”Aging With Care,” by Amanda Lambert and Leslie Eckford, Rowman and Littlefield Publishers, 2018, hardback, 250 pages
Leslie and Amanda have both had personal experience in finding care for their aging parents. They decided to collaborate on a guide to hire and manage caregivers at home. The most important passion they had in common was to support older people who need to continue to live in their own familiar surroundings. They write of the pitfalls and advantages of each option and how to navigate changes.
Their most serious disconnect was of their approach. One preferred using an agency and the other wanted to do the research and hiring herself.
Interestingly written with real life stories, as I read the book I saw the future for my husband and me. There are practical tools offered at length, charts and lists so that despite the hazards of old age there are opportunities to access some quality of life.
Given the changes in the landscape of geriatric society, this guide is essential to feel confident you are able to face the inevitable. There are creative suggestions to employ from the first indication when you think, “What are we going to do about Mom and Dad?”
If you are the one beginning to need help, you can begin to educate yourself as to your future years. The terrors and treasures in managing health care are detailed, including online addresses to research different states’ rules and regulations. Using colorful anecdotes, interviews, and insights this overwhelming time seems to become manageable.
One tool offered is a list of emergencies or difficult situations:
• Getting family on board;
• Delegate when possible;
• Resistance issues;
• Patience but firm, fair and friendly; and
• Realize it will take time to find a caregiver or an agency.
The “Throwing in the Towel” chapter admits that as time goes by, living at home or assisted living facility is not a viable option. Be ready to recognize the limitations, even though the situation has been working. Management eventually becomes mismanagement.
Levels of assistance must be accessed in bathing, eating, meds, mobility and other daily activities. The biggest problem with any facility is — it isn’t home. The authors recognized that they could not control the universe. Having knowledge allows us to make informed choices for the moment. When that moment passes, we will make further decisions. There is no “right” way for everyone.