Family Engagement | Family Caregiver Journey

When the Whole Family Enjoys the Process!

Recently one of our community members admonished Parents and Grandparents to just tell their family members that they need help with a specific task. The writer went on to say that “It won’t strain them and makes them feel useful”. I fully agree – but those who need help are often reluctant to ask.

They may be reluctant to ask because,

  • They are just too proud to ask for assistance – it’s a big deal to admit to yourself that you can’t do basic tasks that you used to be able to easily do;
  • It may be that they are afraid to ask for assistance – feeling that you will “put them in a Nursing Home if they confess how hard it is at home; May just really want to remain at home, despite the difficulty thereof;
  • They know you are busy with your job and family and are very reluctant to ask for your help;
  • Many feel reluctant to spend assets for outsider caregivers, thinking they can “do it themselves” and “may need the money later”.

The bottom line is that they need your help but are reluctant to ask.

How Does Helping Make You Feel?

After you have helped someone in need, how does it make you feel? Probably really good! Can you get this feeling any other way! Not really. When the family comes up with a plan to help their declining parent, this not only helps the parent – it actually helps the Adult Kids feel better about themselves.

Recently, Cindy & I had the privilege to witness this shared family feeling at the home of a declining Senior. Family members were in attendance and were helping. They all looked at peace and had joyful expressions on their faces. I doubt seriously that they felt (or looked) this way while at work or even while they were at their own homes.

They felt this way because they (the Adult Kids) were working in unison to help a declining parent who needed their help. They felt good about their efforts and enjoyed the opportunity to work together. The parent not only appreciated the assistance but enjoyed having her family at her home and seeing all of her kids get along with each other and work together. This is probably the first time in a long time that the family has all pulled together to achieve a common goal.

The Fruitful Results of Engaging with Family

What I was witnessing was the end results of a successful Mom Centered Family Meeting. The whole family had met and had decided several things.

  1. Mom wanted to remain at home and they were willing to work to make that happen.
  2. There were a few local family members who could provide assistance.
  3. The family had the financial resources to be able to bring in some outside caregivers to help supplement the family’s time.
  4. The family had coordinated their work schedules so as to be able to help at specific times. Everyone knew when they were to be at Momma’s house and what they were to do.
  5. The family kept a log book of activities, so everyone could see what was being done and when.
  6. If one family member could not come as planned, they had backup caregivers set up in advance who could come on short notice.
  7. They had a Pivot Plan in place so that when things changed, they would know what to do and would be able to act quickly.

Not all families have worked to have such a process in place, but it’s great to see situations like this.

  • Where the family has met;
  • The family has put a plan in place;
  • Steps are being taken to carry out their plan;
  • The plan is working;
  • Everyone (including Mom) is enjoying the process.

Best wishes to you as you work with your family to get your Mom Centered Plan in place.

We want to be friends!

Ok. That might come off a little fast, considering we barely know each other. However, we fully understand the stress and turmoil that you are facing as Family Caregiver.

In our time as caregivers, we have amassed a wealth of knowledge that we desire to pass on. Likewise, we have met many professional caregivers, as well as other family members who were thrust as Family Caregiver. All caregivers have shared the same advice – Join a community!

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