A couple of weeks ago I received a call from one of our elderly clients…we’ll call her Pauline. She objected to us sending male caregivers to her home and requested that only female’s be sent in the future. This subject has come up before, and we discussed – with Pauline and her children - that scheduling a one-hour shift was difficult for us to do and this request created additional barriers for us.
I reached out to Pauline’s daughter, Mary. Mary said she had been out-of-town, but would be visiting her mom soon and she would ask her about this “female only stuff.”
Mary’s response is so typical; I wanted to share it with you, our faithful readers. My guess is that you can relate to this story!
“Ray, I talked to my mom yesterday. She is a challenge.
Her problem is she thinks she doesn't need anyone "checking" on her… But I reviewed with her the need to let her visiting caregivers do things to help around the house. My siblings and I want to have someone check on her on days when she doesn’t run errands with the neighbor or I come by, etc. We are keeping tabs on her and she doesn't like it.
Please continue to send someone twice a week. I don't think she has a preference for women over men, but if she says she does, wait a day or two and she'll change her mind. Eventually she will get used to the fact that someone from Synergy will be checking on her (I left a list of chores for Vivian to do today) and maybe doing some light housework as well as checking her blood pressure and having a chat.
Just ignore her concerns. She is having a hard time accepting any help. Let's just do it anyway. Keep me posted if and when things come up. Don't expect my mom to be happy or excited. She is masterful at denying others the pleasure of trying to make her happy.
Thanks for communicating.” Mary K.
- If you're having difficulty “parenting” or “supervising” your elderly parents – you’re not alone.
- If your frail-father doesn’t like you “keeping tabs” on him – know that hundreds of thousands of other adult children are in the same boat.
- If your aging-mom is inconsistent and changes her mind frequently – we understand.
- If you feel guilty about pushing help, care and supervision on your loved ones – you have a lot in common with most baby boomers.
- If your ill parents are grumpy or unpleasant to be around – we feel your pain.
- If you need partners to provide care and communicate often with you - we’re here for you.
I’m always available for a chat. Just give me a call…or check out these websites for information and support.
Ray Fitzgibbon, General Manager, SYNERGY HomeCare of Seattle, 206-420-4934
Caring for Yourself When You Are Caring for Others http://www.medicare.gov/files/ask-medicare-tips-for-caregivers-care-for-yourself.pdf
Caregiving Support & Help http://www.helpguide.org/elder/caring_for_caregivers.htm
What’s Your Worry? Mine? That I’ll be Mean http://www.caregiving.com/2014/02/whats-your-worry-mine-that-ill-be-mean/