I was asked to participate in a panel discussion called “Help Mom & Dad Make All the Right Moves” with a doctor who serves the senior community, and a life care manager. In the closing segment, we were asked to share one piece of advice for a fellow son or daughter about our caregiving journey. The doctor, Steven Simmons shared that you need to remember to be the son or daughter. He went on to share how difficult it is for him to not be the doctor and how he just faced a crisis with his mom and worked really hard to be the son not the M.D. He said he worked quickly to bring in another doctor so he could be the son.
I was shaking my head in agreement as he spoke. I have shared this with the professionals that did come in to help me through pivotal moments. I have confessed to them that looking back, I wished I used them more. I wanted to help and so many of the things seemed simple, but one of my biggest regrets is not having a life care manager manage all of my mom’s medical needs.
The last year of my mom’s life she was in and out of hospice care … the palliative kind … which is now very common to help older adults live comfortably for issues that medical interventions can’t cure. So we had a hospice doctor that would visit her in the community. However, there was also a community doctor, and some minor issues, seemed to keep getting lost between the two doctors. Every month, I was spending several hours trying to chase down these minor health care issues which took away time from visiting my mom. I was at her community, but not even in the presence of my mom. Over the course of the year, maybe it would have cost a few thousand to have someone else take her out for the medical follow-ups, chase down and get answers to the minor issues that needed resolution. Mom had the means to pay for it, and I should have used it so I could have been the daughter.
Yes, a son or daughter should be counted on to do those things. However, I am still raising kids, running a business, and was trying to lead a life too. Now that mom is gone, I wish I had a do-over and instead spent the time with her, not on managing her care needs.
While an aging life care manager does have an hourly rate between $135 – $185, they can resolve issues quickly. There were so many things I learned on my journey, but, at the end of the day, I might have better served me and my mom if I brought in someone to handle certain aspects of her care.
At the time, I made the best decision I could with the information I had. Reviewed.
8 thoughts on “Be Mindful of Remaining a Spouse/Daughter/Son”
This is so very very true. Thank you for sharing your experience & writing about a sensitive topic. I love all your articles.
I am currently thinking how I can get back to being Maureen’s husband rather than spending most of my time as her Care Partner. Perhaps the time has arrived to reconsider putting her into a Care Home.
You will make the best decision for you both!
Hindsight is always 20/20, and this is solid advice for those that can afford it, thanks.
Unfortunately the only ones who can afford it are the ones whose parent has the income to support it or they have the income to support it, and it means they are not giving 100% to the parent in the first place. I manage my mother at home for the past nine years and I don’t have anyone else to help me except my husband who is my PCA.
We now have many free resources in our community to help. Have you checked with the local area on aging to see if you might have similar ones in your community? Your mom is lucky to have you.