I’ve been traveling the highways and byways
this fall talking with caregivers in rural
serving communities. Not only have I driven
through some of the most beautiful parts of the
country, and had some of the freshest and most
memorable food, but I have also met with rooms
filled with motivated, caring and giving
caregivers. In fact, after one such event
in Waterloo, Iowa, put on by the good folks at
the Hawkeye Valley Area Agency on Aging, the
word that resonates through my mind is – sneaky.
I have been talking for years about the value
of well-placed sneakiness as a family caregiver,
but I am a true believer now. When I use
the word “sneaky,” I only mean it in the most
positive way; in fact, it is a vitally important
tool for you to use as a family caregiver.
One of the best examples of this concept came
from an unexpected source. Whenever a
question about getting a loved one to stop
driving comes up early in the morning, I am
usually tempted to defer it to the last half
hour of the session because it will typically
swamp all other concerns. As the panel and the
caregivers in the room were answering one such
question, a slight elderly lady raised her hand.
She told us in a surprisingly booming voice that
if you took the car key to the dealer, they can
make a duplicate key which will turn when placed
in the ignition, but will not engage the motor.
Her husband would go out to the garage for an
extended period of time trying to get the car
started with this dummy key, and finally come
inside asking her to drive him. He was too
embarrassed to tell her that he could not start
Now that’s my kind of sneaky.
Share your sneaky caregiving advice.