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Dealing with Homesickness

Written by Thornhill Caregivers Staff on Friday, 13 September 2013. Posted in Blog, Guidance, Inspiration, September 2013, Claire Ramirez

Homesickness and Culture Shock

Homesickness is defined as: “acutely longing for one’s family or home”. Culture shock is defined as: “the feeling of disorientation experienced by someone who is suddenly subjected to an unfamiliar culture, way of life, or set of attitudes.” (Webster’s Dictionary)  Live-in Caregivers can experience homesickness and culture shock. Claire Ramirez describes what she went through when she first came to Canada as a Live-In Caregiver…


As a Caregiver it is really difficult to be in a new place or a new country. As I was getting ready to move to Canada I tried to prepare myself for “the worst case scenario” that I might encounter -but nothing prepared me for what I went through. I faced a lot of challenges and differences from what I expected. At first I was scared.  I was shaking and crying a lot.  I told myself that I have to learn new things, eat new foods, meet new people and adapt to a different culture. It was really tough. Everything was so different from what I was used to, but gradually I adjusted and began to enjoy my new experiences.  I have learned to adapt and adjust to my surroundings.

As a Live-In Caregiver you have to make big adjustments. The primary concern is to take good care of your employers' kids. That may sound simple but I have discovered that every employer is different. Rules and instructions change from house to house. As a Caregiver I have had to learn to follow their rules, be honest, patient and have a willingness to learn new things.  This has helped me to have a good relationship with my employers. I love my work as a Caregiver.  I treat the children as if they were my own children. That has helped me and given me to courage to do my work, even when it wasn’t easy.

My first three months in Canada were the most difficult.  I was complaining and asking why I had to work abroad. In my head I knew it was for the best and that I could stick it out – greater days were ahead.  My family encouraged and inspired me to stick it out. I found some Christian friends.  They encouraged me a lot.  We prayed together and went out together. They got me through the rough times when I missed my family and home the most. Friends really make a difference and divert our attention away from feeling homesick.

I also looked to God and the promises found in the Bible.  One Scripture that really helped me is from Jeremiah 29:11.  God says: “For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”  When we feel homesick or discouraged, we can focus on the future and what God has in store for us.  I have found that God has given me the strength to face the hardships and trials in life.  

Written by Claire Ramirez

Have you experienced homesickness or culture shock? 

What has your experience been as a Caregiver?

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