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The Fearless Caregiver 


Gary Barg - Editor-in-chief The Key to Better Care


In the summer of 1994, I returned home to South Florida from Atlanta to help my mom care for my grandparents. The third night I was back in town, I accompanied Mom on a supermarket shopping trip for my grandparents and their home care aide, who had given Mom a grocery list. Mom told me that she had been to the store recently and couldn’t understand how they could have gone through so much food. I was equally mystified by the amount of staples they seemingly needed. A five pound bag of sugar, a large bag of rice, ten pounds of chuck steak, etc.—all items which Mom had purchased for them not two weeks ago.

I proposed that we stop by the apartment unannounced that very evening, rather than wait until the next morning as the aide had suggested.  When we walked into the apartment, I thought I had opened the wrong door. There were at least five adults and a dozen kids running around, all burners were cooking food, and my grandparents had been left alone in their bedroom. I ushered the aide and her extended family out of the apartment and we stayed with my grandparents until we found a suitable replacement.  Carecheq for Caregiver

The next care aide became an invaluable asset to my grandparents. The obvious difference between her and the first aide was her interest in enhanced communication with my mom.  This was the early nineties and the technologies that are now available for increased communication had not yet been imagined, but this new aide did not let that stop her. We found immediately that her interest in communicating with us was the difference between being in the dark about our loved ones’ care and being an involved participant, which I believe allowed them both to live at home as long as possible.

Thankfully, with social networks, email and texting, this interactivity is a whole lot easier to achieve than it was years ago, for local as well as long-distance caregivers.  No matter what care option you utilize for home care support, you are still the boss. From my own personal experience, I am a firm believer that active communication between family and professional caregivers will always offer the best possible care for our loved ones.





  Gary Barg
Today's Caregiver magazine
Friday November 18, 2011
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