Daphne Davis at Pinnacle Senior Placements explains how siblings, the aunt or uncle of a loved one have a different role than the caregiver. They get the surprises, the cold water splashed in your face a lot, or are confronted with feelings of being inept, not knowing what to do. Even for the non-caregiving family member, it’s helpful to look and see what’s not getting done, such as weeding the garden. We talk about things you can do to be a supportive family member.
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*The following is the output of transcribing from an audio recording. Although the transcription is largely accurate, in some cases it is incomplete or inaccurate due to inaudible passages or transcription errors.
The following podcast is provided by pinnacles senior placements LLC and answers for elders radio and welcome back to answers for elders everyone. We are here with Wonderful Daphne Davis from pinnacles senior placement’s definitely welcome to the program thank you. We are here today to talk about the non caregiving family member, the siblings or an aunt or an uncle, that maybe you’re not involved in the day to day care of a loved one, but obviously you have a loved one and you are. You kind of have a different role. Don’t show you do, you do and and it’s a difficult role because you get the surprises. No, I didn’t know that. All right. Right, so you get cold water splashed in your face a lot or you may have feelings of being an APP like I don’t even know what to do. Tell me what to do. How do I support you? MMM, yeah, and I think too. I know that I always say, well, they could ask me for help. Sometimes caregivers, family caregivers, don’t even know what they need because they’re so overwhelmed. It’s like we, I always say, they’re looking for a light in the storm. Because they’re involved in a storm. Sometimes you walking in from the outside can say, you know, Mary, you need a break, or Mary, I’m seeing that you know this might be happening, or you know, when’s the last time you you went to Yoga class or something like that to take care of yourself? It’s because, I think sometimes a family member, it’s really kind of a different role in the fact that you care about your loved one, but I I have a belief that there should be an equal amount of care towards the one and concern that is caring for a loved one. That’s I totally agree with you completely. You know, we can give a couple of examples of let’s say that mom and dad are still living in their own home and you know me, Daphne, is the primary caregiver, and I go to the doctor’s appointments and I make sure they have all their food and I make sure that the leaves are raked and the gutters got cleaned. Even for you, the non caregiving family member, for you to kind of step out of yourself for a minute and just think, I’m looking at the house, what could I do to help Daphne right you know, and that might be you coming over to the House and bringing your kids and pulling the weeds in the springtime. Just get into the flower beds and yes and pull those those weeds out. It would be so helpful. Or if you’ve got that teenage son, you know, the grandson to somebody and they can make a commitment and spend time with GRANDPA and grandma when they come to mow the lawn, things that you don’t necessarily think that. We think about hands on care, that, you know, taking them to appointments. Those are important, but what’s really the stressor for the care giver is all the things not getting done right and and you know we’ve talked in earlier things. Now, with the holidays coming up, there’s a lot of family members that are coming from the outside that they’re going to be in the home of probably the son or daughter that has been caring for mom and Dad. That’s right, and it’s like how do you be a supportive family member? And and you know, we talked about not possessions but experiences. I think that one of the biggest things that happen with caregivers, especially this time of year, is burnout. They’re trying to be everything to everyone and plus they have the added stress of family coming to town, things like that. It’s like things that you can do like, you know, even if it’s a dinner out, you know, a hundred dollar gifts certificate to go to their favorite restaurant, something like that for a gift for a either Christmas our Thanksgiving present. So that’s exactly right. But if they’re in, if they’re caring for someone in their home and mom or dad can’t be left alone, that hundred dollar gift certificate it’s not going to be helpful for somebody that’s not there. Yeah, and then providing somebody, you know, I’ll come in and stay with mom and dad or, you know, will pay for a homecare company to come. That’s and I think that’s really the key, is to be that that voice of reason, and I think that’s one of the things that I always talked to them. As we’re talking about that that extra caregiver, as a non caregiving family member WHO’s some porting, it might be in good timing for you to start researching what our options for in home care and how do we be prepared for the emergency that may happen. I mean, Heaven Forbid, the caregiver gets sick or has to be hospitalized, who’s going to step right in there? Absolutely, and so you, as the non caregiving provider, can say you know, can I help do some research about this? Point me in the direction, or could you make a list of the things that we need for mom if you’re going to be gone for, you know, four hours or something because there’s an event that you want to go to or a regular event on Thursdays, you know, your your personal event for you. We have regular Thursdays. Let me figure out who that is. That is an easy saying. Great and I always talk about whether mom or dad need home care. Today, I have it set up. Get it set up, because it likely is some day that you’re going to need to fight to hire somebody. Emergencies happen, yes, and and and that’s the last time you want to be sitting down interviewing different companies. It’s like get that relationship established up front so that you feel confident and picking up the phone and say we need someone here Wednesday. That’s right, that they and you may have to you know, if it’s six months down the road, things have changed with mom, so you need to update that. But certainly some of that already knows what where you live? What’s the home environment? What kind of caregiver are you look at for? Do I need to prepare meals or can they do that still? But I just need to be a safety awareness for right. Have that established ahead of time and the care get car agency will know what your mom’s favorite food is. The Care Agency will know what your mom when your mom rest, they’ll know your mom schedule. You don’t have to worry about that. That’s right and that’s the point, is making sure that those little pieces, just little pieces, are covered. That’s right, that you already have done the in home interviewing process, that you have already weeded out the companies that you didn’t feel warm and fuzzy with and you have somebody that you know in your heart that you can trust when you need their service. And we are talking to the Wonderful Daphne Davis from pinnacled senior placements. Daphne, tell us a little bit about what you do and where you serve. So I serve everywhere from Marysville down to Olympia. Primarily I’m the strongest and King and Pierce County and what I do is I actually meet with families and families call me up and say, you know, we don’t know if we need any help yet, but we’re getting close to or we think mom might need more care, or I’m getting kind of stressed out and I’m snapping at my mom a little bit more or my dad and I don’t want to do that. What can I do? How right do I support my mom and dad and still be a part of their life? And you know, you bring up that I’m snapping at mom and dad as an outside family member. I think one of the things that I know was a lifeline for me is to have people that I could call and just vent to as a caregiver. You know, one of the best ways as a family member is just be an ear, to listen and don’t judge what they’re dealing with. You know, I will tell you how many times do I hear families that say, well, my brothers overseeing my mom’s check book and he’s really concerned about all the money that moms spending and it’s like that just put so much more stress on the caregiver. It’s like, you know, I I’m a strong proponent that you like. You talked about communication all the time, but you know, I really believe that you, if you put your belief in somebody to help care for mom and use a family make that joint decision. You need to empower that caregiver to a certain degree. I’m not saying CART BLANC, but don’t judge the things that they that they need to empower them to be able to make the decisions and not second guess themselves. Correct whatever your comments may be. If there’s an issue, and this is certainly something that I do from Pinnacle senior placements, is to be able to talk about those whole subjects. Sometimes that can happen during the initial time of meeting with a family and figuring out what their highest values are for mom or Dad, what will work in your given situation, paying attention to finances, paying attention to location, personality types, things I give joy, things that irritate them. The whole picture needs to come together. So to to work with somebody that says, well, here I’ll send you a list of places to go and they’ve never laid eyes on you or your Mom Dad. And do they twinkle when they see me or do they, you know, pull back? Can I make I can’t eye contact. Can’t they are they quick to smile or aren’t they? Those are things that we need to know right right, absolutely, and I think too, when you know along that level, is really making sure that that, you know, there’s things that families can do to support that caregiver. You know, national average says that a typical family caregiver spends over fifty five hundred dollars per year in caregiving expenses families. It’s my belief, again, especially if the caregiver isn’t, you know, wealthy, is to make sure that you contribute to those costs. That’s right, and you know, set up a separate bank account where you can all view online and you know if it’s if it’s a hundred dollars a month you give to that account or if it’s five hundred dollars a month, whatever you can come up with. It eases the stress of the caregiver again that they have the ability to take mom out to dinner or, you know, put fill their car with gas because they’re driving to a long distance doctor appointment or anything. MOM needs to buy a new pair of pants or, you know, I need to get her orthopedic shoes that are going to be e expensive, or medications in there. You know, there’s so many things that a caregiver has to pick up because maybe Marm or Dad Rana’s fixed income. That’s right, and you bring up a really good point in that leads to as a non caregiver, giving support is to think outside of yourself, to think of beyond the obvious, right about how you run your household. Just give it. I mean even if you gave it ten minutes to just be quiet and think in your own mind. I wonder what it means to for you know, the caregiver and mom to figure out how does she make that happen right, right, what can I do on the outside to support it? And your ideas of having a separate bank account or to throw a fifty dollar bill into it? That relieves one area of stress for that caregiver and, more importantly, you’ve just empowered that caregiver and, on top of it, be consistent. There’s nothing more frustrating if somebody says, well, my sister said she’d give me a hundred dollars a month, but that that stopped after two months. I mean, sure, things happen, they do, but communicating, just let me know exactly. So it’s making sure that you have those conversations again. It’s all about communication. But another ways, I just little things I’m going to bring up. You know, pay for meal service, yeah, pay for hot house cleaning, send up bouquet of flowers every once in a while, just say I appreciate you. You know, maybe it’s it’s if you know that your sister loves, you know, particular artist or whatever, and you know that there’s tickets, get concert tickets and again, provide the care so that they can do some things, because they’re not going to think of themselves. Chances are they’re not thinking about anything that they would like to do. And I think the other thing, just enclosing, is if they’re married, connect with their spouse. I think the spouse sometimes gets the most neglected at times. Boys. That not the truth, because your your vessel is empty, your batteries aren’t charged right, and so you don’t have one more person to give, give anything to. So those are all great ideas. Yes, well, daphnitely, thanks for being on the program. How do we reach you? You reach me at eight hundred and fifty five, seven hundred and thirty four, one thousand five hundred, or you can reach me at my website, which is Pinnacle Senior Placementscom. Definitely thanks for being in the programs. You’re welcome. The preceding podcast was provided by pinnacles senior placements LLC and answers for elders radio. To contact pinnacles senior placements, go to Pinnacle Senior Placementscom
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Originally published February 10, 2018