Page 11 - Senior Times South Central Michigan September 2020 - 27-09
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Senior Times - September 2020 Page 11
By: Anne Clark, Eldercare Specialist/Caregiver Coordinator, Senior Health Partners
  September – a beautiful month to celebrate you, the family caregiver. There are so many words I have for you and the work you do. The choice you make to help a loved one and be their person, advocate for them, sometimes you are their whipping post... so many roles you play, but to me – you are all Super Heroes!
I challenge you though, not to think about the wrong decisions or mistakes you think you have made for too long because many times there is more than one solution. Consider this, if there are 20 different ways to get to Meijer, the most important thing is that you make it to Meijer, and if you did, goal achieved!
18 and over should have an advanced care direc- tive in place).
You are the Wonder Woman, Captain America, Thor, and the Watchman among many more!
With family caregiving, our decisions are not as easy as how to get to Meijer but if we make some of our decisions before we are in crisis mode, we make better and more informed deci- sions. Think about what decisions you might have to make, write a list – pros, cons, what I could do, what would be the worst-case scenario. Try to think of situations and plan from there.
In my eyes, and for so many who work in the health care industry, the aging services, commu- nity services, organizations who touch the aging network, we KNOW that family caregivers are not just taking on a job for their person and family but many times it takes a burden off the community. It costs less to keep your person at home where they receive the care you would like them to receive. We know it also places a heavy burden on you and that is why – even though you are the True Super Hero – we are here to help you. Nobody can walk this journey alone; it is far too much for just one or two people.
Engage your whole Super Hero communi- ty to help fight the caregiver journey. Allow others to add their strength to your world and help to take some of the stress and burden off you. Remember, they may not do everything exactly as you do, but what is most important is that the job gets done.
You are amazing and we are so very thankful for the work you do. Please remember you are not alone. Super Heroes unite and let’s make this job as pleasant and successful as possible! Bless you all.
       The tasks you have taken on from watching over your person, fighting others off who may not have their best interests at heart, to using your hammer to stomp out bad decisions, and you are definitely the “Knight Watchman” to ensure they are safe through the night.
 You see, for the many jobs you encounter when you became a family caregiver, others have trained for years to master. Unfortunately, you probably did not get that opportunity. So many times family caregivers fly by the seat of their pants.
The area that I see the biggest breakdown of communication is when it comes to advance care planning. As a society, we often assume we do not need to think about this until we have received a diagnosis of a chronic or life threatening disease. This is so far from the truth. This is the BEST time to think about what you may or may not want in the event you could not speak for your- self. I have watched many people say, “I wish we had talked about this or that,” or “If only I would have known what they really wanted.” These dis- cussions take away the fear of making a wrong decision for another person or the pressure you may be putting on someone you love. Please do not wait, be the Batman and Robin team – work together to know what your person wants (anyone
  Family caregivers are typically very critical of the job they do because it is not perfect, BUT nothing ever is. Learn and adjust with your person's interests at heart.
In truth, we do not know, what we do not know, and that is where a mistake or a wrong decision can come from. My hope is that we can learn from mistakes and make different choices next time.
      Three cheers for
ten more years!
Thank you Calhoun County for voting to renew the Senior Millage! We look forward to another ten years of promoting health, safety, and independence for our county’s older adults.
315 West Green Street • Marshall, MI 49068 269-781-0846
                            Our family is excited to be a part of the Battle Creek Community.
                     The Dockerty
family brings over 20 years of experience to the senior living industry.
                                                                                                                                        HERITAGE ASSISTED LIVING is located at 14420 Helmer Road South, Battle Creek, MI 49015 REFLECTIONS MEMORY CARE is located at 14316 Helmer Road South, Battle Creek, MI 49015
— 269-969-2500 —

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