Since Hospice, the elderly and infirm are my areas of interest, I went into care-giving For a year and a half I worked with a developmentally disabled client and a group of clients who struggle with HIV/Aids on a daily basis. These organizations trained me and assisted me in laying the ground work for a more focused area of expertise in end-of-life navigation and palliative care.
At this juncture I am trying to work through the maze of paperwork and State regulations that will allow me to be an Independent Provider for the State of Washington. It is all very volatile, expensive and anxiety producing as each agency seems to try and out do the other to protect the clients, the caregivers and themselves from every known and imagined contingency that might lead to litigation and a subsequent loss of revenue. It is ugly to be dealing with so many layers of policies designed by fear. I can only imagine the amount of really great caregivers that are out there that cannot do the work simply because they cannot navigate the incredible amount of red tape required to get started. If it wasn't for the gift of support I received, I would be dead in the water at this point for all the confusion, acting out and lack of professionalism I've experienced in the last 5 weeks. There is no "cutting to the chase" with government because, as you are probably well aware, if you rub an agent or a clerk the wrong way your paperwork could well "accidentally-on-purpose" fall down behind a filing cabinet somewhere. It is a test of patience and diplomacy, to be sure.
Home Health Care is actually a very satisfying, natural and needed activity for the aging as long as there is not a lot of heavy lifting to be done. Clients that are my age or older openly display relief to see a female of my age at the door. A younger person is not the preference in most cases. Many of the chronically ill are quite lucid. A debilitating condition and need for personal care is not confined only to comatose individuals. I know I wouldn't be as comfortable being handled by a caregiver my grandchild's age as I would a more mature person should I find myself in such straights. When I can get through all the red tape that the government requires, I'm confident I will be able to provide a valuable service to my clients and community. I will never make a bundle of money doing this, of course, but if I can ease someone's discomfort in their time of need while keeping a roof over my head, that is payment enough. There is a joy in that for me.