How elder loved ones influenced me to pursue caregiving

For me, getting into the senior care profession came about because of loved ones. My elderly grandmother stayed in her own home as long as she could until she needed more support. She moved to a long-term care facility and it was inspiring to watch how my parents and aunts and uncles cared for her.

Now, my parents are getting older and I’m balancing a full-time job in the healthcare field while making sure everything is going well with them. At the same time, it’s eye-opening to watch the next generation. As a young adult, my granddaughter loves to go to my parents’ house and spend time with them or pick up the phone and call. She came over to the house the other day to have lunch. That quality time is priceless, and she understands the value of that relationship.

Some families are not as close-knit or don’t live near their elderly loved ones, and I’ve seen situations like that. It’s very hard on a family, and the stress level is high. What usually happens is the eldest sibling or local sibling is the one who has to step up. Everybody’s situation is different and you have to do what’s right for you and your family.

Through my personal experiences with senior loved ones, I’ve been able to take what I’ve learned and use those skills in my profession. The seniors I care for may not be blood relatives, but they are family. I’m with them a good share of my life and get to know them very well. I learn from the different people who are my residents and they learn from me.

If not for the elders in my life, I wouldn’t know anything about older generations or my family’s history. As I’ve gotten older I’ve learned that family is precious, and you should enjoy your loved ones while you can because eventually all you’ll have are the memories. So I encourage you to be there for your elderly loved ones – and be thankful.

Mike Maday is a Care Manager at Lakeview Methodist Healthcare Center in Fairmont, Minnesota.

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