You would assume that being in a position of requiring a personal care attendant would place you in the subservient position of having minimal to no say at all in your future. You certainly would not think of equating assistance with the independence necessary to set personal goals. Medical research in the last thirty years has discovered that those who participate in their own home care, who set goals regardless of the diagnosis, and who have companion services that support these concepts increase the quality of their life. Even those who only use an in-home service for a short period, benefit by the experience shared with them by their trained carer.
Personal care is not limited to helping you bathe and dress. Carers who specialize in assisted care are there to help you with cooking, cleaning, and shopping. They are there to listen to your tales of adventure when you left home to engage wits with the world or when you first met your mate. Carers enjoy learning about the styles of living that no longer exist and value your contributions that made for a better life for all, no matter how small. Carers have discovered through their experiences that every pebble makes a wave and every person has a special gift that brought them through the stormy days in life. Carers love to hear you laugh and genuinely take pleasure in sharing a simple meal with you in the garden.
The modern style of assisted care begins with listening to you describe what you believe your achievements have been so far. Your carer is not there to judge if you were successful, but to gain insights about the best course to help you design going forward. It is a well-known fact that people who do not harbor future goals wither away slowly. You may feel that your greatest achievements involved teaching your children to cook. Building on that sense of success, your career may inquire if you would consider teaching a small group of local children how to cook some of the recipes that were your children’s favorites. If you are uncomfortable about the idea of teaching in public, you might be guided to start teaching the same skills on a video that can be put online or by writing a small cookbook with photos of the steps to complete a recipe. Before you know it, you’ll be showing your career how you used to cook over that open fire and telling stories about the pan that went ablaze when you turned your back. You’ll be demonstrating how far to stay away from the fire pit and exactly where the pot should be placed so that the food cooks just fast enough.
Even though it was not your intent to set any goals when your career walked in the door that first morning, you find that you relish the laughter you share with your career. You soon realize that you are thinking more about what you want to do tomorrow and what you want to share with others.