You Got To Do What You Got To Do

Perform A Hazard Check Of Your Home

A friend recently broke her knee cap and needed to have emergency surgery. After spending some time in a rehabilitation facility she was sent home to to continue with her physical therapy. When she returned to her home she realized how items in the apartment made it a difficult to get around with a walker or wheelchair. When I visited her I pointed out some of the hazards in her home. Looking at the various rooms it brought back memories of walking around my house looking and making sure there were no hazards for my dad and mom. That was a routine I did constantly for over 20 years.

Before you even get in your home there are usually major obstacles, the steps outside the door mat and the door threshold. Some people go up the steps by using the large wheels of the wheelchair and others use the rails to hold and climb up the stairs. Others have ramps installed to overcome this problem. It all depends on the condition and ability of your parent.

Inside there can be all kinds of obstacles and hazards. Loose throw rugs and carpeting on the floor can cause someone to slide to disaster. Furniture placed too close together can prevent a wheelchair or walker from moving freely. Protruding cabinets, bookcases and tables can cause clothes to snag and prevent movement of a walker or wheelchair.

Some homes, especially older ones, have narrow halls and doorways. Some room doors are only 28 inches wide and the bathroom door can be only 24 inches wide. Too narrow for some walkers and wheelchairs. Narrow paths between bathroom vanities and kitchen cabinets can be an obstacle. Oven, dishwasher and refrigerator doors can prevent easy movement in the kitchen. Large beds and bedroom furniture make rooms a lot smaller to maneuver. Glass tables can protrude and be deadly if someone stumbles and falls on them. Light weighted chairs can move when you try to brace yourself for stability. The list of hazards and obstacles can be quite long.

Hazard and obstacle checking your home is a task that is ongoing and lasts as long as you are a caregiver. It needs to be completed constantly because your home environment changes, sometimes daily. Don’t become lax in this task because that’s when an accident will happen.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

James Colozzo
Author-“You Got To Do What You Got To Do”
www.takingcareofaparent.com

James Colozzo is not a medical expert or professional and has no formal training or education on this subject. He is an average person that was given a challenge and had to deal with the situation. His experience comes from the over 20 years that he actually did all the work to care for his elderly parents and their medical conditions. Since every person, condition and situation is different, what Mr. Colozzo did to care for his parents might not be suitable for others. You need to partner with your physician to find what type of care is best for your situation.
Copyright © 2020 James Colozzo

To make a comment please email author@takingcareofaparent.com

The New Year For A Caregiver

The new year for the caregiver of a parent can be a challenging time.

One of the challenges can be dealing with all the Medicare and supplement insurance changes. If your parent happens to change Medicare and supplement insurance plans it could be a stressful time as you deal with the new deductibles and procedures. Even if your parent didn't change insurance plans there is always a new procedure or process that has been implemented by Medicare and/or their current insurance. That’s why it always takes longer at the pharmacy or doctor’s office at the beginning of the year.

Paperwork has to be re-signed at every doctor, medical professional and/or facility visit. Even with electronic forms there always seems to be a new form that has to be filled out or an existing form needs to be signed every year. You ask questions based on the changes and hopefully you get answers to satisfy your curiosity but usually the answers just create more questions. The amount of forms just adds to the complexity of our health care system.

As a caregiver you might want to set new goals for the new year on how you care for your parent. This can be a great way to change your routine and learn something new. One goal should be to try to get some help and/or try to make sure you don’t get burned out. Try to get some time for yourself. I know this is easier said than done and in the over 20 years I cared for my parents it never happened. I don’t want to rain on your goals but this is the normal reality.

Get yourself prepared and ready for the challenges of the new year. In my experience they always came and I had to deal with them just as in previous years. Good luck and Happy New Year!

Thank you for your time and consideration.

James Colozzo
Author-“You Got To Do What You Got To Do”
www.takingcareofaparent.com

James Colozzo is not a medical expert or professional and has no formal training or education on this subject. He is an average person that was given a challenge and had to deal with the situation. His experience comes from the over 20 years that he actually did all the work to care for his elderly parents and their medical conditions. Since every person, condition and situation is different, what Mr. Colozzo did to care for his parents might not be suitable for others. You need to partner with your physician to find what type of care is best for your situation.
Copyright © 2020 James Colozzo

To make a comment please email author@takingcareofaparent.com

Advice From Others

Over the years of taking care of my mom we came in contact with many so-called caregiving experts. Every time she was in the hospital someone would visit and tell us what was best or what we needed. The one thing that was common with all these so-called experts was that none of them had ever cared for a parent. The way I found out was I asked them directly if they ever took care of a parent. The answer was always the same, “No.” You are always told this is the best way to do this or that and when you listen to some of this advice you ask yourself, “Would I want to be treated like that?” Most of the time the answer is, “No,” and you realized the advice you have received made no sense. I started asking some people when they gave advice that I thought was ridiculous, “Would you do that to your mom?” Most of the time they would not answer the question and say, “I’m not in that situation,” or “I’ll deal with it when it happens,” or my favorite, “my mom is different.” Everyone’s situation is different so there is not a “one size fits all” mentality when it comes to being a caregiver. What works for someone else might not work for you. There are a lot of guides that tell you what is the best technique for many situations. There are also a lot of people that will offer advice on anything that you do.

During the course I was a caregiver I received a lot of advice. It came from doctors, registered nurses, licensed vocational nurses, home health nurses, rehabilitation specialists, lab technicians, pulmonary technicians, pharmacists, hospital social workers, dietitians, nutritionist and many others. If any healthcare professional gives you advice it is because they have seen numerous incidents of how people take care of a parent. Advice also came from friends and family. I always listened and asked myself if this advice would work in our situation. A lot of times it didn’t, but on the few occasions that it did, it made a difference in the way I was taking care of my mom and dad.

There is no harm in asking for advice because it might help you with your caregiving duties. Any advice that can make things better for your parent and easier for you can go a long way into maintaining the quality of life for both of you. One thing to remember is that because every situation is different, the book is still being written on how to be a caregiver and it will never be finished.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

James Colozzo
Author-“You Got To Do What You Got To Do”
www.takingcareofaparent.com

James Colozzo is not a medical expert or professional and has no formal training or education on this subject. He is an average person that was given a challenge and had to deal with the situation. His experience comes from the over 20 years that he actually did all the work to care for his elderly parents and their medical conditions. Since every person, condition and situation is different, what Mr. Colozzo did to care for his parents might not be suitable for others. You need to partner with your physician to find what type of care is best for your situation.
Copyright © 2019 James Colozzo

To make a comment please email author@takingcareofaparent.com

Caregiving-A Constant Learning Experience

Being a caregiver is an on going learning experience and the education does not stop until you are no longer caring for your parent. The medical field and caregiving is changing daily so you will never know everything. New technologies and procedures are making a huge difference in the quality of care. Knowing what to do is the result of learning whatever you can.

When I was taking care of my dad it seemed that everyday was a unique challenge. I was in uncharted territory and everything was new and a learning experience. My father’s situation, when he became seriously ill, proceeded rapidly and he passed away within six months of his worsening condition. I learned a lot in a short time. With my mom it was over thirteen years of unique challenges and situations. It seemed whenever we went to the doctor or she had a diagnostic test there was a new challenge ahead. I was learning as I was going along.

No matter what you have been taught or what you have read you will always be learning when you are taking care of your parent. Depending on your parents condition and the diagnosis, new procedures might be able to help you. What you do today might not be what you do tomorrow. The same goes with your daily routines, what you have done for many months might change because you learn to do something different that makes it easier and/or better for your parent. Anything that can help you with your daily tasks should always be welcomed.

Not only is it a learning experience for you but it is also for your parent. They are also learning because probably this is the first time someone has had to take care of them since they were a child. Things that they did for themselves for years now have to be handled by someone else. Routines that were normal and they took for granted have to be carried out by you so they can go on with their daily life. That might be hard to get use to so they are learning how to cope with the situation. That is another reason why you need to put yourself in their shoes because it would probably be hard for you if you were in the same situation.

As things change while you are a caregiver the more you learn, the more you can adapt means the more you can do. Caregiving is not an exact profession because it is different for each person that you are caring for. It is also a job that is a constantly revolving process. You will know your parent so well that you will be able to notice every little change and you will adapt your care to deal with it. It is a continuing learning experience that will last as long as you are caring for them.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

James Colozzo
Author-“You Got To Do What You Got To Do”
www.takingcareofaparent.com

James Colozzo is not a medical expert or professional and has no formal training or education on this subject. He is an average person that was given a challenge and had to deal with the situation. His experience comes from the over 20 years that he actually did all the work to care for his elderly parents and their medical conditions. Since every person, condition and situation is different, what Mr. Colozzo did to care for his parents might not be suitable for others. You need to partner with your physician to find what type of care is best for your situation.
Copyright © 2018 James Colozzo

To make a comment please email author@takingcareofaparent.com