Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Families Need Support, too

This evening we're going to participate in the family support group sponsored by our local hospital.

We'll be talking about ways families can get support while they're busy providing care to their loved ones. One of the pieces we'll talk about is holding a family council or a family meeting. Based on our experiences we'll share ideas on when, where and how to get the whole family involved in the process of providing care - or at least supportive of those family members that do the direct work.

Families can be torn apart when caregiving decisions become difficult. When to get help ("Our Mom needs help? Are you sure?"); how to get help ("I hope you're not going to ask me to help pay for it!"); and heaven-forbid, the discussion about moving mom or dad out of the family home into a retirement center, assisted living community or nursing home ("I promised Mom she'd never have to leave home").

But you probably know exactly how this goes. The child living furthest away, doing the least amount of daily work, is still the saint, while the busiest child, helping every day with tasks big and small, is rarely the most valued and appreciated by the aging parent.

So tonight we'll go meet with some families who are right in the middle of this situation, and who come together, leaving their warm, cozy homes to venture out at night, for a little support and encouragement.

Sometimes all we can give is a little help. But sometimes that's all that's needed.

If you'd like a copy of our booklet titled "Holding a Family Council: A Guide to Family Decision-Making about Long Term Care Issues" email me at Sharon@aquiretraining.com.

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