Employment Opportunity

The Company:  Dementia and Partners

Job Title:             Caregiver to a loved one with dementia

Duties:                 Advocacy or dealing with agencies, organizations and bureaucracy

Nurse and Social worker

Mother, Father, teacher, daughter, son, husband, wife, friend, protector, security blanket, lover, dance partner, punching bag (literally and figuratively), pacifier

Drug Dealer doling out correct medications at right times and right amounts

Administrative Assistant

Primary Personal Care aide

Archivist or keeper of memories

Mood assessor, Ego booster

Entertainment Manager and Cultural attaché

Detective and finder of lost articles

Domestic cleaner

Fashion advisor and dresser – no clown outfits or black left shoe with brown right shoe allowed.  “You need a coat and scarf.  It is cold outside.”

Language expert, Translator, Interpreter

Dietitian – Chief Cook and bottle washer

Information Research Scientist to wade through the massive amount of information.  It is continuous learning.

Child care worker, Psychologist

Financial manager and banker

Transportation service provider and personal taxi service

Ghost buster when as example you are told: “There is a man outside the bedroom with his wife and children.  Are they sleeping with us tonight?”

Playmate

Logistics clerk – you will be making appointments with many professionals you never knew existed.

Record keeper-Careful notes result in better care.   You work with your care providers and medical professionals so there is no guess work.

And other duties as they arise

Special Skills needed:  Flexibility, Quick learner, Decision Maker, Comedian, Political skills aka therapeutic lying/ deflection/distraction/redirection.

Patience, patience and more patience

A thick hide is a real bonus

Emergency services coordination in knowing when and whom to call on a list you have created that is easily accessible when needed

Wages:                 $0.

Benefits:             The complete and total trust of your loved one

Recognizing the awesome responsibility of having complete control over another human being, your loved one

Unconditional love, which is sometimes hidden but is always there

Acquiring enumerable new skills, whether you want to or not

No experience necessary.  You will be given full, free tuition and fast track your career through Dementia and Alzheimer Disease University.

We guarantee a full and rewarding life though we cannot guarantee your sanity

Date of Hire:      Immediately

Hours of WorkThe 36 hour day – This book is a good resource as well as your daily work hours

Contract duration:  6 to 20 years or more.  Think “Until death us do part.”

This is an equal opportunity employer – age, status, wealth, race, colour, creed, education, health status, relationship, sex, ethnicity, the good, the bad, the ugly, the beautiful or other does not matter. This company will take on anyone.

The Meander:  So often this phrase is uttered “I did not sign up for this”.    We do not choose this job.  It is thrust upon us.  On my dark days I console myself with this: “Love guides me; Empathy empowers me; Patience is my best tool.”   It is my mantra.   My Bert, love, empathy and patience keep me going.

Note – As I was about to publish this post a call came in from a friend.  I mentioned the content of this post and her immediate response was: “You left out one very important duty- Search and Rescue.”  True.  Not wanting to change the original post I decided to add this note.  I also invite all who read it to comment and add any other duties I may have missed.   It may be that no one person can cover all the changes and activities that will come out of a brain with dementia.   Individuals exhibit different behaviours  even though they all have dementia.  Writing the ones we each encounter may help many of us already on this journey and others who may find themselves walking it in the future.  Forewarned is forearmed.

 

 

8 thoughts on “Employment Opportunity”

  1. Paula you are an amazing human being who took her vows before God in sickness and in health and really meant them. Your job description is profound and so well said. I pray that God will continue to give you strength, faith and patience as you walk this path and continue this journey of love and caregiver. I have met you in the good old days (fish fry) through a mutual friend of ours Lorna Harrison

  2. Brilliant, Paula. and so true, my dear girl.
    What an amazing list of duties — no-one would willingly apply, but love somehow finds a way to do it and do it with care.
    And a sense of humour obviously helps. Your blog post is refreshingly different and impactful.

    I look up to you and send warm hugs to a fabulous lady.

    1. You know I love hugs and they are coming right back to you. You know laughter is the best medicine. I could not survive without a sense of humour. You know love. Heck we have so much in common!

      Thank you for this lovely comment.

  3. Wow, just wow.
    I am just beyond speechless.
    I swear I felt like I was reading all about my mother, and about everything I as caregiver have to be and have to do.
    Once again Paula, you have so eloquently described the job of a caregiver. All the work, the energy, the mental strength that goes into it. One thing I have to comment on, that I don’t quite agree with is the feelings of Love. That’s one feeling I just no longer have. I care, and I have concern, but that feeling of love isnt there for me. Not like it once was, when my mother was someone I recognized.
    For example, when my mother told me(in one of her fits of rage & aggression) that she wished she never had me; she killed all feelings of love. When she’s screaming at me, and swearing at me, and calling me or my dad every name( vulgar curse word) in the book; she destroys more feelings of love & care. Perhaps in your case since it’s your spouse; there is more love there. For me, it’s very very different.
    I just dont feel at all the same toward my mother as I once did.
    But I have no doubt, your post will help and bring comfort to others.

    1. Oh, Stephanie, my heart goes out to you. Please do remember the mantra of all caregivers: “It is the disease, not my wife, husband, mother…etc.” Your mom is ill. She has this devastating illness that attacks the brain. You are right, it is not your mom and you do not recognize this creature who is swearing and often in a rage but if you look you can see slivers of the woman she once was before the disease decided to take over her mind.

      I dread the day when Bert no longer recognizes me but I know it is the disease not my Bert that is looking at me without knowledge. Remember Stephanie as carers we have to live for two, love for two and remember for two. When your mom is at her worst as the disease manifests its presence just you remember the times when she was not ill and remember the happy times. Don’t let the disease conquer you. You loved your mother before, love her now.

  4. AWESOME!!!!
    Seeing it in words is scary! You nailed it! Not only is no training necessary, this position specializes in on-the-job training! A dream come true for those who want to experience living on the edge!

    1. …and living on the edge it is. Not only is it on-the-job training it is also not knowing what the next job is. We do not know what comes next so we have to define it and then find the solution all by our lonesome. Come to think of it, caregivers are amazing. Hugs.

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