In spite of evolution it all still comes down to drawing on walls. An oversized monthly wall calendar (20" X 30") hanging in our kitchen has been a key to juggling spouse caregiving (Multiple Sclerosis) and basically single parenting through the last 18 and a half years.
Since the advent of the care facility era frankly it has become MORE critical.
Caregiving is about time. When home caregiving surrounds you it is time itself. In the 24/7 care facility stage it is soooo easy to let other responsibilities or even a breath of fresh air distract you.
“Self help” and “self organization” gurus might call this an organizational tool. For me, every time I walk into or out of the kitchen it prods, pushes, pesters, and haunts me to “look” at the time I have committed to outings or visits with Patti.
My goal has always been to have Patti home or take her for an outing and then later personally prepare and tuck her into bed at her care facility at least 4.5 evenings per week. There are weeks this can be as challenging is not more so than homecare used to be. These are the weeks my wall calendar seems to bark at me like some drill sergeant over my morning cup of coffee.
Bottom line is that it is all about making sure the care facility era does not become a time of drift, but rather the age of team work. You must stay in the fight.
Caregivingly Yours, J Patrick Leer
(also available in Blogger edition, Caregiver Blog: "Caregivingly Yours")