Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Heavy Load

It's been a busy week so far and it just got started.  This is the first time I've had a chance to update in a while.

As a caregiver for my brother I sometimes feel the responsibility weighing heavily over my shoulder.  Being responsible for another human being and guardian over their well being can feel really overwhelming at times.  I feel it especially when it comes to financial matters.  

I recently got a notice from a collection agency concerning a physician's group in Okla. City.  I've never seen a bill from anyone so the first contact being from a collection agency really startled me.  After some digging all I've been able to learn so far is it dates back to May, 2011.  Since, we didn't start handling all his finances until 2012 there is no telling what the bill is for or whether Mike ever received a statement.

The other thing I'm working on is his Medicare/Medicaid.  I got a form yesterday to review his Medicaid eligibility.   I just get worried that I'll make a mistake on something but I'm just doing the best I can and that's all I can do.  Bless his ole heart....his cognitive decline has just been so swift that this is completely necessary.  My job is to keep him safe, happy and independent as long as possible.  So far so good.

Sometimes I really sense Ron's frustration if not resentment of the situation.  Our weekends are almost totally devoted to Mike.  A fact that is really hard for Ron.  But with both of us working full time the weekends are all we have to take care of Mike's needs like his shopping and house cleaning etc.  Plus we spend all day Sunday with him for church and lunch outings.  It's a lot to ask of my husband and though he assures me he knew what he was getting in to when he married me I know his life would be a lot less hectic if he hadn't.

But, all in all, we are grateful and very fortunate that we are able to accomplish what we do.  



Olga said...

Care taking is so demanding of time and psychic energy--exhausting. Take good care of yourself along the way and be ready to recognize when you can't do it anymore.

Anonymous said...

Olga is absolutely right! Just as we are instructed to first place the oxygen mask on ourselves and then put it on our loved ones in an airline emergency, so too must you care for yourself first, your husband next and then your brother.
Do you have anyone in your church who would be willing to visit with Mike for an evening or afternoon some Sundays or weekends so you and Ron can have a 'date'?
It is important for caregivers to have breaks and it is important for patients to be exposed to others with whom they can socialize.
You may need to hire someone for a few hours each week or on a monthly basis; expensive? yes. Worth it? Absolutely!
Your health must be the Number One Priority in this situation.
As a caregiver myself I can sympathize and empathize with your situation. It wasn't until I put myself first that all of our lives began to improve! And my 95 year old mother who is legally blind, hard of hearing and slightly demented is far happier and perkier these days getting visits from her "friends" (2 WONDERFUL caregivers we hired) and her better rested, less stressed daughters!