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18 Fearless Years
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Gary Barg - Editor-in-chief

Board of Directors:
Organize, Share, Connect and Manage

‘Tis the season for eggnog, presents, shopping mall Santa Clauses, Menorahs and Christmas trees. It is also the season for caregivers to be able to hold the all-important Board of Directors’ Meetings. And by that, I mean having a meaningful meeting with the adult members of your family who will be sharing holiday tables with you in these coming weeks. It only makes sense, if you are the CEO of Caring for My Loved One, Inc., that your family members who are not involved with the day-to-day details of caring for your shared loved one are, in effect, your Board of Directors (for better or for worse).

What we will be doing in these Fearless Caregiver Board of Directors Communiques during the coming weeks is offering you topic specific agendas for meetings which can be held over after-dinner coffee or even over drinks on the back porch after the kids go to bed.

Please allow me to attempt to offer some small measure of defense for those family members responsible for the well-meaning, but terribly uninformed, advice, criticism and commentary you are sure to receive over these next few weeks. Sometimes, the challenge lies in the difficulties of keeping everyone in the loop as you labor throughout the year to care for your shared loved one. And frequently, this breakdown in communication has been no fault of anyone or anything but the lack of a convenient and capable communication system linking everyone involved in your loved one’s care. Think of all the people who need to be on the same page throughout the year: you, your long distance loved ones, the doctors, specialists and even the staff at the medical facilities. Everyone should sing from the same hymn books (note the holiday reference).

The reason that these communication challenges make for an important Board of Directors Meeting is just how imperative it is to be able to stay abreast of all of the elements necessary to care for your loved one. And there are certainly a lot of moving parts to your caregiving. Did you know that one-third of Americans ages 57 to 85 take at least five prescription drugs and people with chronic illnesses may take more than 20? Never mind the fact that if your loved one is a senior, they are probably seeing more that 12 doctors a year. That is way too much information to keep on lined yellow pads, in notepads or even in your head.

Solving the healthcare collaboration and coordination challenges you face as a family caregiver should be one of the first topics of any Board of Directors Meeting this holiday season. Once you establish such an online system, the communication becomes more immediate and accessible throughout the year. This is extremely urgent. When care doesn’t go as expected, it is often because of untimely follow-up and lack of communication.

And now, let the season begin!


  Gary Barg
Today's Caregiver magazine

Wednesday November 20, 2013  

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