Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The Caregiving Map

Our consultant to all things WEB, Sherry Knecht, suggested the What I’m Reading Now section. This makes sense since I read a lot. However as I started listing what I was reading, I realized how it might seem to be all over the map. In a way it is. Because caregiving in general, and geriatric care in particular, covers a big map:

Illness and/or geriatric issues and concerns
Caregiving issues and concerns
Management challenges and strategies

When people are faced with a new set of responsibilities it is very normal to reason---this is similar to something I’ve done before, therefore I can do this.

Here is my problem with this reasoning. The situations may only be similar on the surface. A deeper look will reveal major differences which, if unaddressed, will cause serious problems down the line.

For example, one comment I hear quite a lot from women: I raised x number of children---I can take care of my mother. Often there is a specific body language/posture---the jaw sets, the chin comes up and the arms are folded---the captain at the prow of the family ship. While I applaud the women’s commitment to family care needs and am glad they are on the job, I worry that their equating caring-for-children with caring-for-Mother will spell trouble.

In my experience, caring-for-Mother is to caring-for-children as
---cooking at home is to running a restaurant or
---starting a business is to buying a business that is 80+ years old and the founder is still the CEO!

More about this later.

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