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EDITORIAL RESPONSES  /The New QuestionEditorial List

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The New Question Editorial Responses - Page 2
 
These are just some of the many responses we received from our Editorial of 10/18/06 - The New Question
 

Tips for family support include the following:

  •  Make a schedule with each person carrying a different task each month.           

  •  Show how caregiving can be educational and fun by getting together at least once a month with each other to share experiences, while enjoying a pot luck supper. 

  •  Encourage as many family members as possible to join support group meetings.  sometimes you think you have it hard until you hear another's story.

  • Perhaps siblings and other family members can offer to baby sit each other's children while the other sibling/family cares for the senior citizen.

G.J.


One has to determine what the strengths are of each family member and ask them to use those talents to help with the care.  Not everyone is a stand by the side of the bed hand-holder...but a family member may be good with accounting and would be willing to keep the money straight and another might like to drive and would be willing to do the doctors visits...etc.  You need to give people the tasks that are comfortable (if possible) and there certainly are plenty to go around.

P.B.


WOW!!!  This issue has been more difficult for me than dealing with Mom's Alzheimer's - and one of the best "stories" I can tell is about taking her car away. I contacted the Alzheimer's Association and met with a wonderful counselor/case worker named Stefanie.  I originally spoke to her about . . . getting my brother and sister to help with Mom. 

Over a two week period, we all met with Stefanie:  myself and my brother, myself and Mom, and myself and my sister and niece (my brother's daughter).  Stefanie evaluated Mom and suggested that she not drive any more.  The joint decision was that they would help me get the car to my house so I could sell it for Mom. 

So . . . the next month my brother and sister took Mom's car, telling her that it was at my brother's (35 miles from Mom) so he could fix her AC.  They lied - it was really at my sister's (3 blocks from Mom).   Nobody told me (45 miles from Mom/80 from my brother) it was close enough for me to bring it to my house to sell it for her. 

Well . . . 4 months later . . . my sister was taking Mom to visit my brother.   OH, NO!!!  When Mom sees the car isn't there, she'll be upset.  What do we do?!?!  Do they call me to pick up the car so they can tell her I've got it?  NOOOOOO!!!  Do they call me to discuss options?  NOOOOOO!!!

THEY TOOK THE CAR BACK TO MOM!! 

What were they thinking?!?

They parked it in her driveway, so close to the house that she couldn't open the driver side door, the idea being to prevent her from getting in and driving somewhere.  It took 2 more months and several attempts for me to successfully take her car away from her - AGAIN. 

The happy ending:  I sold the car for her within 2 months and paid off her loan, including credit card bills for repair work that had been done.  She's even beginning to enjoy being chauffeured around.

For anyone fighting with family to try to get their help, I strongly suggest joining a local support group and/or contacting the Alzheimer's Association.  The more people you can speak with about the inability (or unwillingness) of family members to help, the better. 

My brother (master procrastinator) is talking about arranging counseling available through his employer.  I've been asking him for 3 years to do it.  What do you think the odds are that a meeting will be arranged?

Yes, I know . . . complain, complain, complain.

Along with group support and counseling, researching forgiveness, acceptance and serenity have helped me tremendously.  It doesn't change the fact that they "should" help our Mom, but it has helped me reduce the stress I was putting myself through when I was trying to "make" them help.  Letting go of their actions (or rather their inactions) hasn't been easy.  It felt like I was giving up.  But I've learned that the only one I can give up on is myself.  Letting go is not the same as giving up.

I can let go of guilt because I can't cure Alzheimer's . . . I can let go of trying to change their behavior . . . I won't give up on doing what's best for Mom.

Thanks for your website.

L.D.


CareCircle programs are the perfect vehicle to share caregiving with siblings and friends. One person takes the lead but they work with the parents and the other siblings to identify the needs (including needs that can be handled from a distance). We even provide an assessment tool to help the process. Through a easy to set up CareCircle Web site siblings can see what is needed and sign up to help. In that way, the one child can “share the caregiving”.

J.G.


If you find out how to move a mountain, it would be easier then getting siblings to help.  I have given up because it just adds more stuff to the pile.  Sad but true.
I have been helping Mom for 7 years now.  She just celebrated her 90th birthday. Daddy passed away and Mom couldn't stay by herself.  Siblings wanted to place her in an assisted living right away but I just couldn't.  Now it is 7 years later and I am tired and all the other things caregivers experience. ….  I keep telling myself that everything is gonna be all right.
 
C.G.


           

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