I have decided that I want to do for other elderly people what I did for my father. One of the most challenging and yet rewarding endeavors I have ever undertaken was that of caregiver. It tapped into corners of my psyche that I didn’t know existed. It also pulled emotions from my being that I knew existed but thought I was beyond experiencing any more.
Today I went to pick up paperwork from a nursing home that gives the classes and testing for CNA certification. I took a sample test online and passed it with ease without taking any classes. After eight years of twenty four hour service as the primary caregiver for my father there is not a lot that I haven’t done. But that certification is paramount to getting your foot in the door.
The nursing home was modern, large and appeared to be well staffed but there was something that made me want to stop and kneel down and spend some time with every resident I passed. It was the look they had on their faces. Most had a lost or hopeless expression. Some would seem surprised or excited when I said “Good Morning!” with a genuine smile.
I realized then that I was a good son. I had told my father when he was initially diagnosed with Parkinson’s that he would never see the inside of a nursing home as long as I was alive and I never waivered from that commitment. I know that the majority of people could not have had the ability to do what I did. Not from the lack of wanting to but because of their own obligations to their wives or jobs.
I believe my life was orchestrated by God Himself to make me available to fulfill that pledge I made to my father so many years ago. I am not married. My son is grown and lives in California, three thousand miles away. There was no reason when the time came that I could not leave my job and honor my father by honoring my pledge.
After my father died and even before then I had said I would never again care for anyone else in that capacity. But I can’t help myself. I believe that giving aid to the elderly is what God has planned for me. I would actually like to work with hospice if I had my choice. Death is something we all have to deal with. Most of us several times before we ever face our own.Giving comfort at that most critical time can make the crossing over a beautiful experience for the individual who is passing, the family that is grieving and the caregiver who is trying to give solace to both.
I would like to see a facility that allows ” no vacancy” in their residents or on their premises. That every resident be engaged personally several times a day. Someone to talk to them and more importantly listen to them. I believe they all have something they want to say…they just feel like nobody wants to listen.