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Overwhelmed Caregiver Accounts for Insufficient Family Updates


Photo credit Pandrej  Lisakov

Dear Carol: I have four siblings scattered around the country and one brother has stayed in the same community as our parents. This brother helped Dad with Mom’s care until she died and he’s now taking care of Dad. My brother is great except that he doesn’t keep the rest of us updated as much as we’d like. He says that at times he’s overwhelmed with work and taking care of Dad so his communication falls by the wayside. I understand that what he’s doing isn’t easy but we really need him to put a higher priority on communicating with us about Dad’s health. Maybe we could help more if we knew more. – VW

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You, too, Lou!

Yes Carol...Well said:-)
Have a great day!

Thanks so much for the supportive email, Lou. The thought of just getting through the day and then sitting down and sending even a group email about the same tired topic (to the caregiver) can be overwhelming. I do feel that families need to be kept up to date but they need to have patience and even give the caregiver some slack if things fall by the wayside. Your last point is very well taken. There are times when we can't even think of what we need help with because we just can't think - we just do. If they can say, "Let me come to town and run some errands for you!" Oh, what a gift!

Carol, this is great feedback. I helped care for my mom with Alzheimer's for 5 years until we recently had to place her in a home. It became unsafe for her at home (falling, agitation wandering etc.). My Dad has his own health issues that were getting worse. I, along with my brothers, had to place her.. it broke our hearts.. I never imagined this.. but Dad was suffering and I was having sleepless nights worrying, anxiety at times.
My brothers were not hands on so they didnt grasp how difficult and completely exhausting it is to work and take care of parents. I kept them in the loop about everything but sometimes it got hard to keep them informed.. too much going on and I needed a break in needing to update everyone.
Great point you made.. Family members need to touch base as much as they can. And the "But we ask if you need help and didn't say anything". You need to say, "Hey. let me tackle this task" or "I'm stopping by.. what can I bring". We as caregivers are constantly thinking and doing.. we dont have the energy to even think about the bathroom needing toilet paper:-) Blessings to all and Good luck. L.

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