Throughout Skylar’s development, we have been interviewing family caregivers and getting insight into their daily work and interactions with their loved ones. For this Skylar Spotlight, we spoke with Priya Patel, a 21-year-old pharmacy student. She lives at home with her parents and 2 siblings and together, they care for paternal grandfather in his 70s, who suffered a serious head injury from a fall.
Skylar: What are your thoughts on being your loved one’s caregiver? What are the rewards and difficult aspects of caregiving?
Priya: I think it’s great that I get to help take care of my grandpa as he’s getting older because he’s worked really hard to provide for my dad and his siblings. But it can be scary sometimes because he’s fallen once or twice after his serious fall about 2 years ago. We’re worried about leaving him alone just in case something happens.
Skylar: Can you recount any notable episodes during your time as a caregiver?
Priya: There was a time when the rest of my family went on vacation because my siblings had their spring break and it was just me and my grandpa at home. I was really worried because I’m out of the house all day and if something had happened, I wouldn’t even know how to handle it by myself. We had a camera in the house so I’d check every so often just to make sure he was okay but it was a really stressful week for me.
Skylar: What do you wish was improved so that you can take better care of your loved one?
Priya: I wish there was a better way for me to know if something went wrong instead of having to check a camera every half an hour.
Skylar: What kind of caregiving are you involved with? What do you do on a daily basis for your loved one?
Priya: I don’t really have to help him out with any daily tasks. He’s really independent and does everything around the house from cooking to washing dishes to doing the laundry. He doesn’t know how to drive and it’s a little late for him to learn so he’s dependent on us if he needs to go to doctor’s appointments or something.
The best way to make caregiving easier for people like Priya is to give them more information. This is where Skylar comes in.