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FROM THE EDITOR'S PEN  / Meeting My Waterloo /   Editorial List

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 Meeting My Waterloo

I’ve been traveling the highways and byways this fall talking with caregivers in rural serving communities. Not only have I driven through some of the most beautiful parts of the country, and had some of the freshest and most memorable food, but I have also met with rooms filled with motivated, caring and giving caregivers.  In fact, after one such event in Waterloo, Iowa, put on by the good folks at the Hawkeye Valley Area Agency on Aging, the word that resonates through my mind is – sneaky.

I have been talking for years about the value of well-placed sneakiness as a family caregiver, but I am a true believer now.  When I use the word “sneaky,” I only mean it in the most positive way; in fact, it is a vitally important tool for you to use as a family caregiver.

One of the best examples of this concept came from an unexpected source.  Whenever a question about getting a loved one to stop driving comes up early in the morning, I am usually tempted to defer it to the last half hour of the session because it will typically swamp all other concerns. As the panel and the caregivers in the room were answering one such question, a slight elderly lady raised her hand.  She told us in a surprisingly booming voice that if you took the car key to the dealer, they can make a duplicate key which will turn when placed in the ignition, but will not engage the motor.  Her husband would go out to the garage for an extended period of time trying to get the car started with this dummy key, and finally come inside asking her to drive him. He was too embarrassed to tell her that he could not start the car.

Now that’s my kind of sneaky.
Share your sneaky caregiving advice.



Gary Barg

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