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Caregiving Needs to Be a Team Effort


I think the idea of "team" is often usurped by professional definitions, or even family definitions. I think "team" should be defined as a small group of regular people, continuously in a frail person's care process. That includes regular direct care workers - whose presence at some professional and family meetings would bring current reality and resources together with other perspectives. Teams need attention and support, that teaches and provides structures for communication and for members to be expected to support each other's efforts. With everyone pushing others out of the circle in their worry over patient care, or defending their company or their professional role, the patient is victimized in a way that is not being addressed.

I also had MIA siblings. Created a daily report card that my Dad can log onto and note a few key health areas and a few questions to check his memory.
The software is free and easy. www.plumbmetrics.com. My Dad as a window 6am to 9am to answer a few questions. He is 90 and uses a pc every day. Besides the daily status, my siblings now call and email him daily in response to his daily responses. If he misses the log in window all of use get an email or text.
Several times he has be called by 3 people with minutes of failing to check in.
He lives alone, but knows we all care and have a sense of his mental and physical status. The system works if you live next door or accross the world.
Not all siblings can visit, but all can care and pick up the phone, or send an email.

It would always be the ideal situation to have a "team" to care for an ill loved one. Unfortunately, some will always be "too busy" to help. Personally, I don't understand how you can be too busy to help care for your own parent but I guess to each their own. I, myself, am grateful for the experience and the chance to get to know my dad as someone other than my parent. As for my sibs, I no longer feel I have anything in common with them. If they couldn't see that I needed help and took the opportunity to step in to give me a break, I don't have much use for them. My friends were more helpful than even dad's own children. How sad is that? But such is life. I did my best for dad and he frequently told me how much he appreciated it. My response? I always told him I was glad I had the chance to do what I could to make his life more comfortable. He was always so good to me, always there for me - I wouldn't have had it any other way. But to those just starting the journey, my best advice is try first for family but if you get no support, go to home health and try to find one or two caregivers who clicks. It can take some time but when it happens, your loved one is not only happier but you have some time to yourself. I wish the best for all ~ Kuli

id advise anyone to not treat the oldtimer like a kid. they are old and wise and dont need to be patronized. my sister tried to care for my mom for a few weeks but she treated mom like a kid and mom ran her off.. back to the subject, you can ask siblings for help but that doesnt mean youll get it.. they seem to resent your close relationship with the aged parent..

I have siblings who are either unwilling or unable to assist, and be part of the "team". They work or live a fur piece away. My children wont help. The only team I have is the facility that she lives in, and I feel that the caregivers there don't give her enuf care as they should. I have discussed this with facilities directors. She had a mild stroke last year, but no one noticed it until late, and that was me. She has chronic UTI which causes mental aberrations as well. Basically I AM the team. When I let others know of my trubbles I get, "Ah gee that's too bad, well hang in there." So, there you are, a one person team doing a three person job. "We the unwilling being led by the unknowing are doing the impossible for the ungrateful. We done so much for so long we are now capable of doing anything with nothing."

Whoops, sorry, wrong article. That said, I am unable to get help from family. My father moved here to be with me and he has no friends here.


Wow, what happened to all the previous comments?