You know you have to take this leap, Alice. You KNOW you do, not only for your financial responsibilities but also for your mental and emotional well-being. Sigh. I knew this. And I was excited about the opportunity that practically landed in my lap. Excited, yes. But scared and sad too. After nearly eight years of working with my folks, I am taking another job. Instead of taking care of more than twenty people, I will be caring for one. I’m so accustomed to running and routine that this is a big change for me.
My ability to get to know and connect with my residents is where my strength lies. I look forward to actually having the time to spend one on one with someone; to get to know her on a deeper dimension than the facilities can provide due to time constraints. I’m excited to put into use much of the training that was a lost cause working in a facility that was often short-staffed. I can actually use music therapy and appropriate forms of redirection. Together, this client and I can plan our day; I can actively encourage her to engage in the development of a routine that suits her rather than trying to get her to follow one that is easiest for me.
It is a wholly unexplored area of long term care for me and I think there is much that I can learn from the experience. It will be trial and error as we get to know one another and I adjust to the different pace. That is actually a benefit though. This will be a new adventure for us both.
Ah, but I am not overstating it when I say that it breaks my heart to leave my folks. I know logically that they will be ok. I also know that I’m not actually LEAVING them. The facility is only four miles away and I’m already making plans for fun visits. It will just be a new dynamic to our relationship. We will meet as friends rather than caregiver/residents.
My difficulty stems from love, but also from my reluctance to let go. My reluctance to trust such a broken and flawed system to care for them properly. It’s MY issue, not theirs. It is true that I need to take this leap. To deny that would be a disservice to myself. It is equally true that taking this position affects more than just myself. To deny that would be a disservice to my residents whom I’ve formed such close bonds with these past several years.
Change is the one constant in life and I’ve been walking through my fair share of it lately. Though most of these changes have been very positive, it is my nature to cling tightly to the familiar. There is no room for growth in holding on to fear. Letting go is never easy, but that doesn’t mean it’s not the right move and I look forward to exploring and sharing this new chapter with all of you. I believe this period of one on one caregiving will hone my abilities and help me become more well-rounded, both of which I will be able to use for future endeavors in the world of Long Term Care.