Laura Marie writes straight from the heart with her true stories about her experiences in care-giving. A must read for everyone, especially caregivers and family members of the elderly and disabled. Includes tips and invaluable resources in all aspects of caregiving.
What readers are saying...
"I was deeply moved to the point of tears when reading the chapter on Kathy. My sister had passed from MS 4 years ago and remember the brave struggle that she endured while attempting to have some quality of life towards the end. A book like this needed to be written. Thank you!"
Nancy Campbell - Atlanta, GA.
My application and background checks are now complete as I eagerly await a call from my new agency and my first caregiving assignment. I reflect back on the circumstances that had brought me to this crossroad in my career and the decision that would not only change my life, but also touch the lives of those placed in my care.
Caregiving was to be a drastic departure from my previous career as a software engineer. Although challenging, sitting within the confines of the cubicle for many hours a day leaves little time for social interaction.
Living and working in Hawaii was an enjoyable experience. The beautiful beaches and spectacular sunsets were a welcome break from the daily stress and demands required of my job. Unfortunately, with the Internet downturn and the eventual sell off of the company I worked for, I had to leave this island paradise for the mainland in search of new employment opportunities.
After arriving in the San Francisco Bay area and the heart of the Silicon Valley, my worst fears were realized. The dot com crash was indeed nationwide and with no computer jobs available. This reality prompted a visit to the state employment office where I began my job search in earnest for alternative job opportunities in the area.
In looking over the various job postings, one in particular caught my attention. It was from an health care agency that offered free training and placement for caregivers. This was of interest to me since I had worked in a hospital during my college years and found the experience very rewarding. After all, this would just be a temporary position until the demand for software engineers improves. I made the call later that afternoon. The call that would change my life forever.
I was told that training classes were to begin the following week. I was to stop by their office and fill out the necessary paperwork in order to secure my seat in the upcoming classes. I drove to their offices in eager anticipation.
Upon my arrival to the agency's small but efficient office, I was asked to fill out an application and other required forms. I was also given an informational packet about the caregiving position. I took this home and later read through its contents.
A description of duties that is required of a caregiver was enclosed. These tasks included bathing, dressing, preparing the clients meals, shopping, laundry, light housekeeping and in some cases transportation to and from the clients appointments.
As I read over the list of assignments, the position seemed to describe that of a caretaker and not what I imagined of a caregiver. Certainly companionship and moral support would be an essential part of caregiving?
Since the class was scheduled to begin the following week, all my questions would then be answered. I looked forward to being active participant in the class and to learn more about the caregiving experience.
The following Monday was met with eager anticipation as I entered the classroom. The seats were filled mostly with women representing various ages and ethnic groups. I took my seat at the rear of the classroom just as the teacher had arrived. She was an attractive middle aged woman, professionally dressed and carrying an armload of folders.
She introduced herself as Margaret, a Registered Nurse and Healthcare Administrator. She asked each of us to introduce ourselves starting at first row of chairs and then moving around the classroom.
The folders were passed around the room as she explained the topics that the class would cover. These included many of the tasks that were outlined in the information that I received from the agency. We were also told to purchase a workbook that would be the basis of our class curriculum.
Each class discussed a new chapter in the book that we have previously read at home. The proper use of body mechanics for non-ambulatory clients was demonstrated. We also had some guest speakers discussing such topics as nutrition and proper bathing techniques. Upon graduation I was confident in the basic skills of caregiving and ready for my first hands on experience with a client.
My thoughts were now disrupted by the ringing of my telephone. It was Ann from the agency with my first caregiving assignment. I was to work with a couple that lived in a large apartment building just down the street from my home.
"WOW! It's hard to believe that someone with the background that Laura has would dedicate herself to care-giving in this way. It's not an easy job and there is not enough good caregivers out there. I hope this book helps bring more."
Mary Ann Taylor - Fort Collins, CO.
"This book clearly demonstrates the value of client engagement by example. Each story is a lesson in compassion and positive interaction with extraordinary results."
Deanne Belcher, RN. Director of Client Services.