable.
Now, after she had a UTI, because she was doing too much (spot scrubbing her carpets and using the vac, clearing her car off from half foot of snow...!) I am sure she got sick because she out did herself and her immunity was low. It was the next day her CHF fluid was up and her sugar was high and she was short of breath for a week before she would agree to be seen. She is 79 this month. She has a # of health concerns. (right now she is physically stable and well, checked by primary and heart doc)
Now, as I am learning, she can be a very negative person. Everything I approach her with has a down side and her sentences start with "No" or she shakes her head.
What is confusing me...mainly is that for a short, short time she is so sweet, say 15mins then she's in a black cloud for an hour then back to her cheerful self.
After she learned her infection was gone, she started acting more normal. Not fully, but understandably so, she thanked me for being so patient with her while she was ill, because she says she knows she can be difficult.
I am hoping that she continues to snap back to her cheerful, flexible self.
The doctor increased her sertriline from 100mg to 150mg because she was having anxiety when she was sick and that made her sugar up too.
Besides, it has been at 100mg for 2 years.(and it shouldn't make her drowsy)
I am not that familiar with the med except that it's an antidepressant and it's good for helping people be more flexible?
Her family wants me to watch for signs of dementia.
I need to want to go to work? This past week has been a challenge, it's been a week since she's been off her antibiotics...
I find myself avoiding too much conversation as to avoid confrontation.
I would like to just be myself, and I know it's not personal. I am trying to consider how she feels. I can't do more than she will let me.
I guess it's just different than my Gram and I'm looking for support, advice?
Just writing this has given me some perspective.

 
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Old 03-23-2012, 09:47 AM   #2
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Re: New Job since Feb 2012

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Originally Posted by LessStress38 View Post
I find myself avoiding too much conversation as to avoid confrontation.
I would like to just be myself, and I know it's not personal. I am trying to consider how she feels. I can't do more than she will let me.
I guess it's just different than my Gram and I'm looking for support, advice?
Just writing this has given me some perspective.
Hello LessStress38,

You are exactly right.From what you've posted,it also seems that there may also be a manic/depressive aspect lingering.
Take time out for yourself and at the very least,as the day goes by,take breaks.
These breaks can be considered quality time.

I realize that your job is complicated and I applaud your efforts thusfar.

Please take into consideration also that she probably has a hard time dealing with herself. Becoming dependent upon another individual creates a lifestyle change,which many find difficult to transition to.

Just a little food for thought.

Respectfully
Phoenix
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Old 03-23-2012, 12:45 PM   #3
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Re: New Job since Feb 2012

Thanks Phoenix...today went much better. She was more her old self. I hadn't considered manic depression but that makes perfect sense. At least knowing what to expect, she may have these periods, makes it easier. Today her sense of humor came back for a while...it was enjoyable.

Last edited by LessStress38; 03-23-2012 at 12:47 PM.

 
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Old 03-24-2012, 05:20 AM   #4
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Re: New Job since Feb 2012

You're most welcome.
Good news indeed

Once you know what to expect,you won't be blindsided by the occasional pessimism.

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Old 04-14-2012, 08:49 AM   #5
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Re: New Job since Feb 2012

No one can be happy all the time. You will encounter difficult people. Don't avoid talking to her. Talk calmly and be patient, and just listen. Be empathetic. Just ask her if there is anything you can do for her. Say it like that. Not "what do you want?" Its hard some times to be understanding. Some times you have to walk away. But remember you are there to take care of her. Just smile and start cleaning some thing. If there are signs of dementia then redirect her to a photo album or some thing. Ask her if she would like to go for a walk today.

 
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Old 04-14-2012, 10:09 AM   #6
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Re: New Job since Feb 2012

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Originally Posted by September88 View Post
No one can be happy all the time. You will encounter difficult people. Don't avoid talking to her. Talk calmly and be patient, and just listen. Be empathetic. Just ask her if there is anything you can do for her. Say it like that. Not "what do you want?" Its hard some times to be understanding. Some times you have to walk away. But remember you are there to take care of her. Just smile and start cleaning some thing. If there are signs of dementia then redirect her to a photo album or some thing. Ask her if she would like to go for a walk today.
Yes, agreed.
I have changed my approach. As much as it may be difficult at times, I still try to talk with her, or as you said, listen.
I begin my time there by just visiting and letting her talk about whatever she wants. I let her set the pace, even though I know I will need to still get things done, she knows that too.

I talked with her previous caregiver from a couple years back. (in the laundry room) She said that she worked for her for 7 years and the last year is when she started having these moments of negativity.
She only would be there for two hours, twice a week and leave crying.
She said these bouts came on rather sudden and persisted.

Most of the time she seems ok
I am concerned that she stills drives...
She has CHF and thought she had a mini stroke last week...
She has neuropathy in her hands and feet...
Her blood sugar is sometimes under control..
the list goes on...but when she feels good, she goes and goes then she's down for a week?
Her family is close to her and can only advise her so much.
She listens to most of what the doctors say.
I know it's not a long term job...I just have to balance myself and do my best, that's all I can do...
She was happy yesterday, we were laughing a lot.

 
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Old 08-10-2012, 05:40 AM   #7
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Re: New Job since Feb 2012

Still at job. when things are good...they are great. I am becoming better at expecting her mood swings and helping to redirect her. Granted these swings can change with the wind but it's fleeting. Her negativity goes away easier if I persist with kindness, (of course), and she really has been more flexible. ( sure the medication , sertraline, is a great compliment to her personality)

now I have another problem with a family member who is on payroll.
Her favorite niece does the meds every 10 days,
In the begining I worked 15 of 18 hours on an uneventful week. Sometimes less sometimes more depending on the appointments and food shopping needed.
So her niece was to get 2 hrs a week or 3hrs, what was left after I worked.
That was ok for like one or two pay cycles. Then my consumer needed extra care by me for a foot infection. So, we asked the nurse for an hour increase a month ago.
Since then her niece takes the other 8 hours each week. (we now share 23 hours)
in reality her niece only works perhaps 4 hours 3 weeks a month. (every ten days , skips a week) I have tried to communicate with her niece and the consumer about this but get no change. It hasn't interfered with my paycheck until this week, I am short like 100$ because the niece takes hours she didn't work. She makes no effort to communicate with me. Her Aunt (the consumer) is in the beginning stages of Dementia and doesn't understand the situation. Everytime I talk with the consumer about it she gets emotional and because she has heart problems, I risk her having much discomfort.
I am a friend of her daughter and I haven't told my friend any of this because I don't want this to cause friction between family members. Her other daughter is very close with the niece. She comes with the niece and helps her do the meds. The consumer also does her own meds when she wants. Many times pills have been forgot to put in or too many in same cup... when this happens I always show the consumer and she defends her niece with some reason.
Anyway, I am on my way to work.....after checking my direct deposit and finding my 100$ missing so I had to vent and get some advice.

I want to talk with her nurse. The nurse controls the hours basically.
I am not sure, however, to approach this? I don't want to cause the consumer any discomfort. I just would like to get paid what I work and for others to do the same.
This really gets my heart rate up and I am concerned with my state of mind because of this...lol
Thanks for reading

 
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Old 08-10-2012, 05:43 AM   #8
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Re: New Job since Feb 2012

I want to talk with her nurse. The nurse controls the hours basically.
I am not sure, however, to approach this? I don't want to cause the consumer any discomfort. I just would like to get paid what I work and for others to do the same.
This really gets my heart rate up and I am concerned with my state of mind because of this...lol
Thanks for reading

Last edited by LessStress38; 08-10-2012 at 05:44 AM. Reason: double post

 
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