'Be anxious for nothing..." ~Philippians 4:6

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

CAREGIVER DIARIES

I couldn't believe my ears.
And I quote, "If your daughter hasn't cooked something, or if she's busy, you ought to at least have something to offer people when they visit, like pizza, chips, or sandwiches."
All I could do was shake my head. 
I've been my dad's live-in, unpaid caregiver a little over two years. I really thought I was done with the insensitive types.

I phoned my sister, and my brother-in-law answered. I just wanted to vent. He said, "What you should have done, was take him the phone, give him the number to Domino's and tell him to take out his credit card. You want pizza? Order one!"
I laughed and was so happy for the mood change. It's been a busy morning, and for caregivers, there's rarely a morning that isn't.

I figured I'd just post this public service announcement. Maybe some people just DON'T know better.

When you visit the home of an elderly person who has a caregiver, particularly if you are a drop-in, never, EVER assume that you have a right to be served. If you are offended that you weren't, I don't know what to tell you, or CALL you that Jesus would be okay with...."Brood of vipers" comes to mind, but I digress....

If a caregiver, (who has quite a bit on his or her 24/7 plate, by the way) serves you, it is a courtesy, not an obligation. An elderly person's caregiver is not your maid or butler, and if the caregiver is a relative, he or she is not an employee to be ordered about, supervised, or micromanaged--particularly by blue moon visitors who haven't lifted a finger to do anything. Furthermore, loud talking about your expectations won't get them to you any faster-- or at all.

Frankly, a thoughtful, courteous person would phone prior to arrival and ask, "Is there anything that you need? Can I bring something? Is there anything that I can do?" What you DON'T do, is suggest to the elderly person that they have snacks on hand in case the caregiver hasn't cooked, hasn't prepared enough, or is too busy to attend to you.

I was born in Louisiana, where people were genuinely offended if you declined their offer to feed you as soon as you walked into their doors, and they didn't STOP offering stuff until you said "Yes" to SOMETHING. However, I don't care if you're southern or not, your expectations should fit the situation. In the case of visiting ailing seasoned citizens, no matter what they USED to do, or what you're used to, YOUR hospitality should be the brighter shining one. 
Think. 
Care. 
Don't be a jerk. 
Lend a hand.

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