Most of the people want to stay home when as the grew old. They want to stay somewhere they know, seeing every morning the flowers they have planted in their garden, chatting with the postman and eventually dying in their own bed surrounded by friends and family and the laughter of their grandchildren. It is the ideal way of leaving.
But when they become dependent, things start to get hard. They can’t make themselves diner anymore, They can’t drive to their doctor’s appointment, they fall, hurt themselves sometimes really badly, they can’t remember things, and sometimes they can’t even remember their own children. And for family, most of the time children, things get complicated: Seeing your parents losing their strength, their mobility and sometimes, their mind is a huge deal. And then, without any warning you have to choose a path for them. Institution or Home Support. But this choice isn’t completely yours. It’s also your parents’ choice, and many other people choices. Yes, for economical, religious, cultural, and various others reasons sometimes the choice is made for you. Sometimes your dependent parent stay home, even if he’s sick, even if he needs constant support.
When you have to take care of your dependent relative, your whole world is changed. This is a new life schedule. In many families, whether it’s the husband, the wife, the son, the daughter, the niece, the nephew or even a friend, the one who helps the dependent relative has to quit his job thanks to the lack of time, gives up on his relationships with lovers or friends and put his relative’s health in front of his own.
In this presentation, we will see how care of a dependent relative can change a life. We will also see the relationship that grows between the family caregiver and the professionals (medical’s staff, administrations, organizations) during this journey. We will see the ups and downs of the challenge of taking care of an elderly dependent person through the life of French caregivers whether they are family or professionals. This will be a sociological approach and based on interviews and observations made for my thesis.