Caregiver. Personal Attendant. Aide. Call them what you like, but they are part of what makes our world go ‘round. For the lucky few, a family member or close family friend takes the job. They understand you, are a source of comfort on the hard days, and care about your child like one of their own.
For the rest of us, just the thought of having to find someone to help care for our children can make you want to pull the covers over your head and beg "Calgon to take you away." Finding a caregiver for your child can seem like an impossible task. Finding the "right" one … well, you might as well ask for a unicorn.
So where are the great caregivers, and how do we find them?
Thanks to the Internet we have some great resources right at our fingertips with sites like Care.com and Sittercity.com. Placing an ad in a newspaper or on something like Craigslist.org are also ways to find people to interview.
But sometimes it can be all about the wording. Saying you need a "caregiver for a child with a disability" may be intimidating to some people. So try looking for a "nanny." Many times when people are job searching they put in simple keywords like nanny or babysitter and then read over the job requirements. You may find an incredible person looking to be a nanny who just never thought of caring for a child with special health care needs.
Also, don't be afraid to ask family and friends and check with places like churches, schools, university graduate programs, and recreation centers. Many aides and teachers from schools will be looking for summer employment or know someone who is.
It can be difficult to let someone into your life. They get to see you at your worst and your best. It can also be very rewarding to them and a huge help to you. You and your child may make a friend for life, and you may get the help you need.
So ask around, let people know you are looking, search through employment wanted ads. You may be surprised at what and who you find.
Find more information on this topic on this website that might help you find the right caregiver.
After my daughter passed away, I also lost my own identity and purpose in life. How do you go forward from there?
To advocate for our children, we must be informed and active in the decision-making processes—from local to state to national concerns. There are tools to assist in finding helpful resources.