These are just some of the many responses we received
from our Editorial of
10/18/06 - The New
Tips for family
support include the following:
schedule with each person carrying a different task
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
as many family members as possible to join support
group meetings. sometimes you think you have it
hard until you hear another's story.
siblings and other family members can offer to baby
sit each other's children while the other
sibling/family cares for the senior citizen.
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
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
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?
THEY TOOK THE CAR BACK TO
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
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,
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
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.
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”.
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.