Drew chooses not to calculate the financial cost of being a caregiver.
And so that’s been a great, a great thing. […] There’s probably not a family caregiver out there who wouldn’t say the same thing, that there could always be more funding. And I look at things I guess slightly differently, from the standpoint of saying the financial cost to me, as the caregiver, I choose not to calculate because I don’t want to know—because it’s probably bad. But at the same token, my family has a roof over their head; we’re not destitute because of the sacrifices we make. I work hard.
Could I be further ahead professionally without being a family caregiver? Yes. […] I’ve probably, let’s put it this way: probably for me, it’s probably about a 20% difference in terms of, I think, where I would be at if I was able to fully invest myself into my professional career. But the reality is, if I’m on-call every night and I have a rough night, I chose to be the person who is there to assist. And if that means I need some flexibility with respect to my working career, then so be it.
Again, I think there’s a part of me that says “I am living the legacy of her own vulnerability” in the respect that I’ve never once ever thought to myself that I haven’t taken for granted every day I have—particularly with my kids. […] I would be remiss if I didn’t take that away from this situation that my mother had no warning, had no knowledge, nothing whatsoever over essentially going to bed as the mother of 3 children and spouse of her soul mate, so to speak, to waking up with nothing of that. So for me to wake up and not acknowledge that, and to try to structure my life in a way that means I can do those things, is there a financial cost? Yeah there is a financial cost. No doubt about it. But again, I’m happy with the choices I made. I don’t expect that there should be some you know tree of money, so to speak, that allows me to make all the decisions I want without some consideration for a sacrifice, right?
More from: Drew
- When care changes over time – DrewDrew describes two critical points during the course of his mother’s disease when his family had to make significant adjustments.
- Uncovering how and why caregivers care – DrewDrew thinks caregivers need to feel they can overcome most obstacles.
- Trying to find the right balance 2 – DrewWhile working on finding the right balance, Drew’s most important objective is to make sure his mother has the best possible care.
- Trying to find the right balance – DrewDrew and his family have made many changes to keep the right balance over the years.
- The future and caregiving – Drew“The future is 5 minutes from now.” Drew wants to focus on making sure his mother receives the best care possible.
- Support from family and friends – DrewDrew’s siblings all had different reasons to be involved in the care or not.
- Society and caregiving – DrewDrew would like the healthcare system to recognize caregivers’ contributions.
- Navigating the system – DrewAccess is a two-way street. You have to want to reach out, and there has to be something to reach out to. Drew found that there is no single person or place that can meet your needs fully.
- Legal issues – DrewAs a legal guardian for his mother, Drew considers alternatives on a yearly basis to ensure she is receiving the best possible care.
- Hospitals and facilities – DrewHospital staff can make use of the knowledge caregivers have about their loved-ones, as in Drew’s case.