Which caregiver role fits you, right now?

Which caregiver role fits you, right now?
| by Pat Collins

Which caregiver role fits you, right now?

1. Hands-on— You are physically there, and you help with their daily needs: Dressing, bathing, toileting, brushing their teeth, meal preparation, feeding, etc.

2. Companion care— Your patient can do most things on their own, and you are there to provide company, emotional support, and make some meals. You may be asked to handle medication reminders and light housekeeping, take them to an appointment or run errands.

3. Long-distance caregiving— You probably live an hour or more away from your patient. You may be helping with money management, and you may be in charge of making appointments, finding in-home care assistance, and planning for emergencies.

4. Accidental caregiver— You did not see this coming right now. You know that help is needed, but are not sure what you are good at. You learn as you go and ask for help when you need it.

5. Reluctant caregiver— You may find yourself responsible for someone who you do not get along with or even someone who has abused you in the past. This one is very difficult to handle for the caregiver, and it may be best to find outside help immediately. In this case, transitioning to the long-distance caregiving camp may be the best option here.

6. A Swoop-in, create havoc and swoop out caregiver— These folks need an ass whipping! They come in every once-in-a-while, do whatever they feel like without regard to the care receiver or the care team, and get things stirred up. Then they leave. I like to assume positive intent, but I’ve found that, most likely, these folks are just waiting for the care receiver to die so they will not have to be bothered.

7. Provider of support to the caregiver— Physically and emotionally help the caregiver to excel at being a caregiver. You help the caregiver with the chores or things that need to be taken care of at their house or the house of the care receiver. (Laundry, house cleaning, cooking a meal or two, mowing the lawn, cleaning the gutters, running errands, etc.)

Some of you have never identified as a caregiver, it is just something that you do. You are helping your mom. You are helping your dad. You are helping your wife. You are helping your husband. You have never viewed it as caregiving, they need help and you will help them. It is that simple.

You never even give it a second thought; that is what family does for each other. I get it. I have been there too. It is what good friends do for each other too. While we don’t always identify with the word “caregiver,” that is what we are. A lot of us are the Lone Ranger. We are fine for a while. We can manage our lives, our jobs, our homes and all of our loved one’s stuff, for a while. Usually, it is about 18 months in and we are stressed out, frustrated, tired and overwhelmed. We look up one day, and wonder how we got here? It happened so slowly and it wasn’t too bad or too hard. But, now, it takes a lot more time and effort to help our loved one.

Your love for them has not changed. Your goals for them have not changed. Your goals for yourself have not changed. What has changed is your own health. We get tired and we just cannot get rested. Eating habits get worse, and lead to unwanted weight gain. Those stress headaches and lower back pain keep us off of our game. Work is work. It hasn’t slowed down and you are expected to perform at your best every day. You can’t concentrate as well as you could 18 months ago. You find yourself worrying more about your loved one, but you can’t remember the last time you had some free time.

What would help you the most in the next three months?

Do you need an easy to use, fill-in-the-blank essential information binder?

Goals for your binder:

1. Decrease your stress level

2. Empower you to be more in control

3. Help you make better decisions

4. Information will be easily accessed when needed

What to include in your Binder:

1. To do list

2. Banking and retirement Information

3. A list of bills with due dates

4. A list of Doctors and other Health care providers

5. HIPAA release form

6. Home information (home, vehicles, rental property, security sustems)

7. Income to be received (from Social Security, Retirement, Renters, etc.)

8. Medical bills and EOB’s (explanation of benefits, with tips and info)

9. Medical history (incl. diagnoses, surgeries, devices used, etc.)

10. Medicare and Medicare Advantage Plan (how to check on EOB or MSN for coverages and benefits)

11. Medications (list of medications, administration check-off list, incl. over-the-counter medications0

12. Online accounts (User names, Passwords, Answers to security questions)

13. Any other miscellaneous documents

Available as a Binder Kit (with pag es in sheet protectors, highlighters, ink pens and a mechanical pencil)


As a downloadable, fillable PDF file for Single use or Family Use

The next thing that may help you or your loved one is to KNOW whether the medications you are taking are working for you, against you or doing nothing for you. It is a genetic test for medications. You do it once and use the information for the rest of your life. It is a cheek swab. Have your own doctor, physician’s assistant or nurse practitioner order the test (they may use a prescription pad), get it to me and we will get you started.

Click here for more information and a list of medications that have a genetic impact

Find more services offered listed under the Options tab.

Option 1 is for an overview and is available to all.

Options 2 and 3 are researched, doable plans of action using best practices and your individual needs as guidelines. You will be heard and understood. These require a conversation and acceptance as they are customized and detailed.

** I won’t waste my time or your money, if these options are not for you. **

Options 2 and 3 are customized for the individual with researching, troubleshooting and support plans for the individual and the family.

The difference in Option 2 and Option 3 – Option 3 includes follow-up for three months instead of one month. With Option 3, updating the support plan is included. I am your guide and will help you to keep moving forward.

My goal with Option 2 or Option 3 is to help you have an understanding of your options, what you may be facing in the future and how to be as prepared as possible. To have the information that you will need to make decisions and choose the best options for you and your family.

Who do you know that could benefit from any of these products or services?

I need your help to get the word out about these products and services. I want to help those that need these things. If I can make their journey less stressful, that is what I want to do. Please pass along this information to those you know. Thank you for your time and effort.

All products and services are available throughout the U.S.