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CARENOTES | Past Carenotes | Let's Talk


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 - 05/07/13

From Marie in Utah

What do you do when there is so much fighting amongst siblings about what to do with Mother? I have tried so hard to get us all on the same page and give our mother continuity of care; but each sibling thinks their way is best, and it's our mother who ends up so confused. Also, what are the best words of comfort to say when the one you care for constantly says she wants to go home? My mom can't go home alone; she is a fall risk, she gets frightened, she forgets to eat and she can't medicate herself. I feel like she thinks she's in prison and I am the warden. I just want for her comfort and safety. Thanks and God be with you.

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Name: Kristin
Location: Augusta, ME
Date: 05/14/2013
Time: 05:44 AM


Hire a Geriatric Care Manager to do an assessment, then all siblings will have a blueprint from a 3rd party with recommended alternatives. Will make the conversation easier.

Name: Jane
Location: Kansas City
Date: 05/10/2013
Time: 11:26 AM


Marie: One thing that comes to mind is to have a family conference with an unrelated person as the facilitator, someone who can be knowledgeable about what your mom needs and is able to avoid being dragged into the disagreements. It is also helpful to have a physician's statement about what your mom needs. Written down so all can see it. You want concensus among your siblings, not total agreement which might be quite impossible. The question is not who is right about mom's care; the question is what arrangements can each of you live with. That takes negotiation and compromise -- best achieved when you have a meeting that has a facilitator. About mom's desire to go home: you already know she can't go home. Can you move some of her things to where she is staying? Can you get her to tell you about home, what are her favorite memories, what did she do there, etc. You can also share some of yours. Looking at pictures is also a help, sometimes. The idea is not to deny her the idea of home, but to get her talking about what it means to her to "go home." Might work...

Name: Cindy Powell
Location: Shingle Springs, CA
Date: 05/07/2013
Time: 11:34 AM


Marie, there comes a point in our parents' lives where we need to make the decisions for them to keep them safe. I was the only one who could care for my parents who both has Parkinsons and Dimentia, so I didn't have to share the responsibility with my siblings....although they were behind me 100% in whatever I did. If your Mom has dementia, it will confuse her to move from home to home...but if that is the only way to care for her, then that is the way it needs to be. I don't think there is any point in arguing about how to care for her, even if she was in a care home she would have different caregivers who would handle things in different ways. You will be blessed for taking care of your Mom!

Name: Linda
Location: Utah
Date: 05/07/2013
Time: 11:16 AM


The siblings who needs to decide what's best for Mom are the ones that spend the most time with her. Mom is constantly changing, as she's getting older, and may not be the same Mom as the siblings remember. Even though she is loosing her ability to care for herself, she still feels like an adult. If she can feel like a contributing member of the family and choose a lot of things for herself, she may not feel like she's in prison anymore. Prisons don't let you choose your own food, your own clothing, own your own possessions, have free access to visitors, computers, and telephones, and they don't take you places. If you can come across as her helper, and the fact that her helper doesn't live at her house, maybe she'll change her mind about wanting to go home.



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