Home caregivers are in a strange place socially and emotionally; they do so much for the people in their care, including forming bonds that can be as strong as those between family members, and yet they are employees. Due to the intimate and personal nature of home caregiving, you see the employee/client boundary get crossed a lot. This is one of the main factors that highlights home caregiving as a very special type of employment.
Recently, the caregiving staff at Alegre Home Care was treated to a caregiver appreciation luncheon by the son of one of our clients. Doug DeSoto wanted to honor the recent passing of his parents and the caregivers who attended to them during their final years. Doug explained, “When the time comes and someone a caregiver has been caring for passes, there’s usually not a lot of time to say goodbye and the family doesn’t always have the opportunity to show their gratitude to the caregiver. So this is my way of saying thank you for taking care of my parents.”
Daniel and Doris DeSoto were the kinds of people who cared deeply about social justice and who were always willing to take a stand. They even spent time in jail for protesting against hot button issues like nuclear weapons and apartheid. Human rights were always very important to them, and they always believed in treating others with kindness.
Caregivers from Alegre Home Care first started with the DeSoto family when Daniel realized he needed support in caring for Doris, who had been diagnosed with dementia. The caregivers offered support whenever it was needed, and eventually 24/7 as the needs intensified over the years. Both Daniel and Doris DeSoto were in their nineties when they passed.
Doug expressed that the care provided by the home caregivers from Alegre Home Care was invaluable. He said that one caregiver, named Norma, helped his parents for years and became like part of the family. “Alegre Home Care seems to hire people who have a good heart. They are competent, efficient, and caring, and that is the best combination of qualities you can hope for in a caregiver.”
A caregiver was present during Daniel DeSoto’s final moments. “My dad requested a meal of eggs over easy, which the caregiver prepared for him,” said Doug. “It ended up being his last meal, and it may sound simple, but it was one of his favorites.”
It’s moments like those that truly make the intimate nature of home caregiving apparent. Home caregivers are so valued that you even hear stories about famous people leaving part of their estates to their caregivers. As Doug DeSoto was taught by his parents, “When someone does something for you, it’s important to say thank you.”
The Benefits of Home Caregivers
Home caregivers help in a variety of ways. They perform daily tasks such as running errands, they complete household chores, and they perform intimate tasks such as personal hygiene. They are also responsible for monitoring, managing, and trying to improve upon the health and well-being of their clients.
Some of the benefits of home caregiving include:
Maintaining quality of life
Keeping clients safe
Support with tasks
Having another set of hands
Competency and experience
Creating care plans
Being another set of eyes for doctors
Support for family members
Fostering a sense of independence
Helping clients maintain their identities
Medical care and assistance
As Doug DeSoto explained, “One of the most beneficial things was having a younger set of knees and a strong back!” He also learned the important skill of changing an adult diaper, which was a task he never pictured himself needing to learn. It’s the little details like these that can make a huge impact in the quality of someone’s final years.
To Doug DeSoto, we say thank you for your gratitude, and to our caregivers, we say thank you for providing a service that truly makes a difference in people’s lives.
“In my 33 years of service to the home care industry, Doug’s kindness is unsurpassed in recognizing Caregivers for their impact on the lives of those they serve. You inspire me and my employees to keep doing what we love. You encourage us to be mindful of the little things, and how much they might really matter.” —Charles Symes