Thursday, January 21, 2016


From the first moment you know you’re going to be a caregiver you should be looking around and finding others who have done it and are doing it. You need to use seven simple questions as the basis for gaining knowledge as fast as possible.

The questions are What? Why? Who? Where? When? How? How Much?

When I would take my mother to a doctor’s appointment I’d always take a notepad and pen. I’d write the seven questions in the upper left-hand corner of the pad. Seeing the questions prompted me to ask better questions and my retention rate was higher, I remembered more.

A sad, unnecessary statistic is that most people forget over half of what  doctor tells them before they ever leave the doc’s office; that’s absurd and dangerous.

I had two docs ask me about the pad and questions, “Whataya have there?” I’d tell them, “This is how I’m going to ask you better questions and not forget what you tell me.”

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

New You, Best You

Ok, my rant from the last post is over…kinda.

There’s a wonderful, monthly magazine published in the Pinehurst area of NC, Outreach, that is aimed at readers who are 50+. I’m writing a caregiver column for them for each month this year.

Carrie Frye, editor of Outreach, makes me sound a LOT smarter than I am. Carrie has done a wonderful job of picking a theme for each month. I’m trying to aim my column at each theme.

The theme for January is, New You, Best You. The piece I wrote focuses on becoming the best caregiver you can be, but not feeling guilty if you aren’t at your best every day.

If you want 2016 to be different, and better, than 2015 in your caregiving life; or, if you believe 2016 might be the year you become a caregiver, here are two ideas I can guarantee will help: 
- First, get a notebook. If you don’t have a notebook, or something to keep info, ideas, rants, and phone numbers in, you are already putting yourself at a deep disadvantage. And yes, if you can do it all on your cell phone, God Bless You…I’m not that organized or efficient.
- Start making a list of all the things you have questions about; legal, medical, personal, financial, spiritual, schedules, networking, help, family, organizational (where do your parents keep financial information in the house?). 

The more you try to keep all this stuff in your head the higher your stress level and the more mistakes you’ll make.

If you are going for New You, Best You as a caregiver, get a notebook and start making a list.