DISCOMBOBULATE: Finding Caregivers from State to State

senior housing, raleigh-durham, N.C.Well, he just was. Discombobulated. It is where so many long distance caregivers find themselves.  Taking care of aging parents or seniors from a distance certainly causes caregiver stress which often leads to caregiver burnout.  Navigate NC can help.

Discombobulated . A three-sentence email from Johnny* (name changed) in Florida summed up the dilemma. The email read “My sister and I are both ill. We need help locating skilled nursing facility. We need to move 95 year old father from a hospital to a nursing home.  We need senior care we can trust in Raleigh-Durham”.

I studied his note a moment to decipher the actual need and to formulate a response. More information was required in order to begin to assist, but my thoughts lingered within the plight itself. Here is a very real need, one that is surely replicating right now in every state, heck, in every province or country.  This is just the kind of situation which causes caregiver burnout.

I am blessed to witness and be asked to be a part of someone’s starting point. Johnny and his sister want to help their loved one, their aging parent. There is no finer beginning. Let’s go.

Thus began the email volley and the phone calls that would initiate services. Johnny was in Florida but his sister was just outside our local area. Neither was well themselves. Both had physical limitations, he said. His only sister has emphysema and currently was battling the flu, nothing to minimize about that combination. Johnny never would elaborate on his own situation. Each was focused on taking care of their aging parent(Dad) from a distance which increased the caregiver stress.

Finding Senior Care

Long distance caregiving is the all-too-frequent responsibility that creates a distinct isolation. There is disconnect geographically. Communication among caregivers is at its best difficult. When it does occur it is often made more difficult by age/relating/time zone/preferred method or tool. So the senior is isolated, and in this case the Adult Child was also. A heavy burden with a side order of guilt or perhaps your side order is exasperation. Or I can’t be bothered. Or I don’t know where to begin. Or feeling like I am all alone.  No matter; the caregiver stress can be overwhelming.

My family became discombobulated within the same city, so perhaps it’s not always all a geographic phenomenon. We entered the kaleidoscope with eyes wide open, with keen sense of purpose, sleeves rolled up. Quickly we became bewildered, beguiled, frustrated while dealing with a moving target.

Long ago our family had assigned new meaning to an everyday phrase. You know, one of those inside jokes, the roll-our-eyes-here-we-go-again, stress-relieving kind of things? You see, the wedding day for my sister and her fiancé had arrived. Family members were roving the four corners of the county looking for specialty items for the reception that day (before cell phones, mind you, and “Just WHAT IS sauternes?” This was North Carolina in the ‘80’s). Time and time again as schedules, The List, and its requirements changed we dubbed every new set of marching orders as “The Current Plan”. For years beyond the wedding our family echoed the refrain “What’s the Current or Strategic Plan”, injecting levity into whatever event was at hand. That same phrase took on new meaning as we cared for our elders. It lived on. It serves us still.  As senior care managers, we find ways to help caregivers cope with the stress of taking care of their aging parents.

Johnny and his sister need a Strategic Plan, one that will likely change as everyone’s needs change. Right now they need someone to open a window and pull them through. We understand Discombobulated.  Through our strategic planning, we help reduce caregiver burnout by eliminating the stress of taking care of aging parents, especially from long distances.

If you and your loved ones could benefit from a Strategic Plan, need help taking care of a senior, feel you may be suffering from caregiver burnout, or would just like to discuss how we find windows, then simply Connect With Us or call us at (919) 628-4428. NAVIGATE NC is here for you, and for your family.  We serve Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill and all surrounding communities in the Triangle.

Image Source: BigStock.com


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