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I know I should have some alternate plan(s) in place in the event something happens to me. I just don't know where to start!!
Curious to know what other caregivers have in place for their loved ones.
I'm really "it" for both my parents. Brother lives at parent's house but is out of town working 2/3 of the year.
I wouldn't even know where to begin! Who would dad call first? What would his options be? Is there somewhere I can go to get more info - for example Alzheimer's association here in town? would they be able to "help" me with this?
I would certainly suggest having a conference with the social worker from your local office. A geriatric care manager would certainly be one option. And even if your brother is gone a lot, can he still be counted on for some help?
Until you figure this out, is there a friend or neighbor who could step in?
I know a daughter (my cousin) who took the brunt and most of the care of her Mom off her father and brother. She did it all. Then after the mother passed, it was agreed that the brother would take care of the father. He is well into his 90's now. Living near his son (in a facility) who oversees his care. Meanwhile, daughter has moved into a new home and having a good life last time I saw them all.
Your topic just made me think of that. Let us know if you are able to come up with a good plan. It's good you're thinking what if. Sign of a good caretaker.
Are either of your parents still able to appoint Healthcare and Durable Power of Attorney? If so, I'd have them get those papers signed, so they can appoint you or whoever they wish and then you will know who will be in charge, when they are incompetent, sick or injured. That way, you can legally take care of their fiances too. Normally, they would appoint an alternate, as well, in case, you are not able to serve. If brother is unable or unwilling, I'll explore other options. It's a really big job.
And, if they both have dementia and are living alone, I'd go ahead and explore getting professional help, since, eventually, they will need more and more hands on care.
So to clarify, I (and my brother) are already POA for both parents, including 'regular' POA and Healthcare POA. I'm first (since I'm the oldest) and then my brother.
So that's all in place. And we are both co-signers on all parents bank accounts.
Brother works for a company that has him out of town 2/3 of the year. In fact, he has been in Gainseville, FL for over a week - is driving back today - supposed to arrive home Thursday afternoon - then Saturday turns right around and drives back to Gainesville. He drives one of those big trucks, delivering stuff for installations, does the installations. But even when he's home, he's only there 1-2 days at most and works at the plant if not a weekend. Yes, I know he would be 'next in line' but since he has not been "in the loop", I want to have options at the least for him. I honestly can't begin to imagine him quitting his job to stay home and feed mom, take care of her toileting needs, etc. But he'd have no clue what to do, so that's why I need to have a Plan B in place, so at least he has some idea of what to do. If something drastic happened to me, I can't let dad try to figure that all out, even with a Plan B - he just doesn't have the mental capacity any more to cope with decisions like that.
We do not have a geriatric care manager. We don't have a social worker. Where would I go to find those people? lol. I am the "paid" caregiver! We have a bath aide that comes once a week but I don't think she would be the appropriate contact person. Guess I will contact the local Alzheimer's Association and ask their input.Dad can't care for mom on his own - he has balance/gait issues and numb hands. That's why I'm there! And he is no longer comfortable driving and so I do all of the driving now (grocery store, doctor's appointments, etc). I do let him start his car and drive it up/down the street (dead end) once a month because he doesn't want the battery to die. He uses a service to get to/from the barber shop - cheaper than paying someone to sit with mom for me to take him.
Important topic. I think that there was a discussion awhile back about caregivers wearing a MedicAlert bracelet or carrying a card saying that they are caregiver for a PWD.
Earlier in my mom's illness, I put together a large three ring binder with relevant information such as family names and phone numbers, doctor's offices, dietary instructions, medications, prescribed PT exercises, daily routine and activities, household information, etc. You might do something similar and make sure your brother knows where it is (but put it somewhere that your parents can't find it, move it, and forever lose it). You might do a little research on home care agencies and include that information. Likewise, it wouldn't hurt to have done some research on area facilities and include that information.
Consulting a geriatric care manager to set up an emergency plan is also a good idea. You can look online; also call the Alz hotline 1-800-272-3900 to see if they can help with a referral. I didn't have a lot of luck in my mother's area: one was retired, and the other seemed laser-focused on Medicaid trusts and "preserving the assets."
Is there a trusted friend or neighbor who could act as point person if there were an emergency and your brother were out of town? Is there a neighbor who could keep on eye out for something unusual, such as no sign for you for an extended period of time?
It is a sobering thought; I hope that having a contingency plan means never having to use it.
IA#4 wrote: <<I think that there was a discussion awhile back about caregivers wearing a MedicAlert bracelet or carrying a card saying that they are caregiver for a PWD.>>
I have information about mom stored in the “emergency” section of my phone. And my local fire dept has a database with a field that can be customized with information about the resident(s) at a location, which gets shared with EMS and PD responders
If placement is your concern please start now to find the right/best fit. It is not an easy task.
This will help;
I would also look at Abe's Garden and the Hearthstone to get an idea of what is possible. They are leaders in the field and have truly raised the standard of care.
Smells nice, good food and activities are merely a starting point.