If you’re looking after an older relative whose health is in decline, and you are experiencing chaos, it might be because your plan for elder care is reactive. An attorney at a Life Care Planning Law Firm explains in Part 2 of this series.
What are the most common signs that you’re taking a reactive approach to elder care? We posed this question to Bailey Schiermeyer, a Certified Elder Law Attorney at Elder Law of East Tennessee, a Life Care Planning Law Firm with offices in Knoxville and Johnson City. Bailey offered up three signs in Part 1 of this series. In this article, she addresses two more common signs.
Sign 4: The primary caregiver is burnt out.
Caregiver burnout is remarkably common, and it often serves as a wakeup call for families where one member has been shouldering the majority of the burden. Bailey says that if everyone in the family isn’t thriving, there’s a problem. “I tell my clients that a plan for the care of an older adult is only as effective as it is healthy for everyone else,” she said. “If daughter or a spouse is killing themselves to take care of this person, it's not working, and we’ve got to go back to the drawing board and figure something else out.”
Working with a Life Care Planning Law Firm gives family caregivers a way to delegate some of the responsibilities to a professional team of people who have the training to do those things. This takes a tremendous load off family members. “Sometimes it takes an outsider to see that the current system is broken and that not everyone is thriving,” Bailey explained. “When people are in the thick of caregiving, they can’t always see that they are in a situation that's unhealthy. They lose the ability to see the big picture.”
Sign 5: You think it’s pointless to plan.
If you throw up your hands and say there’s nothing you can do and that you have no choice but to react when there’s a crisis, it’s a sure sign that your approach is reactive. It virtually guarantees that you will experience one crisis after another.
Life Care Planning makes it possible for family caregivers to have a different experience. One of the central tenets of Life Care Planning is that it’s possible to plan proactively for elder care. “Many people formed their beliefs about elder care from what they saw in their families when they were growing up,” Bailey explained. “Many people watched their relatives care for older loved ones and have their lives turned upside down by one crisis after another. It’s easy to see how you might conclude that you’re powerless to predict what will happen next when it’s your turn to be the caregiver.”
Working with a Life Care Planning Law Firm helps families discover that there’s a different way to manage the elder care journey. It also helps them reframe their experience. When you have a team of professionals guiding you through the elder care journey, it’s easier to focus on the positive. “There’s a mindset shift that happens among people who find their way to Life Care Planning Law Firms,” Bailey added. “They focus on making the most of the time they have left with their loved one. Life Care Planning is the ultimate in proactive elder care. It’s about planning to live rather than planning to die. It's a wonderful gift for everyone.”