Doing it All Yourself Can Cost You!
Recently our dishwasher died. Of course I thought I could fix it myself! After all, how hard could it be anyway? Weeks later, still no clean dishes – at least no clean dishes from the dishwasher! The simple situation was about to teach me a huge lesson about swallowing my own pride.
Instead, during this dishwasher hiatus, Doug & Cindy was washing the dishes by hand. Cindy must have the patience of a saint or she would have conked me on the head with one of those dishes! So why didn’t I call for help? Did I really think I could fix the dishwasher? Did I think that Google + YouTube would provide the answer? Why was I so reluctant to bring in someone who actually knew what they were doing? Too cheap? Too stubborn? Too much ego? Too much pride? (Probably all of the above!)
Long story short – I finally broke down and called the dishwasher repair person (yes it was a woman!) who charged $60 to fix the dishwasher. Thanks to her, we now have clean dishes again! Judge me or not, we see the same thing everyday!
The Do-It-Yourself Syndrome
Every day in our law practice, we get a call from someone who “just has one question”. They think if they can get this one question answered, then they will know how to fix their problem. Then when that one is answered, they have one more. And one more. So on and so forth.
As an example, we commonly have people call our law practice, with the issue of a declining parent who now needs care in a nursing home. Once the family sees the cost of this care, they quickly see the need to help Mom qualify for Medicaid to help pay the nursing home bill. At first, the Medicaid qualification process seems easy – they have read a couple of things online and a couple of their friends have shared some of their advice. How hard could it be? So they try to do it themselves. And every month they miss getting her qualified, Mom (or the kids) pays the $7K (approx.) per month nursing home expenses out of pocket. We have seen people pay tens of thousands before they finally broke down, swallowed their pride, and asked for help.
Another example – Family Pride
We have several friends who own and operate non-medical home care companies. They see families every day who try to do it all by themselves at home – and continue down this path until they reach the point where the whole family is exhausted, burnt out, suffering business or job or family issues – all before taking the step to call for help!
Why did they put themselves and their family through all of this stress and grief? At first, the family may have had thoughts along the lines of “How hard could this be anyway? I mean, Mom is just one person. She doesn’t eat that much or weigh that much or go out that much. Shouldn’t be a problem”. But just like me, my pride, and my dishwasher, the fix often looks deceptively simple.
Yes, sometimes there are other issues, such as the case where Mom refuses help. But again, this is the case where the counsel of an Elder Law Attorney and a Life Care Planner or other other professionals come into play. Armed with this professional advice, the family can do a Mom Centered Family Meeting and can make great strides in the right direction.
Where do you need help in your life? What’s your equivalent of calling the dishwasher repair person? How could you spend a few bucks to make a huge difference in your life and the life of your family?
A Caregiver Community that Loves to Pull Together!
We fully understand the stress and turmoil that you are facing as Family Caregiver – including personal experiences with burnout.
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! There is nothing more cleansing for our situation than knowing that we are not alone!
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Being a member of the sandwich generation can be a scary, frustrating and lonely place lacking stability. You feel like you are solely responsible for solving Mom’s problems while managing yours. Some occasional input and a community to plug into would help, especially when facing burnout! This is a way that all of us can be working together as caregivers!
Many others that you may personally know are having to figure it all out by themselves. (Or their pride makes them believe that they have to.) Most of them have no community. Please take a minute and do them a favor. Copy this link – help.mom/cc – and send it to them in an email or private message. They can click on it and subscribe to our newsletter for free.
Then they can enjoy weekly tips and encouragement. They no longer have to feel so alone in their family caregiver journey. They will appreciate the favor! Thank you for thinking of them!
Thank You for being a Caregiver for Your Loved One – you are making a huge difference in their life!