Hiring A Care Manager, An Ounce of Prevention


We have a client in whose daughter hires us to take her mother to medical appointments; she 'just can't stand' being in her Mom's presence.  Never could.   Of course to us, her Mom is precious!  Funny!  Witty!  Likable!  We didn't have to grow up with her!  We counsel the daughter as a matter of course, and hope that the day will come where she can build the bridge of accepting her mother where she is "at".

This morning we heard about a tragedy in Mattydale NY;  an adult son is being charged with murder and arson.   Sometimes the need and greed for money is a primary reason for such things (this is the number one comment on people trying to determine an alibi).  Sometimes, however, it is caregiver stress.  

I recall a story years ago in Northern NY where a woman handcuffed her father to the bed while she went to work.  She was arrested for cruelty and neglect.  Granted, she did NOT do the right thing and apparently she did not know how or where to ask for help.  It is also possible that she was a loving daughter who was at her wit's end, weeping as she locked the chain. 

Anyone who has been a caregiver for any length of time knows how challenging it is 24/7, feeling hopeless with no end in sight.   Here is another extreme example of what can happen under stressful home caregiving circumstances.   We are not condoning such crimes by any means, but we are trying to promote an understanding that caregiver stress can be so high that people can do things completely out of character at near-insanity to deal with it.  

It doesn't have to be that way.  You can hire a care manager if you 'just can't stand it' doing 24/7 shifts day after day, 365 days of the year.  We can support you, give you tools to deal with the situation and help coordinate appropriate care to give you the much-needed respite.


When Someone You Love Is Dying

In my years as care manager and hospice social worker I have met a surprising number of people who have had Near Death Experiences. Some have "seen the light", one saw no light at all but floated in the darkest darkness in the most comfortable and blissful state he had ever experienced. One in his late 50's, continues to rage that he had to return to his earthly existence. Ever since his revival he has had an explosive temper. They blame it on his brain injury. He blames it on having to leave the State of Heaven.

It is surprising to me that not all of these people had faith in a higher power or a belief in an Afterlife.

Death can be a frightening thing. As one dying client said anxiously, "I've never done this before." The first time doing anything is always scary. Try to rest assured that throughout the process of life through death, you will be Taken Care Of.

Have faith that even though you may be an Earthly Caregiver for someone you love, there is Something Greater ready to take over when your loved one leaves.

There is a reason we typically enter this world crying and leave this world smiling.

Faith, Dear Ones.


Evelyn was reviewing her life with me. Now in her late 80's, she would be in her 60th year of marriage had her husband not died before their 30th year together. There has never been another man for her.
She recalled the circumstances following his death. The burial took place in his hometown quite some distance away. She traveled there by plane, accompanied by her daughter and her baby granddaughter. She found herself saying "Dear God, please let the plane crash. Let it go down." She did not want to live life without him.

She has now been without him as long as she had been with him. As she watches her great-grandchildren grow she thanks God every day that He did not answer her prayer spoken in her bleakest moment.

Sometimes we get discouraged when our prayers aren't answered, but there's generally a very good reason.  It may seem selfish and self-centered of her to have prayed that prayer on the plane that day, but when we are in the storm of loss and bereavement, it is natural to lose total perspective for awhile. 

Be patient with God and, by all means, be patient with yourself. 


There's A Difference Between CARING FOR and TAKING CARE OF

A man came upon a caterpillar, picked it up and put it in a jar so that he could watch it transform into a butterfly. As expected, the caterpillar made itself a cozy cocoon. Soon the man noticed that it was struggling to break through its silky covering. It upset him to think of the creature struggling. With a knife, he carefully cut through the cocoon to release the butterfly. However, the butterfly seemed to be disabled; it couldn't fly.

The man's compassion overwhelmed his ability to let go; to let things be. The struggle that the butterfly goes through to break through the cocoon is the very act that forces the blood to move through the wings; to develop the muscles. Without the struggle, a butterfly simply can not fly.

What's the point of being a butterfly if you can't fly? You may as well remain a caterpillar! A man shouldn't mess with God's design; it's designed a certain way for a certain purpose that can't always be seen or understood.

We must allow others to experience life as it comes to them without protecting them from it. In our struggle, our greatest growth lies dormant. We can support them without Taking Care of Them. We also need to be patient with ourselves, knowing that at the end of the struggle, things will be better.

Sweet surrender!
Image by Joanne Cacciatore