You will remember my post everything she does is beautiful from a while back. Today I’d like to talk about the flip side of personal care attendants. Things don’t always go right. I have been lucky, and this post isn’t really about focusing on the negative aspects; but rather the different aspects of personal care.
The perception of personal care is that the caregiver’s role is only to give physical care. For me, the care they give should be a collaboration of caring for my physical body, mind, and spirit. In other words, as much as they act as my arms and legs I feel their primary function is to get me out in to the community. I have been lucky that the agency that I use take the same approach. I call this approach the holistic approach. So, what does the holistic approach mean for the client? The following three things will be outlined in the rest of this post:
- freedom to choose
- the sense of control in the decisions about one’s life
- the ability to see the world through travel
Freedom to Choose
I think that this is perhaps one of the hardest parts of the job for some attendants. I like working with the younger attendant because I feel I relate better, and there is less of a chance to feel like I am working with someone who is “mothering me” the most annoying thing is being told what to do and how to do it, if someone treats me as an equal they have a better chance of sticking with me for the long haul.
The younger attendant also understands the need for me to have as much control as possible with regards to what I eat, how I dress, when I shower, etc. all things that able-bodied people take for granted. I live my life on a schedule so I would like as much freedom to choose that schedule as possible; it’s hard enough to be spontaneous so having the flexibility to be as flexible as possible is nice.
The Sense of Control in the Decisions about One’s Life
As I alluded to earlier as a client you want as much personal independence as possible. This may even mean inappropriate choices in nutrition etc. despite attendants wanting to say something i.e. you should eat healthier; it is really not their place to say anything. If I choose to eat chocolate for breakfast it’s my choice despite the potential health risks I am imposing on my well-being. The attendants role is not to act as a parent teaching right and wrong especially considering they are often dealing with highly educated people who happen to have a physical limitation.
The Ability to See the World through Travel
I’ve had the ability to travel as an adult free of my parents and family thanks to attendants. Although, my trips to date have only been day trips, this will allow me to see the world when I decide to venture further afield. It’s nice to have the ability to see the world outside the four walls of your home. I pride myself in utilizing my attendants beyond personal care and using them to integrate more fully into my community both on a local level and maybe in future through travel. If I could make a career of blogging and public speaking I think that is where I would be happiest. This is a long post, thank you for sticking with me, more tomorrow.
Peace and happiness to all!
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