Do you have backup plans if you get sick?

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Yesterday I was hit with the "24 hour flu", headache, nausea etc. I was able to get mom up for her breakfast but just couldn't deal with her the rest of the day so I left her safely tucked in bed. Unfortunately she couldn't remember for more than a few minutes and called me, weeping, all day, no matter how often I tried to reassure her. I wracked my brain trying to come up with someone to call on short notice, but all I had was sis and she was at work. I seriously need a backup plan.

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I think most of us are in the kind of position SusanA describes. If there were any decent alternatives, many of us would not be doing what we're doing to begin with. Therefore, in the absence of us, there are no decent alternatives.

In my case, things worked out okay today. I took some OTC painkillers which, miraculously, did their job for once. And my sister came over and took over a few of the trickier tasks, like making up Mom's bed. So for today, it's all covered, but only because my sister was home and available and the drugs worked and my pain decreased. This time. Still no plan for what happens when all the stars don't happen to align like that.

I think FreqFlyer is right, too. When I told my mother my back was in a spasm, she asked "Well, why don't you take something?" and continued putting her shoes on. It didn't occur to her that my being in pain should interfere in any way with HER plans. Sheesh!!!
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I believe if our parent(s) are mostly of clear mind they still think we are "children", not seniors ourselves with our own age decline chasing us down.
And if we break something or get the flu that we would be good as new in a couple of days.

And if the caregiver is female and is under the weather, say with the flu like what cwillie is dealing with, ones hubby and/or father would be sitting on the front porch wondering when dinner will be ready :P

Come to think of it, I don't have a backup plan for myself.
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A backup plan is not always possible, or feasible, in many cases. I'd like to say I have a backup plan, but the only "plan B" I could possibly have is to pay a full time caregiver $20 an hour to come in and care for Mom while I recovered. I can't afford that, so that leaves me with no backup plan, save for a few relatives that might be able to piece-meal a schedule of caring for mom together for a few days - but it would only be for a few days.
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While it's true there is home care or respite care for planned needs like surgery or vacations there just doesn't seem to be anything for urgent care, ie I'm tossing up my cookies and can't possibly transfer and toilet someone, and I might be contagious kind of issues. I maybe could have got someone in to give mom her supper if I had called and begged, but they generally require 24 hours notice and office hours are M-F 8:00 to 4:00, so be sure to plan those sicknesses well in advance, and only during office hours. Thank god it only lasted a day, maybe something I ate???
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Make a back up plan, today! A full 1/3 of caregivers die before their patient. My family learned this the hard way. We buried my sister the day before her 70th birthday. She had a blood clot hit her lungs, while she was driving - to my Mothers.

Within 2 months mother was in the hospital, in rehab, moved to AL and then, the NH. Where she lives happily ever after.

I wish daily, that my sister had not given the last years of her life tied to Mother (who didn't even go to the funeral.)
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Actually, I think the only one you would fail is yourself, if you allow yourself to be dragged in and trapped into chores that others could perform while you're recovering. I FINALLY reached that conclusion and stopped feeling guilty...well, at least some of the time.

So get a favorite magazine, sit down in your favorite chair and let yourself heal!

(If the fertilizer your Dad wants is for a garden, suggest he begin composting instead. It's much better for the crops than chemicals.)
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FF, your dilemma is I think one which may be innate to caregiving. It's not only the issue of the back-up arrangements, if any can be made, but the fact that the parents still expect their daughter/son/relative to do everything for them, even during illness.

I don't know if it's learned dependency, fear of involving "outsiders", stubbornness or what, but I think it creates in the caregiver a feeling of obligation even when ill, and/or a really unpleasant feeling of being trapped with no reliance on outside sources because the parents won't even consider it.

And even though the caregiver can firmly announce that other arrangements will be made (especially for transporation which in metro areas is often readily available), the parents just won't budge.
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No back up plan... am only child who had no children. Once in awhile my sig other will help out but he has very little patience so I rather drag myself out there then listen to his constant complaining.

The past couple of weeks have been a real challenge... I fell and broke my right shoulder thus I can't even write [whew I can type left handed but the Mouse has a mind of its own] and barely can get myself dressed. My parents still live alone in their big home, mainly they just need someone to drive. Oops, I've been grounded from driving for 2 months as I can't use the gear shift or even turn the key.

Anywho I just got my parents grocery list for the on-line grocery service [sig other picked it up] and sure enough on the list are items to pick up inside the store... hello what part of I am grounded don't they understand???... having a broken shoulder at 68 years old is no picnic for me... Dad even had on the list 20 lb bag of fertilizer at Home Depot... say what?

Called my Dad to tell them I can't go inside the store and told him that he and Mom need to find their own back up plan for other transportation needs since it was their decision to stay in that house. Find senior transportation or a taxi. We wouldn't have this issue if they would have moved to that retirement village !!! I told him I feel like I had failed everyone, them, my boss, my sig other... I didn't fall on purpose to upset everyone's lives :P
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This post is so timely for me. I so need a backup plan, right now! I'm at my mother's house, stayed overnight to take her for grocery shopping and change her bed linens, and my back seized up while getting dressed! I can barely move, let alone carry groceries or make beds. There are services I guess, but nobody that will come at the drop of a hat, and anyway we don't have anyone on tap. Have one local sister, don't know where she is or what she's doing today. Seriously need a back-up plan!
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There are all kinds of services for in-home assistance. I paid $25 an hour for trained companions. My township actually had a senior program not income driven that gave mom $800 a year to use for this type service.

Sometimes nursing homes may have senior daycare. Here in suburban Chicago, we also have regular senior daycare centers. Mom went to one that was 8 am to 6 pm for $60 a day. Included hot lunch. I could get her there last minute. I actually used a taxi service to get her there and back.

Mom probably got a monthly income of $1700. I tried to spend every penny of it to make her and my life easier. I think once a family decides to DO that, things go much smoother for everyone.
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