The Careable Blog
Dr. Karen Pape
I was caring for my parents in their Rosedale home and as the care became increasingly complex, I was aware that the burden of care, added to my business responsibilities was affecting my own health. As my parents care needs were becoming increasing onerous , the unskilled caregivers were a challenge to organize, the food preparation was less than satisfactory, who could do the shopping and attend the numerous medical appointments with my father and mother etc etc
Around this time, while visiting a geriatrician with my father, I was introduced to Carol Edwards who while caring for her own parents seemed to appreciate the difficulties that I was experiencing. I decided to hire Carol, who was a nurse, and guide her through what I knew my parents needed and wanted. We worked together with staff training and reporting , Carol interviewed, hired and engaged staff from an agency with whom she partnered, we managed the food preparation and trained the staff to prepare food that my parents liked.
Carol, under my tutelage, attended physician appointments with my father. At first my parents resented Carol’s intrusion, but eventually warmed and actually came to trust her and appreciate her involvement in their care. I was now able to take vacation, and Carol remained close to my parents while I was away, rather like a substitute daughter. Carol reported directly to me on an as need basis and monthly.
The challenges increased and we involved other skilled assistance to both identify my mother’s care needs and my father’s equipment needs.
As emergencies occurred in the home Carol was both available and attentive. The emotional burden was now overwhelming and it was a benefit to have Carol to delegate tasks while other family members required support . Since I had my own family and responsibilities and other family members increasingly required support and everyone looked to me for guidance, since I was the physician in the family. With Carol’s assistance I had time to be with my parents as their health deteriorated.
Following my parents passing, I remained in contact with Carol, and have found many occasion to refer other “lost souls’ for her guidance and support. Her advocacy role has assisted many friends to navigate our complex and limited health care system.