Caregivers’ Worth: Immeasurable!

Good Caregivers Bring Smiles and Comfort

Good Caregivers Bring Smiles and Comfort

Sometimes people in retirement communities need more help than their care package provides. People in independent living apartments enjoy living “on their own” but could perhaps use help with laundry or basic household tasks. Residents of an assisted living facility may want to remain in their familiar apartments even when they become unable to take care of themselves and could use full time care. What then?

For those who can afford it, hiring a companion aide to help keep their loved one in the home they’re in, whether it’s the house they’ve lived in and raised their family in, or in a facility, can be the best solution. Both when I provided social work services to hospice patients and as I’ve walked through my parents’ declining health with them, I’ve found dedicated, loving, hard working caregivers who do the job much better than I could do it. A caregiver who is a good match for her charge brings peace, happiness, and comfort. The person being cared for has better quality of life due to the direct care, and the family rests easier knowing their loved one is in good hands. I’m grateful every day for the amazing woman who cares for my mother. She is worth every dollar we pay her.

In Knocking on Heaven’s Door: the Path to a Better Way of Death Katy Butler points out (p. 92) that private hire aides are not federally entitled to minimum wage or overtime pay, or other basic protections of Fair Labor Standards Act. Butler writes that the law assumes the caregiver is “near family” who provides mainly companionship, and that agencies that provide such aides are often resistant to efforts to change this policy. If you are lucky enough to find a good aide, please do all you can to support him or her, to collaborate so that your loved one receives the best care. Be fair whether the law is or not. Good caregivers are magnificent human beings.

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