FROM THE EDITOR'S PEN /
The Caregivers' Motto
Ten years ago this week, Hurricane Katrina made
landfall in the United States, first in South
Florida and then in the Gulf Coast. Here in Fort
Lauderdale, we felt that we were hit pretty bad
(losing power for over a week and even lives) until
we saw how the hurricane and levee break affected
our neighbors to the north. Like preparing for
family caregiving, preparing for hurricane season
does not always follow a specified route.
Growing up in South Florida, my dad always prepared
for hurricanes whenever they seemed to be coming our
way. In those days, tracking the paths of hurricanes
was not as sophisticated as it is today. There were
many times that we took boards off windows we had
covered in response to hurricane threats which never
materialized. Yet, when they did, we were always
ready. A lesson that, years later, we needed to
learn as family caregivers.
Like with a hurricane, it pays to be
prepared. If you are not a caregiver now, you never
know when you will get that phone call in the middle
of the night informing you of a loved oneís illness.
When my dad took ill, I remember sitting on the
floor of my parentsí living room, searching through
boxes of papers for the ones I needed. Two weeks
earlier, Dad was a healthy, 59-year-old retiree, who
had always handled our familyís finances with no
thought that we would soon be at a loss for what to
do upon his sudden illness.
Like with a hurricane, you never know where
the next healthcare challenge will strike. Do you
have all of the
Advanced Directives in place for your loved one?
Thatís great; now what about you? Do you have your
own Advanced Directives in place? Who will be your
caregiver, if you should need one? Have all adults
in your family discussed their end of life wishes
with one another?
Like with hurricanes, we canít plan for
everything. Even the best of plans do not allow us
to escape all pain, and we can never know upon whom
disaster will fall next. But, having
a plan in place is sure a lot better than
scrambling when healthcare disaster strikes.
With an appreciative nod to the Boy Scouts, ďBe
PreparedĒ is not such a bad motto for caregivers,