The Fearless Caregiver


Gary Barg - Editor-in-chief Playing Telephone

Do you remember playing the game of Telephone when you were a kid? For those of you who didn’t grow up before the days of computers and text messages, as I did, it worked like this.  You would stand on a playground with your friends lined up side by side. The person at one end would whisper something in the ear of the next person who in turn whispers the message to the person next to them.  The process would continue until your friend at the end of the chain would yell out the word or sentence that was being passed along. The fun of the game is that the word or sentence that the last person shouted out was invariably worlds apart from what the first person whispered to start the game.

Recently, I feel that I have returned to those youthful days, but not in a fun way.  While in the middle of a loved one’s healthcare crisis, I found myself sharing the same message time after time as friends and loved ones called me for an update.  The game of telephone is not so fun when you have to play it for real.

Personal Record Keeping for Loved OnesThe fact that I found myself returning to the game of telephone once again is even more frustrating as at every Fearless Caregiver Conference, I counsel caregivers to find an alternative to this futile game.  Another regular conversation during the events is how to actually get friends and family members to help as you care for your loved one. In fact, if you want to get a room filled with family caregivers to laugh, tell them that you know they have NO problem getting people to help them.  I contend that one main challenge to getting help is that we don’t know what tasks to request. This goes back to the concept of being the CEO of Caring for My Loved One, Inc.  We need to be able to analyze what we are called upon to do daily as a family caregiver and ask specific people to help with specific tasks.

The truth is that we live in an age where technology has made these CEO tasks a whole lot easier, faster and safer. Getting people to help is much more stress-free when you can post a comprehensive to-do list on your online calendar so that people can sign up and get them done for you.  You can also conduct private communications between you, your loved ones and the professional caregivers. The good news is that now these online tasks are simple enough to accomplish that even a guy from the mimeograph era (me) can easily manage them for the benefit of my loved ones.

And if you don’t know what a mimeograph is, ask your mother.                    


  Gary Barg
Today's Caregiver magazine
Wednesday November 30, 2011
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