Expert Advice

BURNOUT COMING 
I’ve been rushed off my feet at work and I’m caring for my aunt each evening. It’s exhausting and her own kids don’t even seem to notice or appreciate it. Should I say something?
Most definitely. There are many reasons why others don’t step up when it comes to caregiving, some more reasonable than others. You are being very generous but there is no harm in asking for your aunt’s children to step up or at least to help arrange for alternate care. If you don’t get anywhere, check with her family doctor for advice and a possible referral for homecare.

SKIN RASH
Recently I noticed my caregiver has a nasty rash on her hands and arms. It’s awkward to ask her about it but I’m concerned it is contagious.
You should be worried until you know for sure that it’s okay and that he or she is getting the best treatment for it. If there is a homecare company involved ask them for advice. If you’re on your own, buck up the courage to politely mention you’ve noticed it and have some concerns.

POORLY BEHAVED
Little children who came to visit our long-term care home before the pandemic were too noisy and disruptive—running and shouting was quite common. Can I request peace and quiet?
Visitors, especially little ones, don’t always realize that there are appropriate codes of conduct or how much noise they are making. Best to chat with the home’s administrator and see what can be done for future visits. Perhaps there’s a separate area in the home where residents with visiting kids can use. It’s also okay to politely chat with them and ask them yourself as well.

SORRY, I FORGOT
Missing medical appointments has become a habit for my father who lives with diabetes. It’s embarrassing not to mention dangerous. My sister and I want to help but don’t really know where to start.
Researchers tell us forgetting appointments happens all the time, so he’s not alone. Assuming your dad isn’t intentionally avoiding them, try these tips: 1. Set up a calendar either in hard-copy or on his smartphone (or both) that you can all review each week. 2. Ask doctors to copy you on any correspondence so you can either take him to the appointment or assist with reminders. 3. Ask for texts or reminder calls for him from the doctors’ offices. 4. Try to book appointments on the same day or afternoon each week whenever possible.

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