Friday, July 9, 2010

All kinds of caregivers- a very thankless job, and Health Care Reform Digressions

So much of this blog is about the caregiver, that is the family member, caring for a loved one with AD. I try to cover some of the plight of those in this blog, having been one myself at a very unproven age. I also spend a lot of time trying to cover the plight of the physician, having been one myself for all my adult life. Lets face it the odds of building any empathy for the doctor, are about nil, it can't be done, and lets face it with our wonderful sweeping health care reform the odds of seeing the doctor in any sort of possible non0negative light will be even less.   I mean come on, as the oil gushes out after months, as we all dip into our 401ks a little more,  if anyone has anything left in them, has not your health care and access already dramatically improved??? Digression.
Lets face it, After all the banks merge, all the airlines merge, We can have a state run bank, a state run airline and maybe if we are lucky a couple huge health care  "private"corporations, heavily vying for that big old capitated national government contract, low-bidding each other every year. Think about it, that's where it is going. -Digression
So what about all those other caregivers, the RN's, the LPNs, the CNA's,  the home health agencies. the MSW's, the speech pathologists, the BSW's, the PT's the OT's. I mean my God they work with an awful lot of dementia patients don't they? We forget they tend to get a little emotionally beat up by families of dementia patient"sometimes, they get attached to some patients, they thrive and love it when their AD patient has a "window" or  a good day just like the family members.
Families often get mad or short tempered with all of these other caregivers, trying to do the best they can. Why is that? They don't have the history. They don't know Mom or Dad, like the family. How could they possibly know? Sometimes it breeds indignity,  or anger. Its the nature of the disease.
Most go into the helping professions, to help people. We go into it, wide eyed and idealistic. Little secret, most people doing it a few years that give their all, really want to get out of the game. Most don't admit it to themselves, but administration, looks pretty damn good after a few years. Working hard in this field giving your all, sort of robs you of part of your soul, it takes its toll to be a caregiver. Especially the ones who care.
Think about it less people want to take care of patients in this day and age. The pay sucks relative to the time and  effort you put in and the things you give up. Less people going into primary care, the numbers going into psychiatry, is like a joke it is so minuscule, relative to the need. Many people going into nursing, don't want to take care of patients, the thought of getting dressed up and walking around a big old health care facility with beautiful atriums, carrying a clipboard, and going to important committee meetings all day is much more appealing,  than say getting slugged by a patient with dementia while trying to give them a bath.
Yep for the true caregivers it is often a thankless job. But most of them do care. A lot.

No comments:

Talking about the book with the Lake Superior wind....... a calm day