When I found out that my grandmother needed to move from out of state to my area, I felt completely overwhelmed. I knew my life was going to change because I was going to be expected to meet many of her needs when my own life felt full already. I needed to determine whether or not she could still live on her own and if she could, I had to ask myself if I would be able to provide enough care for her in between working full time and balancing my own family. Once the decision was made to move her into an independent living situation all the other questions started to surface. I didn't know how to balance helping her without insulting her intelligence and making her feel like a child. I felt lost and frustrated. Once I spoke with a Geriatric Care Manager, I was able to share the multitude of feelings and questions I had regarding the caregiving of an elderly person. I invited her to sit down with my family and help us create a plan for what to do next. She was able to facilitate this family meeting that otherwise may have ended up a family mess. Having her there forced everyone to be on their best behavior, while giving each person a neutral outlet to share their fears and concerns about the expectations surrounding caring for a loved one. That meeting was a pivotal point in this process. Each family member left feeling empowered that they could do their part in getting my grandmother's entire life settled here.
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