When Kathleen was little, I didn’t give much thought to having a caregiver. Family helped whenever we needed someone to watch Kathleen. We were also fortunate to have neighborhood babysitter right across the street and as soon as they were old enough, Kathleen’s sister and brother took over. It was easy because everyone understood her language and her needs.
Our first caregiver was a young woman who had been Kathleen’s aide in high school. When she left after two years, I tried several different avenues and ended up on the national website for caregivers. I wrote down everything about Kathleen – good and bad. I had many responses, talked by phone and then met in person. It didn’t take long to find the right person but then she didn’t stay long either and we were again searching. This time I ended up at an agency. We went through several different women, trying to find the right fit. After a few weeks, we ended up with a wonderful woman who stayed for a year. When she decided to moved on, the agency sent replacements and it only took a about a week to find the right person. So our previous caregiver trained the new one and we had a smooth transition. We still have the same amazing, compassionate, wonderful aide today.
We have had several situations over the years….one’s I don’t like to think about or share but I have also come to understand that no matter how much I prepare my caregivers, I can’t think of everything and no one can predict how our child might feel at that moment.