FROM THE EDITOR'S PEN
/ A Loving Ode to Sneaky Wisdom / Editorial List
As we travel the nation talking with our fellow
family caregivers, our hope is to help bring the
best answers, support and advice to light. We talk
about such things as the importance of being able to
communicate with our loved ones for whom we care.
This is extremely important as we all work so very
hard to ensure they eat well, stop driving (if
necessary), and even take their medicines as
This effort takes diligence, fortitude and, most of
all, quite a bit of sneakiness. You heard me.
In this case, you have my full permission to extend
your usual decent and truthful personality to
include a bit of, as we say in the old country,
blarney and maybe even a little white lie or two.
All in the service of the greater good. In some
cases, this is the only way you will be able to do
all you can do to keep your loved one safe and
To further extoll the virtue of loving sneakiness as
you care for your loved ones, I offer the following
suggestions that we have heard from family
caregivers over the years. Donít worry, you
will have a chance to add your own successful little
white lies to the list at the end of this article.
Some Lovingly Sneaky Bits
Whenever a question about getting a loved one to
stop driving comes up early in the morning Q and A
session, I am usually tempted to defer it to the
last half hour of the session because it will
typically swamp all other concerns. As the panel and
the caregivers in the room were answering one such
question, a slight elderly lady raised her hand.
She told us in a surprisingly booming voice that if
you took the car key to the dealer, they can make a
duplicate key which will turn when placed in the
ignition, but will not engage the motor. Her
husband would go out to the garage for an extended
period of time, trying to get the car started with
this dummy key, and finally come inside asking her
to drive him. He was too embarrassed to tell her
that he could not start the car.
And from another caregiver:
After taking care of my husband for several years,
it became necessary to put him in assisted living.
I visit him five times a week. When I leave, I
always do so when it is his lunch time or dinner
time. That makes my leaving easier on both of us.
Also when I leave, I say I am going to the dentist
or getting my hair cut. As he has Alzheimer's, he
does not remember that I said it the day before.
Sneaky, but helpful.
And one from my own experiences:
My grandfather fought the idea of spending time at
an adult day care facility until we told him that
they hired him to teach art to the other members. As
a former art teacher, he was thrilled to go every
single day from then on. Sneaky, but
Now itís your turnÖ
Share your sneaky tips that have
helped you as a family caregiver.
My Lovingly Sneaky Advice