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18 Fearless Years
Caregiver.com

FORWARD TO A FRIEND

 

Gary Barg - Editor-in-chief Tools of the Trade

Some of my earliest (and most favorite) memories are of being with my grandfather as he fixed things around the house, painted a bedroom or even the entire living room.  I am still extremely thankful so many years later for the extraordinary patience he showed me during those days as I peppered him with a rapid fire barrage of questions from early morning to bedtime. I don’t think any end of workday beer was ever more deserved than the one he would down after a hard day of work with his “chief painting assistant.”  

I am also still impressed with his hand-made wooden tool chest filled to the brim with awls, trowels and other assorted gee-gads and gadgets he used in his work as a painting contractor.  And, believe it or not, that well-appointed tool chest is what I think of when I learn of new tools designed to help caregivers as we care for our loved ones.  What is most important to our jobs as family caregivers is quick access to vital and current information. Until recently, there was a dearth of these appropriate tools available to us as we would work to keep up with medications, appointment calendars and even to be able to communicate and coordinate with our loved one’s care team.

I feel that each caregiver is actually an artisan when it comes to caring for our own loved ones. But if we do not have easy access to such information, it is like Gramp trying to paint the house or even a wall mural in my mom’s living room (a story for another day) without his well-stocked tool kit.    

When my mom was first caring for my dad and grandparents in the early nineties, the tools she had at her disposal were similar to all of the other caregivers I would meet in doctors’ waiting rooms, and that includes pocket calendars, notepads, scraps of paper and purses brimming with notes regarding doctors’ appointments and medications to pick up at the pharmacy. Even into the early parts of this century, it would be unthinkable that within a decade you would be able to have access to all the information you would need to care for your loved ones within your cell phone. The truth is that the job of caring for our loved ones is as challenging as ever; but with each passing day, the tool kits at our disposal are thankfully becoming equal to the job.

 

 
  Gary Barg
Editor-in-Chief
Today's Caregiver magazine
gary@caregiver.com
 
Friday September 28, 2012

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