Many of us know people who have dedicated their lives to caring for elderly parents, other family members or acquaintances with disabilities. It is a continuous, unrelenting, and sometimes thankless job. For non-caregivers, it often feels like someone else’s problem. As attorneys, with a primary focus on elder care, estate planning and probate work, we hear stories from caregivers regularly. While the person receiving care no doubt is very thankful for the care being provided, have your ever wondered just how it feels to be the one who needs care?
Have you ever wondered what it’s like to have someone sitting with you watching over you every minute of every day? Can you imagine the complete loss of privacy? The complete loss of self one may feel as a result? It is a frightening experience and one that family or caregivers rarely think about. If you know someone receiving around-the-clock care, try to imagine how disheartening it may feel to rely on others for so much, without so much as a quiet moment of solitude. Try allowing the person receiving care to enjoy as much privacy as their condition allows. If constant supervision is not required, allow them time alone; remain busy in other parts of the house. Allow them space to enjoy the activities they enjoy whether it is watching TV, playing cards, working on puzzles, etc. The point is: hover only as required to perform the necessary tasks that keep them safe from harm.