Tips For Caregiver's

People with Alzheimer's disease frequently become more disoriented after dark or when waking. Leaving a night-light on in the bedroom may be helpful.


Friday, June 15, 2007

Unreliable Help = Lifestyle Changes

Last summer, due to Mike's coaching schedule, we changed the aide's schedule. This change resulted in us not having an agency scheduled aide at the house on Friday afternoons from 12:30 until 5:30 p.m. to care for Muddear while we are at work. Initially this wasn't a problem, because over the course of the past year and a half we developed good relationships with a couple of professional caregivers who were willing to work private pay. Meaning we paid them out of pocket.

Unfortunately, the last three or four months, none of the private pay aides have been regularly available to work on Friday afternoons. This left us in a quandary...who could assist with Muddear's care? At first, my wonderful husband agreed to stay with Muddear - due to the cyclical nature of his business this was a good interim solution. However, now that business has picked up, Mike has been forced to juggle his schedule to accommodate our interim arrangement. While great for the situation, I began to reflect upon the selfishness of the arrangement. But I was allowing Mike to take on full responsibility of the problem without offering any assistance - my job is no more important than his. While as a business owner, Mike may have greater flexibility he shouldn't have to bear the burden alone.

Therefore, beginning Friday, June 22, I will begin alternating Friday afternoons with Mike. (At least during his busy season, which ends late Fall/early Winter.) On one hand this makes me very nervous. I have a full time job with a great deal of responsibility. I don't want to be perceived as a slacker. I am also afraid of the impact this will have on my work load, which already is overwhelming.

On the other hand, I know it is the right thing to do, so I am trying to see this change in schedule as an opportunity. I have the vacation time...I get four weeks of vacation per/year. (It is June and I have only taken one week.) Considering Mike and I are splitting Fridays that equates to two half days of vacation a month from June through December or 5 total vacation days. When you look at it that way it doesn't seem so least that is what I keep telling myself. (I am trying to allay my fears.) If push comes to shove, I could conduct conference calls from home if necessary or bring my laptop and try to work. We'll see how successful that is...

For many this probably doesn't seem like a big deal, but for me the situation is a little stressful. You see, the problem is that I am a potential workaholic. If possible, I would probably work 50 or 60+ hours a week. During the course of my life, I have been known to work two jobs and/or take on other church and community activities. I tend to feel lazy if I don't have enough to do. My husband thinks I have Adult ADHD, but that's another story. Both my husband and life in general have helped me slow down a little. and workaholic is one cocktail that doesn't mix.

Please keep me in your prayers as I change my schedule. My request...peace of mind and opportunities to purse my second love - writing.

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