Back Up Against The Wall

Unfortunately, the caregiver crisis is still alive, and well.

Since my blog on this issue a few months ago, I know of at least one of my friends under the age of sixty who’s had to go into a nursing home. My friend was not ill, but instead, needed everyday care to live which includes, getting out of bed, toileting, bathing, dressing, eating etc.

The lack of caregivers in America is now at an all-time low.

Even I’ve been caught up in this crisis. During the height of the pandemic, my caregiver of four years, quit. I then switched agencies and got a new caregiver. I had her for nine months, then she moved. Then I was given another one, but due to some unforeseen circumstances, she’s not going to work out. Currently, I’m caught-up in the crisis all over again.

The times that I do not have a caregiver in my life, I had to learn how to take care of myself.

My mother had always been my back-up, but since aging and dealing with her own challenges, she’s no longer able to do so. Plus, mom instilled in me to do as much as I could for myself and be prepared when a situation as this comes around. Don’t get me wrong, I still have my favorite guy, and the Super Coopers, but I’m aware they have lives, and cannot always be there when I need them.

Nothing is good about this caregiver crisis, but it has taught me a lot, I can do more for myself than I thought, especially when my back is up against the wall.

All the years of occupational and physical therapy that I had to endure throughout my life that I thought was of waste of time, well it has finally paid off.

One thing I have realized since the caregiver crisis has entered my life, I can still dress myself. Now, I can’t do anything major, but easy clothes such as, leggings, pull-over shirts, and slippers or slide-ons are my friends these days. I’m even managing to tackle bras that snap, and women, you know they can often be a pain, but I’m doing it.

I’m throwing finger-food in the microwave, and air fryer. No, I’m not cooking full-course meals, but I’m eating, and it’s tasty!

Lastly, I’m managing to put on my earrings, which is a biggie for me. I have pierced ears, so this doesn’t even seem possible given my physical limitations, but I’m making it happen. I never feel completely dressed unless I have my earrings on. It’s a Shari thing.

By no means are any of these tasks easy or not time consuming. Some of them are exhausting, but the rewards of accomplishing some tasks on my own, overwhelms my heart and gives me a sense of self-care.

Of course, the care giver crisis needs to be fixed, and fixed quickly. No one wants to be in a position where their livelihood is threatened because he or she can’t take care of their self.

As for me, until I get another caregiver, I’m going to celebrate these accomplishments of self-care because I’m proud of myself knowing I can when my back is up against the wall.

2 comments on “Back Up Against The Wall

  1. Monae Dawson on

    Shari you keep me laughing. I find it remarkable how you’re able to navigate around your many challenges in life and maintain a positive outlook. Keep pressing Queen! Allow the endurance to adorn you;)

  2. Mary Pfeil on

    Hi Shari!
    Another great blog discussing many aspects of this national crisis. I am glad you found independence with dressing through choosing simple clothes to wear. As you know many people cannot adapt; they are always dependent upon others to get their daily needs met. Many times since the pandemic began , my best friend has been close to being forced into a nursing home to receive care. At the very last minute someone is able to assist her so she can stay in her own home.

    A simple button hook has been my best dressing buddy since I started independently dressing myself at 8 years old. It does not matter to me how many buttons I have to button because the hook makes it a breeze! On the other hand, my mother always counted the buttons and was concerned the task would take too much time. About 20 years ago, a personal assistant suggested I leave most of the buttons permanently buttoned and only button/unbutton those that would prevent the shirt from easily going over my head. This technique also works for buttoned cuffs if there is ample room to get the hand through without popping the button.

    It amazes me you can put earrings on! I am glad you can do your “Shari thing!”


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