As a child, I knew I would be in health care. I was going to be a doctor. I wanted to take care of the sick. My mother and father encouraged this dream, as I grew older. However, life got in the way, I got married, had children, moved around the world with my military spouse. Don’t get me wrong, I loved this lifestyle and would not change it for one minute. To travel to new places and explore the cultures and the people, WOW. I got a living education while on this detour, along with a Bachelors degree.
Everything happens for a reason.
However, after 17 years of this lifestyle, forced to start over in a new direction, I was not sure of my future any longer. I had a very different path to follow. Things would never be the same again.
I watched my mother care for my father for over 10 years. Her dedication and stamina taught me the value of staying healthy emotionally and physically. It worked not only for her, but also for my dad and grandma. Her actions encouraged me to pursue a career in geriatrics health care. Eventually I became a CNA (Certified Nursing Assistant) to get my foot in the door of health care. I also enrolled in a master’s program in health care administration. Then on to my PhD. I was going to make my dream come true. I would be a doctor yet!
I came to understand the need for a healthy caregiver relationship with the patient while working in a nursing home. I also saw many families not capable of the tremendous task ahead of them while caring for their aging parent. The care of an aging parent with major life changing decisions along with aging issues is a difficult situation to find yourself.
This led me to wanting to change things for the better. My goal became wanting to teach families how to take care of themselves as they take care of their parent. Having support and understanding from others helping with the daily decisions that come with this new role is important in keeping your sanity. My mission became insuring the best possible care for the physical and mental well being of the aging parent while working with their families in managing their new role of caregiver.
Over the years, the questions remain the same. What is your most frustrating part of working with the healthcare system? Do you know how or where to find the different resources needed? How helpful is staff in pointing you in the right direction? Do you feel they give you enough support in all areas in caring for your loved one? It is time we all make a change.
So here I am. Everything happens for a reason.