When the Primary Caregiver Stops
My best friend is now in end-of-life palliative care. When my friend was dismissed from last hospitalization, her daughter from out-of-state came and took over my friend's health supervision, took her for med. appointments and treatments, collaborated with home health care provider and made her daily meals.
Friend's hubby is the most loving, helpful, patient, generous spirited man to wife and others I've ever known. He is in his 80's and while he can manage a fried/boiled egg and mashed potatoes, his kitchen skills are severely lacking. vbg Until my friend's hospital release, I'd been an integral part of caregiving with meal preps, communicating with medical team, etc.
The daughter's arrival and 2+ month stay proved a mixed blessing for both hubby and me. While both intelligent and very capable, the daughter also has serious emotional problems. Her jealousy of the hubby and her possessiveness of her mother had previously alienated mom and daughter. Her arrival on the scene, along with 2 teenage daughters and 2 dogs created increasing stress and turbulence with all connected to and at all levels of care for my friend. Her verbal attacks to hubby and overbearing behavior with medical team became so disruptive that friend sent her home on Mother's Day.
Her arrival also meant that, while a great relief, she took over all scheduling, tracking meds, etc. Due to covid and my own very serious asthma and compromised lungs, I self-quarantined 3/13th, stopped driving and cannot provide meals. I also fell out-of-the-loop on new meds, tracking & times as well as weekly appt scheduling.
One day ff her departure, her hubby was admitted to ER for kidney stones. It has been a daunting struggle stepping in to try to fill the gap and get up to speed. Home health, medical team and social worker have been wonderful. I did not have important phone numbers for home health, my friend's 2 out-of-town brothers or hubby's chldren. Nor did I have contact numbers for additional med. pros now scheduled since her hospital release.
As a result, it became imperative for me to compile an Emergency List of Contact Numbers and also an immediate list all meds and their scheduled times to be given. Things are better now. Hubby is home from hospital; appointments are now on a calendar and home workers are scheduled for daily meal and sitter help.
A long time primary caregiver for my mom, sister and nephew, I was blessed to never find myself out of commission or unable to do whatever was required. Because I live alone, Covid-19 and my friend's situation has made me incredibly aware of the need for me to supply my out-of-state daughter with a much more comprehensive list of Emergency Numbers, including meds and my vet and pet neighbor contact in case I should need an emergency trip to the hospital.
Are there other tips for those of us caregivers and live aloners that would help during this pandemic?