Walnut Creek, California (EastBayDaily) — “How come I can help you with your parent, but I’m frozen in my tracks with my mom?” After 27 years of helping families understand and cope with dementia and/or memory loss, Linda Fodrini-Johnson, MA, MFT, CMC, finds herself riding the same wave. She is the immediate past president of the National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers (NAPGCM) and has advised many people on the very subject matter she is currently dealing with.
Last month, Fodrini-Johnson’s 88 year-old mother had a stroke that ultimately led to her having to take control of her mother’s affairs. She was surprised by the scenarios that went through her head and the decisions she started making way before she even knew the magnitude of the stroke. “Can she live alone?” “Should I insist she move closer to me?” “Can she drive?” “Is she a target of exploitation?” “Will a caregiver who lives-in take advantage of her?” “Should we spend all her savings on home care if that is her wish or what if she can’t make that decision?” “Will she regain her ability to live independently?”
“As much as these questions filled my mind, as time went on, I knew I actually had to address them while wanting to give her a feeling she is still in control,” says Fodrini-Johnson. The decisions are tough and realizing one might have to take the control from an aging parent is almost as hard as having to actually do it.
Fodrini-Johnson offers six tips to make coping with having to take control of Mom or Dad’s affairs easier on the adult child and the parent:
1) Realize you don’t have to do everything in a day – prioritize and pace your activities. 2) Be sure medical providers talk to your parent and not just to you – their dignity is at risk. 3) Remember it isn’t you who put mom or dad in a care setting, it was the ____________ (name the condition: stroke, surgery, accident, Illness, etc.). 4) If you are taking over financial duties tell your parent just enough (not all the details) to keep them from worrying about paying bills. 5) Look for a geriatric professional to work with who can be your coach and mentor. 6) Practice self-care. Balance each “have-to-do” with a “love-to-do”.
Life is full of “potholes” that we almost never see coming and we find them hard to get out of. The hard part is seeing a parent’s changes and knowing he or she will never be the same. “Despite my grief and having her project some of her anger onto me, I love Mom even more. I will do what I need to do to preserve her dignity and give her some semblance of control over her life,” Fodrini-Johnson adds.
For more tips or resources, contact Linda Fodrini-Johnson at (866) 760-1808. A class offering more tips is held on the third Friday of each month in the Eldercare Services Walnut Creek office.
About Eldercare Services: Linda Fodrini-Johnson, MA, MFT, CMC, is the Founder and Executive Director of Eldercare Services and immediate past President of the National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers (NAPGCM). Eldercare Services is a pioneer in a unique delivery of services, providing counseling, Geriatric Care Management, Home Care services, family support groups, classes and community education serving Bay Area seniors and their families with offices in Walnut Creek, Oakland and San Francisco, California.
For more information on Eldercare Services, visit http://www.EldercareAnswers.com.
Contact: Danielle Getchman | Marketing and Public Relations Coordinator Eldercare Services |(866) 760-1808 | http://www.EldercareAnswers.com