Monday, December 17, 2018
The November 30, 2018 print issue of Newsweek ran an essay published earlier in November by actor Rob Lowe, Who Cares for the Carer. The article explains the juggling required by caraegivers who work and the legislative efforts at both the federal and state levels. Mr. Lowe, in his essay, does acknowledge that his family has financial resources to hire others, and recognizes that many caregivers may not have that same option. Here are some excerpts from his opinion piece:
There are so many little ways a dedicated caregiver can be a game changer—someone who can dramatically increase the chances of a successful outcome for your loved one. It is critical, for example, for patients with a serious illness to have a third party with them at doctor’s appointments. When I was helping to promote an awareness campaign for a new chemotherapy drug in 2002, I came across a startling number: Patients often retain just 10 percent of the information they are being given. Ten percent!
He offers some heartfelt advice to the caregivers:
The people we are talking about—the friends and family members who are out there doing crucial work—are unpaid. Watching a loved one go through an illness, possibly ending in death, is stressful and depressing. Add financial and scheduling burdens, and the load for caregivers is enormous. To them I say, Don’t forget about yourself. When you get on an airplane, the crew says, “Secure your own mask first before helping others.” Why? Because without you taking care of yourself, you can’t take care of anybody else.
He closes with some final recommendations to caregivers, "don’t hesitate to get help. That’s why I’ve partnered with EMD Serono and EmbracingCarers.com, where you’ll find invaluable information regarding everything you’ll be, or are, going through."
I like to use real world examples in my classes and when I can use an example of someone my students know, I think it helps them understand the depth and breadth of elder law.