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Love Is In The Details

By Laura Wallis

How do you show love?  Do you write sonnets and leave love notes by the cereal, or are you a little more down to earth?  Do you show your feelings by taking out the trash and making sure there is milk in the fridge?  As nice as love notes can be, sometimes love is a practical matter.
For most people, love is in the details.  Some of those details are fun, like birthdays and anniversaries.  Some of those details are useful, like the day the maid comes.  (Don't I wish!)  Some of those details can be downright boring, such as the routing number to the checking account.  However, all the details are important.  By organizing details we show we care.  Here are just a few examples:

  1. Organizing your contact information can avert disaster.  As a caregiver you are the keeper of information.  You have to know the routine, the medications, the food menu, the doctor schedule, the bills to be paid, the financial accounts to use, the shopping to be done and all the schedules.  You have to know all of this in addition to what you need for your own life. 
    What happens when you aren't around to share the information you know by heart?  You could be out of town on a well deserved break when the water pipes in the bathroom break.  What will your sister from out of town do if she doesn't know the number to your insurance agent?  Being the keeper of all information is just a bad idea.  If you don't believe me, ask the fish swimming around on your bathroom floor.

  2. Knowing about finances empowers your loved ones.  Caregiving often means taking care of the finances as well.   You may be very good at remembering which bills get paid out of which accounts but no one else will understand your process as well as you do.  When families don't understand the finances they get nervous.  Don't leave your loved ones out of the loop.  If you are the keeper of the checkbook, then make sure you document your account numbers and financial institutions.  It will help everyone feel more comfortable.

  3. Having a plan shows you care.  Everyone dies.  Hopefully that won't happen to you for a long time, but it will happen.  Do you have your life organized well enough that someone else could step in and take over?  Think hard and answer honestly. . . Have you written out all of your personal information as well as the details of those you care for?  Do your siblings or children know what needs to be done to continue care?  Having a plan will take stress off of you and help your loved ones feel secure.

So how do you show you care?  After you have written love notes, taken out the trash and paid the maid, take the time to organize your information.  It will help you feel more secure and show your family just how much you love them.




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