New article up by Dr. Barry Jacobs. You can read it HERE.
Have any of your friends failed you in your caregiving journey?
What i was thinking after i read it, is that the awkwardness around long term caregiving, and asking for help from non-family, is a little like asking to borrow money. Once you ask for money, people feel interested, obligated, to ask how you're spending your money such that you need to borrow it? I spent 30 years helping people with medical illnesses and their families cope in various circumstances from out patient medical clinics to hospice. I have a hierarchy in my head that i lay out for patients and families. It goes like this:
What does insurance pay for? Yeah you get a few weeks of skilled nursing careif you're lucky following a hospitalization, and a bathing aide for maybe 3 days a week that comes by for an hour. The VA has better options that take months to get once you've applied for them. But this is worth exploring: what services are covered?
What services are free? In some cities and counties, there is free or subsidized meals on wheels (until #45 eliminates it in his budget), transportation help to and from doctor appointments, subsidized respite care services in the home if you are low income.
Who else in the family can help? Presuming there IS family. Cast a wide net, my people. Enlarge the caregiving circle. I know a family who schleps elderly mom from one of her children to the next for 3 months stints. Works remarkably well. Helps that there are 4 daughters. No excuses, none of this 'oh i can't see Mom like this' cop out stuff. Rally round.
What can you afford to delegate, outsource, pay for? An aide for 4 hours a day 3 days a week would be something like $240 in a city, less in a rural area. Might make all the difference.
Only after the family or the caregiver has exhausted all of this, would i recommend they ask friends.
The one exception is church. But even then, folks don't want to feel taken advantage of, and who says one caregiver is more exhausted, or burdened than another?
Does this make sense?
If i ask to borrow money or ask for 50 expecting no repayment, my friend might say, so you can afford an iphone but need 50$?
I can get tetchy...