life ends

Caregiving Monday: When a Loved One Declines

Seeing a loved one decline is always difficult, but especially when there is a significant decline in a short time.

This realization is often difficult for family members to accept.

Questions begin to be asked such as:

  • Why did we not realize?end of life
  • How did this happen?
  • What do we do now?
  • What could we have done differently?

 

So how do we deal with a dramatic decline in a loved one?

  1. Accept that this is the new reality—that is much easier said than done, but things are not going back to where they used to be.life ends
  2. Ask for prayer from family and friends. Asking for prayer never hurts, but also think carefully before placing information on social media sites.
  3. Understand that only God knows the day, time and hour a loved one is called home. That could be on that day, a month later, a year later or twenty years later.  God will provide the comfort and strength necessary to walk the journey He’s taken you on.
  4. Take the necessary steps to make the loved one as comfortable and well cared for as possible.
  5. Bathe the situation in prayer. Every situation is different and sometimes the situation is drawn out, while at other times decisions have to be made quickly. God can provide the guidance, wisdom and comfort that is needed during this time.
  6. Contact the necessary friends and family members that need to be notified. Even if death is not imminent, they may want to visit and enjoy the time they have together.
  7. Discuss the possibilities for the worst case now, instead of having to make split second decisions later on. Determine what the person being cared for wants and his/her wishes for the last stages of life, as well as funeral plans.

What plans have you made for the future?

help

Caregiving Monday: Dealing with Vacation Time

With the summer quickly approaching, vacation time is also on the way.

As a caregiver, extra plans have to be made.

One thing the caregiver has to decide is what will happen with the person they are caring for.

So what are some options?help

  1. Take your loved one with you—this is always an option, but is this really what you want? Do you need a break from caregiving?  Is your loved one up to the travel and changes that are involved with vacation time?
  2. Call in reinforcements—are there others that are involved with the caregiving of this individual? Are there other siblings that can step up and help out while you are away?  Call on them and ask if they are able and willing to help.   One thing to decide is how you are going to react in advance if they are not willing to be of assistance.
  3. Sitters—check with a local agency or freelance sitters to inquire about their rates and availability. Be specific about how often you need assistance, for how long and what you would like to see accomplished during this time.  Is help needed with bathing or cooking or cleaning or transportation or all of it?  Be sure to let the sitter know up front.
  4. Respite Care—many nursing facilities have openings for a week or two, to provide respite care {or a rest} for the caregiver.
  5. Neighbors and friends—if none of the other options are available, try asking friends and neighbors if they would be willing to help out while you are gone. Many will be happy to help if asked.

 

How do you deal with vacation time?