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EDITORIAL RESPONSES  /The Beck-and-Call-GiverEditorial List

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Beck-and-Call Editorial Responses
These are just some of the many responses we received from our Editorial of 10/20/11 - The Beck-and-Call Giver

I have been involved in the "care giving" industry for over a decade.  I think it is so important for the primary caregiver to set appropriate boundaries.  I feel a good idea would be, especially for a daughter/son in a caregiving role for a parent/s, to set very clear time availabilities.  "Dad/Mom, I will be at your home Mondays and Fridays from 9am to 11am."  That way, the parents know when they can count on help, but also know their children clearly have other obligations.  Then stick to that schedule.  Obviously, you will be there if there is any emergency or a need that can't wait, but set a schedule and stick to it. The primary caregiver has to be able to do this without feeling guilty about the need to have a schedule.  It is very easy to be drawn into an "enabler" role. 

For those who have loved ones who live with them, this becomes more challenging; but the same rule applies.  It is good to encourage as much independence as can safely be assumed by the one needing care.  Set reasonable boundaries.  Be kind, but firm and stick to the plan.  If they are asking you to do a task that they are able to do, insist that they perform that task.  If you have been doing tasks for them that they can safely do themselves, you may need to have a talk first to explain why things are going to be different.  Physically, mentally and emotionally, it is important on both sides that one is as independent as can safely be, and the other is preserving their strength and ability for the day that they will need to assume more and more of the care.



I suggest using a calendar, scheduling time when the caregiver can be reached or will spend time with the person, and time out for the caregiver when he/she can have uninterrupted time for needs, wants, and self-interest goals


Dear Gary,

I just read your newsletter and would like to have the list of advice for the beck-and-call-givers.  My husband is in the early stages of vascular dementia and gets disoriented sometimes. He can very well do things himself, but he seems to feel more secure if I am at his beck-and-call to cue him.
I am eager to hear ideas of how to help him be more self-reliant as long as he can.  (I am also taking him for a re-evaluation so I know just what is reasonable to expect of him.)




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