Sacrificing Privacy

December 29, 2009

One of the things that you give up when you need to have caregivers in your home is privacy. It’s something that you have to sacrifice in order to provide the care that your child needs. Over Christmas, and due to a sick DSP, we had no help for most of four days. Is was worrisome for us because George is just getting over an injured back and I’ve had a rib injury that regresses every time I need to do any lifting. But, there is no other choice when Lauren’s DSP’s are off, we are the designated caregivers. We managed to get through the days without either of us doing grave injury to ourselves, and we found that it was kind of nice to have had that little oasis of privacy. We could have run around the house in our underwear if we wanted (we didn’t) or naked for that matter (again, we didn’t). Of course, there is much more to privacy than that.

We have DSPs that understand the fact that they are working in someone’s home and they respect certain boundaries. But no matter how discrete, no matter how essential and valued a DSP is, they are still not your family. As we have needed more and more outside help to meet Lauren’s care needs we have had to sacrifice more and more of our privacy. We have done it willingly so that Lauren was safe and happy. We have done it thankfully because we have been able to obtain the care that Lauren needs. And, we have done it carefully, making sure that there were private areas in our home and being clear with DSPs about our needs so that they can feel comfortable and not intrusive while in our home.

Having DSPs in our home has allowed us to provide the quantity and quality of care that Lauren needs. Sacrificing our privacy was something we were willing to do for Lauren, yet really had no choice. If you find yourself in the same position, proceed mindful of everyone’s needs, so that the result is something that everyone can live with.


  1. adcockDecember 30, 2009 at 10:58 PM

    How do you decide how much to give up? Just by friendship or written agreement?

  2. Hi Sandra,

    I’m not sure I understand your question. As long as someone who is not part of your family has access to your home – your privacy is affected. It’s not an agreement of any kind, just a fact of life. While training a DSP to work in your home, you include information on areas off limits to them, where they can keep their personal belongings or what bathroom to use, etc. It will be different for every family, every home, every individual, and depends a great deal on the level of care required.

    Thanks for your comment,