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 Mull-worthy Advice

Last Wednesday, on a cold (for a South Floridian), rainy morning in New England, I found myself being greeted by comfort and fellowship as warm as mulled apple cider. The aforementioned cider reference is in honor of the reason we were in New England:  the seventh annual Fearless Caregiver Conference that we have held with our partners at the Area Agency on Aging of South Central Connecticut. 

The joint was a’jumping, and we literally had a full house of caregivers. The support, advice and wisdom were flowing like apple cider throughout the day.  The morning Question and Answer panel consisted of financial, legal, support and caregiving experts and the cold weather outside didn’t stop the questions coming.  But it is the very last comment I want to share with you today.  At the beginning of the session, I always thank the attendees in advance because I tell them that someone will end up giving me the topic of my next column. And true to form, someone did. I just didn’t expect it to come at the very end of the session. The comment was made by a caregiver named Stephanie, before actually asking a totally unrelated question.

One of Stephanie’s main challenges was convincing her mother that in-home care is needed. The thing that helped is when she adjusted her attitude to realize that she is (as we say) the CEO of Caring For My Momma, Inc., and that Momma is actually her organization’s primary client. From then on, things became easier for her when it came to in-home care. Stephanie would hold “client meetings” with her mother and told Mom, “You are the lady of the house–it is your house and you are in charge—you are the boss; the home care aides are here to be of service to you.”

When Stephanie would come home, she would ask what her mom thought of the homecare aide, how it was working out and what else she would want the aide to do. Stephanie reports that it really made a change in her mother’s acceptance of in-home care.   Partnering with your parent whenever possible—hmm, now that’s something worth mulling over, with or without cider.     

Connecticut Fearless Caregiver Conference


Gary Barg

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