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Professionals: Listen to Caregivers - Aging Wisely

I was fortunate to have Carol O’Dell, a favorite author and speaker, agree to be a guest speaker for my Eldercare course last night. As always, it was great to hear her story as a family caregiver to her Mom and have her read some of the excerpts from her book, Mothering Mother. One of the things that always strikes me when I hear her talk, is how those of us who work in this field have to remind ourselves who we’re here to help and why we do what we do. Which means: the great rewards of these jobs and our responsibility to our clients…but also, remembering that purpose in the day to day process. How can we make life easier and help families caring for aging loved ones? How can we make our policies and procedures more flexible or adapted to meet their needs? How can we tailor solutions to each family? What does the person need in the moment-sometimes a listening ear, sometimes reassurance they’re doing the right thing, sometimes a quick answer, responsiveness, an end to “the run around”, permission to be upset or take a break, an offer to make that call or do that task for them rather than adding more to their pile of “to dos”…

I’m lucky to work with a team that keeps this as their every day focus. Carol’s stories are words of wisdom to us all.

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