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Welcome to CareNotes. In this special section we will feature a reader's letter and provide an opportunity for an interactive exchange that will help find some answers and possible solutions to concerns. If you wish to respond to this letter, simple follow the link provided at the end of the letter and add your comments and thoughts to our CareNotes Board.

This Week's Carenote - 07/25/08

I Googled caregiver and found your website.  My sister's husband has been physically disabled for several years, although he is still mobile.  He also suffers from anxiety and depression.  Over the past five years, because of constant, debilitating pain and the subsequent use of strong pain medication, he has become increasingly withdrawn from his children and his wife.  Worse, his doctor took him off of antidepressants because of the pain meds.  He has become whiney, irritable, angry and manipulative.  Unfortunately, his physical and mental condition has recently worsened to an extreme degree.  It's almost as though he's 88 instead of 58.  He won't eat, drive or leave the house and he never has a nice word to say.  In the past he's taken care of the family finances.  As a result of his poor decisions, the family lives just above the poverty line.  My sister is 42, works full time, takes care of their two children, her husband and the house.  Because of his increasing confusion, she now has to take charge of their money and bill paying, which scares her to death.  And he's not making that easier, either. 
Bottom line: My sister is exhausted, drained, and desperate.  She feels isolated and has no one to turn to.  I want to be able to refer her to a supportive online community that can relate to her experience and will plug her in to resources that are unavailable to her in her town.  I have sent her a link to your website and the caregiver's bill of rights.  What else do you recommend?  Thanks for any help you can offer.


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Date: 07/25/2008
Time: 09:10 AM


First, I highly recommend she contact the local Area Agency on Aging for Respite care and other support. They may be able to assist with a medical bill or a late utility bill. I'd also recommend your sister contact the nearest nationally accredited Consumer Credit Counseling Services program. They'll sit with her and her bills to figure out a budget her family can live with. CCC will contact her creditors and work out a payment plan. Some creditors agree to stop the interest charges as long as she's in good standing with CCC. It may take two or three years to get out from under their debt, but it will relieve some of the stress. Perhaps you could go stay with her husband so your sister can take the kids to the park, or so she can sleep, or any of a number of things that may give her some relief. Best of luck.


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