Expert advice

Prejudice in homecare

Today, our nursing agency called to say staff aren’t comfortable because my partner is gay.
He lives with Parkinson’s disease and I can’t manage on my own. Help…

This is sad to hear in this day and age. However, rather than fight it, it might be time to chat with another nursing agency. Making sure that your loved one is well cared for by people who want to be there and are well-intentioned is key. Start again with a new job description and monitor interactions and progress closely.

New medications

My husband gets confused with which pills to take. I’m sure he’s missing some each day. What can I do?

Make sure everything is coming from one drug store, including vitamins and over the counter medications. Talk to the pharmacist and ask them to blister pack his meds. The packs, which don’t cost any more, will have a bubble for each day and time that’s easier to track. Many people have found these packs a literal lifesaver.

Two households

My daughter separated from her husband recently, so my grandchildren are living between two homes.
I want to help out and see them more. Should I speak up?

You don’t mention if you are close-by or further away which makes the difference. And you didn’t say if you are willing and able to look after the kids on your own without their dad or mom. Talk to one or both parties and see how you can help and what might be possible. Hint: The more flexible you are the easier it will be for them and the kids.

Laundry day

How can I get our caregiver to help with washing my husband’s and my clothes? The laundry is in the basement and I can’t carry the full baskets on steep stairs. Last week I fell.   

The best thing to do is ask for assistance. Your safety is genuinely important. It may require an adjustment in the job description or negotiating additional hours with the caregiver or agency that is supplying their services. Remember falls happen very quickly so you are wise not to take risks. As their employer you can chat with the supervisor at the homecare agency and explain the problem. Worst case, ask family or friends for help before heading down the stairs again.

It’s only lunch

Friends want to introduce me to someone new. I’m a recent widower and not ready yet.
How do I handle their invitations?

Simply explain that you appreciate their interest in helping but you are just not ready to start dating again. Ask them to respect that decision.

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