The number of tasks involved when you are a care giver will change over time. I am one of four children in my family and the only one that lives near my parents. Being the only local child means there are some responsibilities that are going to be mine — but my siblings and I have figured out how to share the load.
My parents are in Assisted Living and able to speak for themselves on their likes and dislikes. However, I believe our involvement will only enhance the quality of care they receive. Their acute medical issues will be addressed and I know they are safe. However, I visit at least twice a week to see how my parents are managing and how they are doing.
I previously wrote about my Dad and his flirtation with a wheelchair. Neither parent mentioned it to me when I called, but did to my brother. When I called the Assisted Living unit, they said my Dad was not in a wheelchair. However, when I visited the next day, my Dad was using a wheelchair. I made sure they knew of our interest to keep our Dad on his feet. In some cases, individuals with dementia will forget how to walk, and if that happened, we knew it would mean a new level of care for my Dad, most likely, in the Skilled Nursing unit (and separate from my Mom).
I’m extremely lucky. I have three siblings that are involved and will jump on a plane when I need help, or will make phone calls and manage different aspects of helping manage my parent’s estate and needs.
However, I thought it would be helpful to write-up some of the tasks we have broken out and divvied up between us. Shared.
|Care Giving Role||Duties||Name of Sibling|
|Physical||Provide or support activities of daily living (dressing, feeding, bathing etc.) and ensure safety.|
|Medical||Manage the medical needs, doctor visits and medications. Coordinate with various doctors and follow-up on issues and concerns. Healthcare directives, Medical Power of Attorney, Do Not Resuscitate (DNR)|
|Personal / Financial||Manage bill payments and cash flow as well as knowledge of legal documents and locations. Will need Financial Power of Attorney, be on bank accounts.|
|Investment||Understand and manage the investments and other financial assets.|
|Legal||Manage legal review of documents and if different coordinate with Personal / Financial to ensure documents in place and timely.|
|Historian||Collect, organize and archive photos, letters, family keepsakes.|
|Realtor||Lead decisions on property and manage vendor selection and transactions.|
Please let me know if I missed any or if you family found another was to manage these tasks.