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FROM THE EDITOR'S PEN  / The Partnership of a Lifetime /  Editorial List

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The Partnership of a Lifetime

(Page 2 of 2)

Dear LB:

I think you have made some incredibly important points and Iím glad you took the time to write.  First of all, you hit the nail on the head about communicating with doctors and family members. This is a primary reason that I wrote The Fearless Caregiver book.  Your goal is to become an acknowledged member of your loved ones healthcare team. After all, the other members of your loved ones professional care team see him a few times a week, once a month, or even less. At the same time, your familyís knowledge of him is consistent and much deeper. You should be considered an asset to them as they plan and evaluate his health.  I know that, in many cases as you mentioned such help is not easily appreciated or sought after.   Understanding that you have your hands full with an entrenched medical community in a small town, (not to mention a parent who is not an active participant in his own care), making a solid case is your best bet.   

  • Start (or have your brother start) a journal of what your dad really eats throughout the day and his daily health, include his exercise regime (if any)
  • Create a list of questions that you want the care professionals to answer  
  • Find some research backing up the points you want them to consider and
  • When you are ready, make an appointment with the doctor and/or dietician with these specific communication goals in hand.

In this manner, you put the ball in their court. They cannot easily say that you are just an over-reactive daughter when you are armed with the facts. If your dad does go into a care facility (rehab or hospital) they have care plan meetings in which you should be able to participate.  What you are working against are the points that you brought up, but also the fact that your doctors are scientists and have spent many years dealing with concerned but unprepared loved ones, who do not bring these things to their attention in a manner in which they could and would respect. Let them know that you are a formidable ally in your dadís care, and that you are not going to go away quietly or easily.  

Your dad is lucky to have you and your brother on his team.


Share your experience dealing with your loved oneís healthcare professionals


Gary Barg

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