Caregiving model: living with an elderly parent in your homePosted: May 1, 2020 Filed under: Assuming Caregiving Responsibilities, Caregiving--Positives and Negatives, Impact on Family Relationships | Tags: Caregiving contingency plans, caregiving resentment, caregiving sacrifices, caregiving trap, differences in family cultures, disintegration of caregiving arrangement, in-home caregiving model, in-law caregiver, long-term caregiving, Pamela Wildon, scope of caregiving responsibilities, shared responsibility, spousal relationship and caregiving, the care receivers escalating needs, unforeseen complications of caregiving Leave a comment
The Caring Generation, with host Pamela D. Wilson: Living With Elderly Parents Radio Show
This is a great program for anyone thinking about having an elderly parent move into their home. Pamela Wilson provides information to discuss and consider prior to making a commitment of this magnitude.
In-home caregiving is the model my husband and I undertook to provide care for his mother. Our arrangement had one major difference: I assumed the role of primary caregiver as a daughter-in-law. Our experience is detailed in What to Do about Mama?
Although our caregiving situation had a number of positives, there was also more difficulties than we ever foresaw. I am highlighting those points because they have the most significant application to the disintegration of our caregiving arrangement.
- Although we discussed the arrangement extensively with all family members beforehand, we did not establish firm parameters of shared responsibility in a formal, written, and a notarized agreement.
- We made sacrifices above and beyond what the others were willing to do, which eventually led to resentment.
- We did not realize how much sharing our home would change our spousal relationship.
- Unanticipated details surrounding the situation can create unforeseen complications.
- We underestimated escalating needs, which increased the scope of responsibilities. Neither did we fully anticipate the number of years involved with providing care.
- We did not recognize the differences in our family cultures, which led to serious misunderstandings.
- Over time, caregiving can become a trap that can undermine the adult child-parent relationship, as well as relationships with other family members.
- Caregiving can be very long-term. We did not prepare a contingency plan for if and when the arrangement became unmanageable.
Remember: Do not enter a live-in caregiving arrangement lightly.
The Coronavirus BluesPosted: April 18, 2020 Filed under: Emotional and Physical Challenges, Topics of Current Interest | Tags: Caregiving contingency plans, conversation project, Coronavirus, difficult conversations Leave a comment
See the Cargiving.Com article “The Decisions Caregivers Face During COVID-19” in which Denise reiterates a number of the points I have been making in in the past few weeks, as well as in an old posts from 2014. https://www.caregiving.com/2020/04/the-decisions-caregivers-face-during-covid-19/
Because of the Coronavirus, Denise had a discussion with her parents in March to assess their wishes for treatment. They decided that being cared for at home was the safest course of action. However, in April, Dad vacillated and said, “I don’t want to be put on a ventilator.” Denise had not considered that Dad, who always wanted to stay at home with Mom and not go to the hospital, would feel differently about Coronavirus because of the contagion factor and his concern about giving it to Mom. Denise concluded that it’s best to talk and to be prepared. Nothing is certain, except that things will change. Care plans will need to be tweaked and altered, but that’s okay. What is not okay is the paralysis of indecision and procrastination.
- Caregiving contingencies
- Thoughts about Denial
- The “We don’t need it yet” phenomenon
- The Conversation Project
Have those difficult discussions. Do it now.
Caregiving contingenciesPosted: April 14, 2020 Filed under: Assuming Caregiving Responsibilities, Caregiving Roles and Responsibilities, Emotional and Physical Challenges, Topics of Current Interest | Tags: ADLs and IADLs, care plans, caregiver mental health, Caregiving contingency plans, coping tips, COVID-19, making promises and commitments, Stress relief 1 Comment
See the DailyCaring article:
Coronavirus and Caregiver Mental Health: 8 Coping Tips
- Maintain a regular daily routine and healthy lifestyle
- Improve sleep
- Focus on what you can control and limit “what if” thinking
- Give yourself a break
- Plan for your older adult’s care in case you get sick
- Take mini breaks throughout the day
- Remember, you are not alone
- Use humor to relieve tension
Each tip contains suggestions for how to accomplish the recommendations with additional links provided.
I relate to #5 in particular. Having a contingency plan for caregiving was something we overlooked when I took on the responsibility of being a fulltime caregiver for my mother-in-law. Still in my 50’s at the onset, I was a healthy and energetic. I did not foresee how the responsibility and the stress of escalating needs would take such a toll on my physical wellbeing.
Undertaking a caregiving role is sometimes a very gradual process, but in the case of a crisis situation, it can be very sudden. In either case, caregiving responsibilities usually escalate as needs multiply over time. The less able our loved ones become, the greater their sense of independence lost. And as needs escalate, so does conflict. Caregivers sometimes begin by providing support in such areas as yard work or home repairs, followed by assistance with IADLs: telephone communication, housekeeping, laundry, food preparation, transportation, and managing medications and finances. Perhaps a greater sense of dependence involves the need for support with ADLs: bathing, dressing, grooming, ambulating, transferring, toileting, and feeding. The list of caregiving tasks grows and grows; the specifics are customized to each individual situation. When I was no longer able to care for my mother-in-law because of my knee replacement surgery, I wrote a job description for our nephew, which, in addition to the above-listed responsibilities, included the following tasks:What to Do about Mama? p. 162
*Maintain an updated medical history to take to all doctor appointments
*Maintain hearing aids; help to put them in
*Perform wound care
*Order medications, medical supplies, and equipment
*Order incontinence products
*Take to hair and nail appointments
*Provide opportunity for recreational activity
*Schedule and direct help—aides and hospice personnel