The Caregiving Concerto!

No one tells you this when you become a caregiver.  In fact, this is one of those things that just seems to happen and takes on a life of its own.  There are so many aspects of caregiving that can be overwhelming, but among them is the concerto that is formed as various experts take on roles in the process, stepping on toes, and leaving a wake of destruction.  From the well-meaning family members and friends who check in and offer advice from miles away despite not having any part in the caregiving, to the various specialists, the concerto builds.  This can include social workers or aids, the case workers, therapists, psychiatrists, physical therapists, and the general practitioner.  Everyone has a specific note to play and they all create a massive concerto, but for the caregiver, this is one piece of music that is disconcerting.

Unfortunately, the many voices that trample over each other can do more harm than good if they are not in tune with each other, and the caregiver can be forced to compose in order to keep the peace and to provide the patient with proper care.  This is especially a problem for cases where a patient has many problems and needs care from many specialists, or in cases where there are large families with a lot to say.  In many cases, these families will have more to say than to do because they think this caregiving from a distance, in some way, may alleviate some guilt from not taking on a stronger role.

Either way, the caregiver must handle this additional stress, and sometimes, no matter how hard they work, they can never get the harmonies right.  For those caregivers, or soon to be caregivers, who are in a position like this, realize, it is not always going to work out, and find your voice.  When there are too many people involved, let them know they need to learn to work together for the patient’s sake.  If there is unwanted advice from family, let them know that while you appreciate the advice, you are the one who is with the patient around the clock, and you would prefer they support you and the patient in the choices you make.  Do not be afraid to advocate for the patient and stand your ground if you feel things get out of control.  Sometimes, if you have a caseworker, you can get help with the organization.  Caregiving is never easy, and this is one more aspect that can drum up frustration.  If it gets too difficult, perhaps a meeting of the minds can put everyone on the same page.

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