I’ve been having live-in caregivers for the past six years and, although I find that it suits my needs, it certainly has some drawbacks:
First, it requires a great deal of patience and continuous effort to keep the relationship both friendly and professional. I’m sure you’re all familiar with all that jazz, but bear in mind that it is much harder to maintain a balance on a 24/7 basis.
Second, space is a factor that needs to be taken into account. Fortunately, although I live with my parents, our house is big enough to ensure a modicum of privacy for all of us. Having said that, I sometimes miss the good old days when I still had the privilege of spending a few hours alone in the house!
A third drawback is that you can’t have the same caregiver for too long because most of them have a personal life they can’t put on hold forever. The longest I’ve had the same PCA is 18 months, a remarkable record indeed! Of course, this is an issue only if you find training new caregivers as stressful as I do.
Anyway, once you get used to it, I think the pros outweigh the cons. The burden of uncertainty and anxiety it took off my shoulders is priceless! Besides, I knew that -at some point- I’d probably end up with a live-in caregiver anyway, so I thought I’d better try it before it becomes an imperative and while I still have alternative options.
Btw, can I just add how disconcerting I find the lack of skilled PCAs in the US? I mean, in Greece, the role of a PCA, as an occupation, was introduced just a few months ago when the government passed a bill regulating funding for this purpose for the first time in history. It obviously existed unofficially as a job since time immemorial, but that explains -to some extent- the lack of proper training. It’s very frustrating to hear that the situation is not much different in other countries as well.