This is a very difficult situation to be in for anyone! Being an RN and also working some time in Nursing Homes as a Supervisor, I can tell you, “you really have to do your research” There are many things to consider and be prepared for.. I can tell you that the Nursing staff REALLY do care. They really do try so very hard to meet all of the demands. Yet as we all know, sometimes things fall through the cracks.. and most people think it usually “lands on them” right? well, it’s right and it’s also wrong..

With Nurses being understaffed, usually underpaid and agencies searching day and night for qualified help, America is really in a dire situation here. It will not be solved any time soon, so it is up to WE THE PEOPLE to figure out our own solutions! Can I get an amen? Nursing homes will always be a huge business that is needed. However, more and more people are choosing to buy a home and use it as a board and care for their family members as well as taking in a couple other people to have the income as well which supplements the care for all. Now this is NOT to be taken lightly, and you need to be sure you speak to someone who truly understands all of the factors here.

Nurses are usually understaffed in every facility. Most of the time when you see a CNA who seems like they are not answering the call lights fast enough, it’s really that they are totally exhausted from overwork and underpay. Which brings me to the need for “self-care” first.. but how? Seems like there is no time I know! This cycle is, and has been going on for ages. Many of our elderly must be in a nursing home or a home with a caregiver at all times. Which brings me to GUILT. How does one handle the guilt especially after promising our loved ones that we would NEVER put them in a home. WE promised right?

Unfortunately, guilt is a part of caregiving, particularly when you have to make a decision that you know is against the wishes of your loved one. Once in a nursing home, our pain is often escalated by our loved ones begging and pleading to be taken home. Each visit can become a nightmare of pain and suffering for you both. Taking care of someone who is dying can be a horrible task OR the most loving thing you ever had to go through, depending on where YOU are coming from and how much preparation and support you have. Being a caregiver to an elderly parent, working full time, and raising a family are almost impossible tasks to juggle. Even if you do not work outside the home, it is still a daunting challenge to meet all the demands placed on you. Hiring caregivers to help ease the situation can also be fraught with its own set of problems that can be more stressful than doing it yourself.

Additionally, there is also the expense involved that many cannot afford. Recognizing the enormousness of the tasks in front of us, all we can do is to try our best. We cannot possibly do it all, even though we may try. We feel over-responsible, out of control, and helpless at the same time. The result is experiencing caregiver burnout and resentment. Even if we could do it all, we would still find something to feel guilty about. It just goes with the territory. We all make promises with the best of intentions, but events and situations change and we cannot keep our word. We feel we have failed. We berate and blame ourselves for being human and for all those things we “should have” or “could have” done. (See part 3)