Always have a back up person in case you can’t be there to be a caregiver

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This just sounds like common sense but too many times, one person feels like they are the only one capable or willing to take care of the loved one.

Recently, I was sick for over 3 weeks.  Had my mother still been with us, who would have been able to take care of her?  I would not have been able to be with her as I could have given her my chest congestion,cough and other symptoms.  Symptoms that are bad for you would be possibly fatal for someone with a compromised immune system.

It does not always have to be an illness.  It could be a family emergency that takes you away like another family member ill, having a baby or a death.  Also, sometimes it is job related.   Sometimes you just need to have a break.

If your loved one has family and friends around that could step in or if you would have had to hire someone if you have an emergency, it is important that you have enough information available for the “replacement” to do what you do on a daily basis.

If family and friends are not available, make sure you have a medical team (CNAs, CMAs, bath aides, nurses, etc) up to date with the necessary information.  You can find employees like this through your local health department, senior center, Area on Aging or your health professional.

This can be as simple as having a representative of their agency come out, visit with you and your loved one.

For example, you need to have the medication schedule written out with where and how the medications are bought.  What is a typical daily schedule?  Are there any food allergies?  Does food need to be prepared in a special way?  Where is any non medical equipment (special eating tools, bath aids, etc) that you use? Is there anything that brings out bad behaviors in your loved one?  What calms them?

What to you is automatic may not even occur to someone else.

This is why I think it is critical to have the binder that was discussed in a previous post.  It has the doctors involved with your loved one, medications, other treatments such as physical therapy or any other therapy, etc.  It also has a copy of all legal paperwork such as living will, DNR, etc.

A calender is also necessary for medical appointments that are coming up.

So bottom line, make sure everything in the binder is kept up to date.  It will give you peace of mind in case of emergency.



12 thoughts on “Always have a back up person in case you can’t be there to be a caregiver

  1. I just had this wake-up with my kids. I had to take one of my younger ones to the ER and has to make so many phone calls to try to get someone to pick my first grader up from school. We just moved and don’t live close to any family. I hadn’t prepared for this and had no way to get his emergency medication to him. The school wouldn’t release what they keep there. I definitely need to make an emergency/ back-up plan.
    Jessica recently posted…My Child Accidentally Injected Herself With Her Epi-Pen. Lessons I Learned and Should Have Known.My Profile

  2. What a great post. I work in healthcare and so many learn all this the hard way. I have just been given the green light to give some resources to a pamphlet I’ve been working on for patients with local resources for assistance for anything like meals to rides to companions. I’ll be following your blog along for ideas to add to my resources <3
    Kim @ WampumHome recently posted…Bodhi n Dharma’s list.My Profile

    • I think that somehow caregivers should have all that information in one place but it would be hard to figure out who would be in charge of it. I bet your patients and their family think you are a Godsend.

    • I always had backups but they were miles away. As I sit here with my leg in a brace, I know I could never have taken care of mom like this. It is hard on anyone caring for a loved one but being the sole caregiver would be extremely hard.

  3. These are wonderful suggestions! I have used “Control Journals” over the years that have saved so much time and hassle (especially the time I went into Pre-term labor). I need to update mine and re-establish the habit. Having these things in place as help make it easier to step away from care-giving as needed because is much easier for a replacement to step in with instructions handy.
    Samantha recently posted…How I Broke My Kid and How I’m Fixing ItMy Profile

  4. This is such practical information. You are so right. It’s one of those no brainers that we may just not think about. I can only imagine the stress of being a caregiver and suddenly not being able to take care of my loved one, and not being able to give someone else the needed details of the care. The binder is an awesome idea. Just putting it together and having ready can give you peace of mind.

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