Every worry needs a plan.
I remind myself of this regularly so that I’m not stuck in worry but engaged in planning which leads to action.
I’ve used this philosophy over and over during my caregiving experience. Sometimes, my worry prompts me to have a conversation. For instance, last spring, I began worrying about what to do immediately after one of my parents’ death if I’m the only one with them when one of them dies. I told them of my worry and then asked them, “Who do you want to come see you after you die?” They told me that want everyone to stop to say good-bye, even my AWOL sister who broke my mother’s heart. I’m grateful to know this because I now have peace about my sister’s visit. I then asked the palliative care nurse for instructions, which led me to meet with a staff member at the cremation society to begin finalizing plans.
To help you turns this practice into a habit, I’ve created five tips to help:
Name the worry. “I’m worried (fill in the blank).” Naming the worry turns a paralyzing thought into a courageous statement.
Ask the “What if” questions. For instance, if you worry about your caree falling, then you can ask, “What products might be able to help?” I’ve purchased Helping Handles, which I keep at my parent’s apartment. I also need to purchase skin protectors to protect my dad’s very thin skin on his arms. When my dad falls, the skin tears, which become significant wounds, land him in the hospital. I also keep supplies on hand including non-stick bandages. You also can ask your caree, “How can I help so we prevent falls?” You also could discuss what kind of injury merits a trip to the emergency room. My mom will refuse a trip to the Emergency Room, preferring to stay at home. My mom, though, is much easier to get up than my dad.
Communicate with others involved and impacted by any scenario. My niece, who often helps with my parents, and my dad know how to use the Helping Handles and where to find them.
Create the plan. You may want to write out the plan, delegating specific responsibilities, detailing where supplies can be found and indicating specific wishes. You also could map out the plan using graphics on sites like Canva. Or, perhaps you create a spreadsheet that includes contact information and notes.
Share the plan. You may share the plan with just your caree or with others in the family. You’ll know best who needs to receive a copy of the plan. In addition, revisit the plan regularly to ensure it reflects the reality of the situation.
Our Certified Caregiving Consultants use tools, our wheels, which also can help you create plans for the worries. You can use these tools to inspire your planning process:
Name. Ask. Communicate. Create. Share. During our stressful days, we may feel powerless to the problems. We can add back control when we remember that every worry needs a plan.
What plans have you created for your worries?
The Wall Street Journal mentioned our Family Emergency Planning sessions in an online article published on Thursday. You can join our free meetings, which take place on the fourth Friday of every month at 1 p.m. ET. RSVP.
You deserve an opportunity to tell your story to another who truly believes in the value of hearing it. I’d love to be your empathetic listener. Learn more and schedule your free two sessions with me.
In the spring of 1990, I had a flashlight moment which led me to my caregiving work. I believe everyone has a flashlight moment. During our virtual five- day camp which begins July 12, we’ll find yours. To enroll, just visit Caring Our Way, our community on Mighty Networks, and then click to start creating your membership.
Please join us on August 17, 18 and 19 at 1 p.m. ET for “Reflections on Caregiving During the Pandemic.” On August 17 and 18, family caregivers will join one-hour panel discussions to share their experiences during the pandemic. On August 19, we’ll convene for an hour to talk out solutions. RSVP.
Our Beginning Again Retreat will take place on August 6. Join us as you recover from your caree’s death and transition into what’s next. RSVP.