2 of 4 caregivers taking vacation for 3 weeks- how to handle and make sure this doesn't happen again?


There are 4 of us who care for my Dad. He lives in a senior home in his own condo, and has mild dementia. We all share time with him to visit in AM (Sister doesn't work) and at evening (for company and to check mail) and on the weekends for company and exercise. We went to see a family counselor to try to make sure we are all handling things fairly. Counselor said nothing is fair with family, so we have been working as a team, respecting each other. My Sister is leaving for a 3 week vacation. She is taking my brother with her. That leaves all the visits up to me and my sister. My daughters wanted to take me to Mother's Day on Sat as on that Sunday my oldest daughter is graduating with her PhD in Chemistry and she is walking for her graduation. Those two days and the only other time I asked for is a few hours for my younger daughters birthday, which is the weekend they are all coming home. All of the other nights, weekend breakfasts and lunches and Sundays have fallen to me as my sister only wants to go on weekday mornings. WE have one more counseling session left AFTER they return from vacation. I don't believe a three week vacation with 1/2 the "TEAM" we have is realistic in terms of equal sharing. HOW DO I convey this point at our counseling session so that the people who went on vacation are not mad? Ths counselor pointed out that we are all we have together, and need to respect each other. BUT I am being honest when I say I don't respect this 3 week vacation with 2 people going at the same time. What do I say?



kidskids, sounds like your Dad is living in a senior facility, so what will happen to Dad if not everyone shows up daily to visit with Dad? Living in Independent Living, your Dad is safe and sound. He probably gets 3 prepared meals a day. There probably is a 24/hour nurse, plus Aides at the facility. Does Dad wear a pendent that he can push if he needs help?

Check with the Independent Living facility to see if they offer a higher level of care that can be bought for those three weeks. My Dad's facility had different levels of care. Dad bought the Medtech care as my Dad was forgetting to take his medicine.

Dad loved being in his own apartment, and not have to worry about the house he had lived in, it become too overwhelming for him to maintain. He was now around folks of his own generation. My Dad wasn't much of a joiner, but he did sign up for physical therapy, and he would go for social hour if there was music.

Let's say, my Dad really enjoyed his independence :) I would visit once a week, Sunday mornings to bring in items that Dad needed. I didn't stay too long as I didn't want to be a helicopter child like I was when Dad first moved in. Dad was happy as a clam sitting in his recliner reading or watching TV. Dad did have a morning caregiver to help him, but his afternoons and evening were free for him to do whatever he wanted.
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Reply to freqflyer

Are you caregiving or visiting, it seems to me that visiting, making sure he gets some exercise and checking the mail are not life or death priorities? If he needs actual care such as help with ADL's, meals and medication then you could hire professionals to fill the gap. Dementia always gets worse and soon enough he will need 24/7 supervision, if staying in his current home is contingent on all of you dedicating your lives to him then I think that is unrealistic, perhaps it is time to discuss some plans that allow for a life that doesn't centre around his needs.
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Reply to cwillie

I agree this is not good.. perhaps you could all agree to pitch in for a hired "friend" to come in for those times you need off? At least his dementia is "mild",, maybe you could explain to him why you will not be available at these times? Your youngest daughters birthday few hours off should not be a problem.. but the graduation times might be. Could you take dad along for any of this,
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Reply to pamzimmrrt

I agree with Ahmijoy, they should've consulted if that vacation timeframe would work for everyone. And also, probably help with making arrangements if extra help is needed while they are gone. We understand we all want a break, but it should be respectful and considerate.
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Reply to GeminiUnicorn

It seems to me that even with the counselor on board, Sister and Brother are doing their own thing while you tiptoe around not wanting to tick anybody off. 3 weeks is a LONG time to be gone and expect the other half of “the team” to pick up the slack. And you should not have to miss important engagements because of their vacation plans. Did they discuss them with you before they were made? Coach always said “There is no I in ‘team’.” and you should have been consulted before these plans were made. Graduations and Mother’s Day dont just come up all of the sudden, and had you been consulted, perhaps you and they could have worked out a better time for them to be gone.

I would bring all this up with the counselor as a mediator. Is it possible to have someone else, a church member, a trusted friend, look in on Dad?
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Reply to Ahmijoy