Our blog is provided in reverse chronological order.
September 21: Hiring an Elder Caregiver
There are many things you will likely want to consider before hiring a caregiver for your loved one.
First, you will need to establish the caregiver's job criteria.
Will you be hiring the caregiver for:
1. Social companionship
2. Household care, such as cleaning, cooking, and shopping
3. Personal care, such as feeding, toileting, and bathing
4. Health needs, such as administering medications, providing physical therapy, etc.
You also have to consider how you will pay for this care. Does the elder have enough funds, will you & your siblings need to chips in, or is your
loved one eligible for Medicare and grants or other state aid? There is a lot of funding available if you know of the right places to look. We are
establishing federal and state resources on our website, but the database is not fully ready yet. Please check back.
Once you place an ad in your local newspaper, you may want to create a list of over-the-phone or in-person interview questions. The person you
are interviewing should also provide references that you should check, and you should always do a full background check. Most caregivers are
good, but some are not, unfortunately. Do your homework now to save yourself headaches later.
Possible interview questions might include:
1. Why do you think you'd be a good fit for this position?
2. Which areas of this job are you most skilled at?
3. Which areas of this job would you not be willing to do?
4. What would you do in case of an emergency?
5. If you became ill on the job or before work, how would you handle that?
6. What is your view of nursing homes? (This is especially good to know if you do not want your loved one in a nursing home.)
It is good to have multiple caregivers, as often caregivers will call in due to sickness or other commitments, and then you or someone else will
have to cover their shift. Always plan ahead. It's often a good idea to prepare for the worst to make this situation the best one possible.
Finding someone to care for your loved one when you cannot be there can have some bumps in the road. However, if you are prepared and able
to go with the flow, you should be able to keep your loved one in their home for many years to come.
October 21: The Great Pumpkin
"D" is a younger elderly lady (in her 70s) for which my family and I provide care. Wanting to get her in the festive mood, we bought her a
pumpkin for a gift. We knew that, given the loss of strength in her hands, she could not carve it, but we figured that she could draw a face on it
with a magic marker and enjoy it for Halloween. We did not expect that, when we gave her this gift, she would scowl at it and tell us that she did
not like it and wanted it gone from her home. We told her we'd let her think on it overnight, and if she did not want the gift, we'd remove it from
her home the next day. Her reaction was certainly unexpected.
Later that evening, she called us and explained that it was a lovely gesture and it was not the pumpkin that made her mad. She explained that
she was frustrated because it reminded her that she could no longer carve a pumpkin, which is what she used to like to do. She did not want to
change what she did with a pumpkin by drawing a face on it. That seemed silly to her. Pumpkins were meant to be carved! Therefore, she
asked us if we'd carve it for her. The next day, that is exactly what we did, and she now loves her pumpkin.
That really made me think. Often, while we are caring for elders, we may not understand their reactions to some things, such as the dislike of
this uncarved pumpkin. We, as caregivers, thought we were giving her a nice gift. She, as an elderly person unable to carve a pumpkin, was
reminded of the things she can no longer do.
That is truly food for thought. The next time your elder does something that hurts your feelings or you cannot understand, certainly, you have the
right to feel badly about it and wish things could be different. At the same time, that might be exactly what your elder is feeling. They are
frustrated and wishing things could be different; they are longing for their youth. Try to remember to see it from their side of things, as well, to try
to better understand what is going on in their minds.
September 24: The Beginnings of Project BEA
Due to much eager anticipation, the message board support group forum got launched ahead of schedule. While we only have a small group of
members at this time, we plan to market to many more people in the near future. Please let your friends know about this FREE resource, and be
sure that you, too, check out our Elder Care Support Group Forum for questions, answers, advice, support, and other insight.
We are in the process of building our caregiver directory. This will take some time. We hope to have the directory fully launched soon. Stay
Please check back here for future updates on the growth of Project BEA! We sincerely appreciate your support!