Like many nights, night before last something woke me, not sure what, but a question came to mind. What is my best advice to a new caregiver?
Ian Kremer posted this a few hours ago, it’s a graphic, does the work of a lot of words.
My best advice for a caregiver, yep, get mentally tough.
Many times the quote has been said . . . “If you’ve seen one alzheimer’s patient, you’ve seen one alzheimer’s patient.”
Is it the same for caregivers? Of course it is. Circumstances of all kinds exist.
For me, I’m thinking, this will be a “work in progress” event.
Up to now, it’s going well.
After speaking with a freelance brand strategist a few times, and much thought, it became clear to me that Across the Land needed a do over. The change would need to result in a narrower focus that would fit with my current situation. I’m a 24/7 caregiver with limited time and resources.
Keeping mom safe and maintaining our physical and mental health is my top priority. With that in mind, what can be done that has the highest possibility of positively impacting lives affected by Alzheimer’s disease?
Part of the answer came quick. A young lady in North Georgia spoke these words to me a few years back. “It’s about the caregivers Jack” After 65 months of raising awareness full time, we agree.
My focus will be on helping caregivers, and my qualifications are limited. In my opinion, the Alzheimer’s Association’s Helpline has great value. Finding ways to get that number in front of caregivers has merit. Getting the number in front of them is a necessity.
Senior care facilities need to know they are appreciated. Calling or, on occasion, visiting them will be another part of the focus.
Other activities will be spur of the moment and hopefully will be few.
My use of social media will continue to evolve.
P.S. The brand strategist sparked this change. Strength was given to it by some questions a young man in Romania asked me. Thank you Cristian Mihai.
Look at how many pages are out their devoted to supporting Alzheimer’s caregivers. Look at the amazing numbers that follow those pages. Look at the awesome advice given. Their’s a lot of caregivers out there. That’s a lot of empathy. Talk about a group of folks that stick together. This community does that.
According to the numbers the experts are giving us, anytime you drive through any neighborhood in America, you are driving by the home or apartment of an alzheimer’s patient and their caregiver.
According to the Alzheimer’s Association, more than 1300 new diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease are made every day in America.
I’m proud and honored to know a bunch of those folks.
Yes, caregiving can be tough, but I’m connecting with a lot of folks that are extremely proud of their commitment and their work. As a matter of fact, I’m very honored to do what I do. It’s still tough, but like millions of other caregivers, I can do tough.
“To care for those who once cared for us is one of the Highest Honors.” Tia Walker, author
I asked caregivers, what would you do if you had a day off? Of course, when I ask that, a lot of different answers come my way.
“I would just sit, maybe I would walk around, I dont know, but just being able to relax for a little bit would be a good time for me. I don’t want to go do anything that is noisy and crowded. In fact maybe a walk in the woods alone, would be just right.”
I’ve heard a lot of stories concerning this. One caregiver shared this with me. She has been taking care of her father for 6 years and for four years he has needed 24/7 care. Her sister comes once a year for two weeks. During that two weeks the visiting sister wants the 24/7 caregiver there too, just in case. If the 24/7 caregiver tries to discuss anything different, the visiting sister starts talking about not coming anymore. The 24/7 caregiver said this lack of understanding on her sisters part is hard to take, but for two weeks she does have a little help and some company. She feels it is not right, but thinks that trying to discuss it, with her sister, is all she knows how to do to try and effect change, and right now, nothing is changing.
She thinks it’s best to not cut her nose off to spite her face in this situation. She said she will take what is available and appreciate it, but she knows her sister should be doing much more.
During that two weeks, the 24/7 caregiver would like to go relax somewhere and do some of the things she used to do. She would like to do some of the things during those two weeks that her sister gets to do 50 weeks a year.
In this situation, I would be as amicable as I could be, but I would be persistent in asking my sister to do more.
Finding a human being, they feel comfortable with to stand in for them for a few hours.
Plain and simple.
Mom must be first
Caregivers must have support in the workplace
It quickly became apparent that some jobs could not allow me to leave to take care of dad
Assisted living facilities absolutely will call when they need to, even if you are at work
I could feel the resentment from coworkers when I received a call or had to leave, and I understood, but it still seemed to anger me
After awhile, I was told no more phone calls at work and no more leaving
I needed room to breathe, a few kind words, a hug and my paycheck