Thursday, April 22, 2010

Now That I've Actually Been in Practice...

I stopped writing this blog for various reasons. At the top of the list was wanting to have more actual geriatric care consulting experience with individuals and families. Now, after 20 such adventures, I want to capture some of the anecdotes and insights.

First of all, in all twenty situations I was called in by family members or friends---not by the individual who was the focus of concern. The main reasons the individual did not make the call him or herself:

~Unaware of any problems
~Wanting to keep problems “in the family”

The main reason that a friend or family member made the call---the individual’s problems were beginning to impinge on their lives to an extent that could no longer be ignored. Impinging how?

~increasing awareness of a parent’s or friend’s failing ability to cope with daily activities
~worrying about resources (time and money)
~worry about future risks and future resource requirements
~growing awareness of how little information they had
~growing awareness of the lack of any kind of plan
~fear that he or she would be stuck with the care---would have no choice in the matter

It is very upsetting to find oneself looking at a loved one and experiencing mostly worry, insecurity, the anxiety of unanswered questions and perhaps some dread mixed with resentment.

I am learning that it is vital to get these feelings out in the open without judgment as early as possible. This honors everyone’s reality. Clears the air for the hard work ahead.

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