This special focus of National Caregiver’s Month really hits home with me. My sister has become our mother’s caregiver since she was diagnosed with dementia and we realized she could not live alone any longer. Mom now lives with my sister and brother-in-law
First, I want to publicly say thanks to my sis – she is a very special, caring, giving person. I appreciate her every day, and am grateful for all she does for Mom. I am glad there is a month set aside to stress the changes – and challengers – one experiences when they take on this responsibility. I admire her strength and compassion!
In some lucid moments spread over a couple months, Mom asked us to prepare her house to be sold, and also for all of us to pick what household items, furniture, decorative items or collectibles we’d all like to have. It’s a sad, heart-wrenching experience to go through her house, room after room, and know she’ll never be back again.
And this brings me to the second reason I wanted to discuss Caregiver’s Month. I feel a need to encourage everyone to have a personal property inventory of their belongings. You never know when there will be a need for a list of all you own, and having it completed now will take a burden off of family members or close friends. The original document can be updated as new items are purchased or old items discarded. It’s a kind act to do this so others don’t have to.
When mom asked us to inventory her house, it was 8 years ago and we had just started our business. She was intrigued by the process and was only thinking of fires or tornadoes. No one, at that time, even thought about dementia being the reason for needing the list of her belongings. But now my sister and I can use it as we, our children and grandchildren begin to choose what items we’d like to have. We don’t have to take the time to create this list when there are so many other things we must do.
So during this Caregiver’s Month, think about how you can help those who might become your caregiver – have your personal property inventory created now. They will thank you! You will have given them something they will appreciate when they are feeling the emotion, sadness and mental and physical exhaustion. You will have given them one less task that they have to deal with, and a tool that will make it less emotional and more organized.