When we look at the word caregiver, the best definition would be when you need support caring for yourself. It’s during this time you may need the assistance of a caregiver. For me, I’m able to bathe myself, fix my hair, prepare meals, and clean my house. But there was a time when I was erythrodermic that I needed help all day long. My husband was there to pick up the pieces for me.
There are so many people in this world who need caregivers every day of their life. This is a gigantic decision for those involved. You will want to make sure the caregiver is suitable, trained, and are able to withstand the burden. Could my husband of over 20 years be able to care for me if he had to? I’m not sure.
Do I need a caregiver?
I have had to make some decisions in my life over the past year. Some I never thought I ever had to do. Housework for me has become a bit much. My home is fairly big, and I have steps that I must climb. I’m drained just going up and down the stairs; I couldn’t imagine having to clean them anymore. I wrestle with the thought of getting a housecleaner, but this was the best decision for me. This has relieved a great amount of stress for me. My body has let me know when something is too much. I decided a long time ago that I’m not a superhero.
I got my driver’s license when I was 15 years and 8 months. I will be 60 next month. I used to drive everywhere: the doctor’s office, physical therapy, grocery store, and more. For the past few months, I have felt so twisted up with my arms and shoulders being effected from psoriatic arthritis. I find on some days that I have to have my husband drive me around or pick up things for me. I don’t want to risk having a car accident. There are days for me when I make the decision that I’m not driving today because my pain level may be a 10 verses a 3 or 4.
How do I find a caregiver?
I have called several agencies about companion aids that will assist in event of small things. I know getting my hair done is a big deal for me. Your lifestyle can still be one where you don’t have to compromise your passions. Do what you think is best for you.
Studies show that 30% of people with psoriasis develop psoriatic arthritis. Many of these end up with permanent joint damage. I have some joint damage and have to live with this.
We are all effected differently with this disease. It’s not shameful to need a caregiver; even if it’s your significant other. The more of your joints that are effected would be the determining factor for a caregiver or companion aid.
Some things I have done to help me:
- Lighten my load, get a housekeeper, and get someone to drive me around.
- Ask for that extra help; family members, friends,
- Realize there are caregivers out here with a passion for helping.
- Ask yourself, “Do I need a caregiver?”
If you find it hard to care for yourself and take care of your daily things; you may want to consider a family member, friend, companion or a part-time caregiver. Lighten your load and just know you deserve to live your life to the fullest. Don’t let this disease determine your quality of life. Get the help that you need and deserve.
Trying to keep a positive outlook
I battle daily the sufferings of having psoriatic arthritis, and I’m striving to thrive and take the bitter with the sweet. Whatever limits me; I will move beyond it and find a way. It’s called doing my best with what I have or resources that will allow me to move beyond the barriers.
I asked my husband this question. Are you my caregiver? His answer was, “When you’re in pain; I’m in pain. I have been with you for over 20 happy years of our lives. We have had some very good years and I will continue to be with you all the rest of the years. I loved you more than I love myself and will always be by your side.”
I will never know the answer to my question.