True story: There once was an elderly man with memory problems who invited his caregiver to bed every night. The caregiver was young and declined his invitation in a sensible manner. The man was unhappy and aggravated so he could not sleep. One day an older caregiver with more experience suggested to the caregiver that she simply accept the invitation verbally. When client invited her to bed, she answered: “please take a good shower and shave before you go to bed and I’ll meet you there”. The man took time to shower and shave himself and by the time he went to bed he forgot about the invitation. An hour later the elderly man was peacefully asleep in bed, smiling. Of course, this doesn’t mean that ICONNEL condones such actions, but it’s an entertaining story, nevertheless.
Another true story. A caregiver was grooming a bed-bound elderly man who suffered from Alzheimer’s. The man was enamored by the caregiver and enjoyed her pampering. One day, as the caregiver brushed his hair, the man saw another woman walk across the room. Being startled by what he saw, he asked the caregiver, “Who was that!?” The caregiver answered politely, “That’s your wife.” He then took the comforter over his head and screamed in horror.
There is no universal solution to these issues, as each person involved in a care giving engagement is very complex. The navigation skills needed to appeal to a successful home care engagement cannot be learned only in any institution. It comes from the caregiver’s upbringing and worldly experience in understanding different people, cultures, diets, virtues, and religions in different countries. In other words, the caregiver either has the skills or doesn’t have the skills. It is something that is extremely difficult to learn as an adult.