Theresa M.|Iowa City, IA
2 yrs exp
82 yrs old
PT Caregiver: Retired Nurse Practitioner and Physician Assistant
I saw many seniors in my practice, but my care-giving experience was with my family and a friend. I did full time, 24 hour home care of my father who had Alzheimer's for 1-1/2 years and provided part time, home care of him for 4-1/2 years. In the past 4 years, I did full time 24 hour home care of my sister who had multiple strokes and Schizophrenia, for 6 months, 24 hour home care of my brother-in-law who had dementia and stroke-like symptoms, for 3 weeks, and both part time and 24 hour care of a friend who had multiple strokes, for 6 months, in 2011. All 4 of these people, at times, had incontinence of urine and feces and were unable to walk, dress, and feed themselves. We had wheelchairs and walkers with and without wheels.
Through my personal experiences I realize the importance of being a caregiver and of providing caregiver relief. Being a caregiver can be difficult at times, and it takes lots of patience, but it is also extremely rewarding. One is truly "my brother's (or sister's) keeper". In addition, I know from experience and I respect the trust that it takes to invite a person you do not yet know into your home. Ideally a caregiver will be just another member of the family.