Oh, man. I deeply appreciate the response, but it’s your personal bio that got my attention.
We’ve got a lot of sea stories we could swap…and not just about our respective two-decade careers in the Navy (I was an MM) and our respective age (I’m 57). I wipe butts for a living, too.
When I retired, my wife tried to get me to become an RN. The reason why is because after her years of working in a nursing home, she started working as an LPN for an on-call nursing agency. From there, she met an RN who had two medically-fragile Foster kids. She was tired of it, and we took them from there. This was in 1999, and one of them is with us today. When he aged out of the Foster system, I became “just” his caregiver. Except for a few odd jobs along the way, they’ve been my career ever since.
I mention this for two reasons. One, if you’re willing to have someone stay in your home, you can do this, too. It’s not hard, and the best thing about caring for medically-fragile people (whether Foster kids or adults) is that they can’t hurt you or burn down your house. It brings with it its own challenges and a lack of privacy, but the work is generally less physical than in a nursing home, the pay is better, and you get help and support from the state for making it happen.
Also, the state would guide you in how to other caregivers can be hired to work shifts in your home to care for your resident — this is the lack of privacy to which I referred. This is one of the downsides. I don’t know where you’re at, but Washington state has been really good about providing us the logistical and administrative support we need…and any necessary additional training is generally free.
If this isn’t something that sounds good, here’s another idea I’ve had for years, but I don’t have the social circle to make it happen. Would you agree that every nurse and caregiver out there has “poop stories”, where patients or residents have painted the walls or made sculptures or ate their poop? Yeah. All of us in this kind of career have seen it…and just like we retired sailors love swapping sea stories, nurses and caregivers swap horror stories, too.
So why not interview a bunch of nurses and caregivers for their “poop stories”, and collate it into a book? Say, “Poop Stories: Adventures in Nursing and Caregiving”, or something like that. There’s millions of nurses and caregivers in America, and a lot of them would appreciate such a book.
You’ll need a good editor, and I know one: Clay Rivers, who edits “Our Human Family”. He’s a good man, very humble, and a damned good tough-as-nails editor. He’s busy and may not take it, but I’m confident that he’d point you to someone who would.
Anyway, sorry for blind-siding you with such a long off-subject reply. I just empathized with your profile and I’ve got a bad habit of offering help when nobody asked for it.