Why I chose to become a live-in carer for the elderly

Live-in or live-out carer, caregiver, caretaker, care worker, support worker etc. 

Why I chose to become a live-in carer for the elderly. 

Why indeed? 

If you read the page 'About me: Informal presentation', you found out that I am the seventh daughter of a family of eleven children. Which means, haha, that I have six other sisters. 

No, really?! 🤯

Yes, really. 😛 Read irony. 😝

I am the youngest of these seven sisters and, believe it or not, all my sisters  way before me  worked as professional live-in carers for the elderly in Italy. One for at least a couple of years  now she works as an accountant. The rest of them, for many, many, many years. More than 10 or 15. Or more?! 

I, on the other hand, I chose not to be a carer. 
I didn't want to be a carer. 
I couldn't be a carer. 
I just didn't feel that I could ever take care of anyone professionally. 
I refused to even consider it. 
At some point  things happened  I have sworn to never, ever become a carer. Not in a million years. 
That strong I felt about it. Against it. Yes. 
 
Then, my father had an accident. I happened to be back in my country then. 
I took my father to the hospital  hospitals really  where we stayed for... God, I can't really remember. 
I removed that period from my memory. It was way too painful. 
But it was a long period, months I believe. Day in and day out  without a pause  in three different hospitals. 
Although he had a broken femur, he almost lost his life. That's the long-story-short.
The bottom line is that my father almost died because of a broken bone. 

During those horrific months, my sister in law, one of my sisters and I, took turns to stay with my father in the hospital, every day, for hours. The personnel used to throw us out and refused to let us in. We had to beg and cry to be allowed to get in every single morning. 
But my dad couldn't eat or drink, couldn't urinate, couldn't move. 
The worst thing was that he was terrified. Like an abandoned child. And the personnel couldn't understand the severity of his fears. 
We did. We knew him. 

My father had many health issues and countless phobias. He couldn't bear being left alone, in the hospital, with strangers. 
Sorry, I'll move on. The memories are coming back and the pain is excruciating. 

During those months of pure and absolute agony, for both my dad and us, (we) I had to do things for my father that I never, EVER – not even in my worst nightmares – thought I would have to do for anyone in this life. 

We were exhausted all the time, but it was then and there that I learned a very important thing about myself: I was a good carer, a natural carer, an innate carer and I never realised it before.


Following this accident and the complications in the hospital, my father never walked again without a Zimmer frame. He was frightened of falling again. Petrified really.
He needed constant care, so, we – seven sisters and a sister in law – took turns to care for him and my mother. Some of us cared for them for longer periods than others.
I, for example, moved to England in 2014. I couldn’t travel between Romania and Devon often. I had an office job in Exeter. My holidays were never longer than 3-4 weeks and I had to work Saturdays to recuperate for too lengthy times-off. I spent them all caring for my parents.

Sadly, in 2018, a few days before his 83rd birthday, my father’s passed away. He left this world in the best way possible: in his sleep.
It goes without saying that the pain of his loss can’t be quantified. But he isn’t afraid anymore. May God rest his beloved soul.

A few months later, my mother went to live with one of my sisters in a city far away from the only place my mother ever knew, her village.
Despite my sister’s loving care, my mother couldn’t adapt to life in a city. It was like a cage for her. She died inside.

In January of 2019, I decided to go back to my country and bring my mother home. To die, if it was her time, but die home.
However, my parents’ house – built from mud bricks, 66 years ago – had structural issues and couldn’t be restored.

Long-story-short, in a couple of months, I sold my flat and built a house for my mother, in the exact same place where was the old one. 

If you are interested, a more detailed story you can find here: https://authorcristinag.blogspot.com/2019/08/how-i-built-house-in-2-months.html

I brought my mother home. My sister broke down. My mother was a wreck. She couldn’t walk, she wouldn’t eat or drink, she couldn’t stay still for more than 1 minute, she could barely say a word. Everybody was convinced that her time has come.

I didn’t see it that way. For me, my mother’s system was in a sort of anaphylactic shock. The loss of my father – with whom she was married for almost 66 years – the move, the new people… too many drastic changes for an octogenarian person. She was like an old tree moved on different land.

She needed to be home. Once home, she underwent several medical treatments under my constant supervision. Physiotherapy (kinesiotherapy), psychological therapy, change in drugs’ treatment. All sorts of therapy.

In less than two weeks of intensive care, my mother – who wasn’t able to stand – started walking without help. But she kept her ten-years-old walking stick within range at all times. Just in case. 

Everybody said it was nothing short of a miracle.  See for yourself below. 

An octogenarian woman in a new European house
Nothing matches in this room, but my mom loves bright colours around her

Above is my mother, after the treatments performed at the Medical (Recovery) Centre of Barticesti/Neamt. In there, many people teamed up to bring the life back into my mother. 

This place, also known as 'The hope of the sick', saves lives and puts people back on their feet. 

You don't have to take my word for it, you should check it out in person.
You would want to stay there forever. 

People in a salty water pool
My sister on the left, my mother and I in one of the salty water pools doing physiotherapy

Look closely at the picture above. 
My mother, bless her, needed constant encouragements and close attention, as she wasn't willing to undergo any therapy. Zero. None. She just wanted to lie in bed and she couldn't stay still at all. 

What an experience she had in this recovery centre! Mamma mia! 
She has never been into a pool before. And that, that was (is) a salty water pool. It keeps you afloat. Very tricky and stingy. 
But you wouldn't drown, even if you wanted too. 

It's a sort of a SPA with fabulous food.
I know, my friend is a chef there.
No, I am not biased. 
Well, not entirely. Nevertheless, everybody thinks that. 
My mom loved the food and she doesn't like anything. 🤣🤣🤣

Anyway, this is how she looked the day I brought her home. 
 
A very ill old woman with a cat on her arm
That kitten couldn't stand the sight of me. As soon as she saw my mom, she never left her side

Do you see the difference? 

The treatment continued in another hospital nearby, then at home, with a completely new set of medication.

For three months I cared for my mother, night and day, until she got healthier than ever, but most importantly, she became sunnier than never before.

Mind you, she still misses my father, every day – she will always miss him – but she is home. Safe. Until she’ll be reunited with her husband, my beloved father.

I continued to stay with her, to make sure that her situation was stable.  On the 15th of December 2019, all of a sudden, I decided that it was time for me to become a professional carer.

I heard the calling.

I applied for a live-in role with a company right away. A few days later I had a Skype interview. Other few days, I was asked if I could move to England after Christmas.

I knew I had to leave as soon as possible, otherwise the separation from my mother would tear my heart apart. 

I bought a one-way ticket to London while insulating the attic. Informed my sisters and asked them to replace me in taking care of our mother.

Went to bed crying every night, told nothing to my mother until the night before the flight.

That night, between the 29th and the 30th of December, has snowed for the first time in 2019. I adore snow. I prayed to see it before I left. But that night… just that night would have been better if it didn’t snow. My village is 60 km away from the airport.
How do you get out of a place if the roads are blocked?
I was worried sick, didn’t close my eyes. I couldn’t. They were blurred with tears.

Luckily, the driver, the brother of a dear friend, was very used to roads covered in a thick layer of snow. We left at 3:30 am. Got there on time for my 6 am flight. 

At 10 am I started my intensive training in the Oxfordshire area. 

On the 2nd of January 2020, I've met my first ‘Client’ and his family. We clicked. 
The family and I thought it 'was destiny.' 
And it was. Such a cliché, I know. It's the truth though. 
For some reason, I had to be there at that exact moment. 

The rest is history, as is the picture below.  

An elderly couple in Eastern Europe
These were my parents in 2017 in the house they built together. 65 years of marriage. Almost 66. 

Eleven months later, I am a carer who truly cares and I never looked back.
Caring comes naturally to me.
Seeing and hearing a senior laughing because of me, makes my heart burst with joy. 
Seeing them taking an interest in living again  after a period of lethargy or profound despondency – makes me love life from the bottom of my heart. 

There is no better way to start the day than brighten up the day of another living being. 


The answer to why I chose to become a carer for the elderly is that I didn’t choose at all. It’s my vocation.

It took me decades to be lucky enough to hear… to get the call.  But ‘everything happens for a reason’. 

I wasn’t ready. It wasn't my time. 

I wouldn’t be a good sunny carer if I hadn’t cared for both my parents when everything seemed lost.


It’s soppy, I know. Another cheap cliché, but it’s the honest truth.
I was offered many jobs while caring for my mother – without even looking – but none ‘called me’.

Many spent a lifetime trying to find their purpose in this world.
This is mine. 

Besides writing. Of course. I would never give up a successful writing career. This has been my first calling since I was eight years old. 

For now, caring for the elderly is what I need to do.
I was born to help and care for others and I love it. I put body and soul in this role. 
Day in and day out. 

I miss my mother (and my father so badly), my sibling, my friends and I miss writing. 
It isn't easy, but it feels right to me. 

A wooden red heart and a dried leaf on the ground


Could I give care to children or young? 
No. I don't think so. I helped my sisters to raise some of my nephews and nieces. They don't remember, but I do. I think I was a good babysitter, but I worried too much. 

Could I be a good support worker or a domiciliary carer? 
No. Most definitely not. I know that is a million times harder than live-in positions. These workers are angels. True angels. And not at all recognised. God bless them. 

Live-in carer for the elderly. This is what I was 'called' to do. This is what I am very good at. 
Ask around. 

PS

The separation from my mother shattered my heart anyway. But it could have never been otherwise. It's always the same. I can’t bear leaving the people I love.

Luckily, I am so busy doing my best as a professional live-in carer, that the pain became dormant in my heart.  Until I visit. Then I’ll be heartbroken again.

Oh, family... Blood ties can never be broken. 

 



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