How to Make Life Changing Decisions – Sept 4, 2019
The Caring Generation® – Episode 7 September 4, 2019 On this caregiving radio program Pamela D. Wiilson, caregiving expert, talks about How to Make Life Changing Decisions. Special guest Maro Casparian talks about how to avoid financial scams.
How To Make Life-Changing Decisions Radio Show Transcript
00:05 Announcer: Caregiving can sometimes feel like an impossible struggle. Caregivers may be torn between taking care of loved ones and trying to maintain balance in life. The good news is that it doesn’t have to be that way. The Caring Generation with host Pamela D. Wilson is here to focus on the conversation of caring. You’re not alone, in fact, you’re in exactly the right place to share stories and learn tips and resources to help you and your loved ones. So now, please welcome the host of The Caring Generation, Pamela D. Wilson.
00:45 Pamela D. Wilson: This is Pamela D. Wilson, caregiving expert, I am your host, you’re listening to The Caring Generation Radio program coming to you live from the BBM Global Network and TuneIn Radio on the BBM Global Network page. The Caring Generation focuses on the conversation of caring, giving us permission to talk and laugh about aging, the challenges of caregiving, health, well-being, work-life-family balance, and everything in between. All important things that we should know about life. You’re not alone; you’re in exactly the right place to share stories and become more informed. Please invite your family, friends, co-workers, and others to join us every week on The Caring Generation, because needing care or becoming a caregiver can turn our world upside down. Helpful information is on my website at PamelaDWilson.com. This week we’ll be talking about making life-changing decisions by looking at emotional trade-offs related to care decisions that include managing well-being and health. I call this the price of not putting a price on love. If you’re a caregiver or the person receiving care, you know that life situations don’t always happen according to our plans, sometimes we have to make difficult decisions.
02:10 Pamela D. Wilson: In my 20 years as a caregiving advocate, I have been legally responsible for making life-changing decisions for my elderly clients. I’ll share some of these situations with you tonight. In the second segment of this hour, we’ll visit with a special guest, Maro Casparian, the Director of Community Outreach, and Engagement for the Denver, Colorado District Attorney’s Office. She joins us to talk about scams, financial, telephone, Internet, and how you can avoid being scammed. I don’t know about you, but oh my, I get at least one solicitation phone call every day if not more. There are so many scams out there. Let’s begin our conversation about making life-changing decisions by talking about emotional trade-offs and difficult choices. I’m going to start with some of the more difficult decisions you will ever have to make, meaning life or death decisions, and then we’ll work backward. If you are squeamish, be forewarned. If you had to choose between any of these life-changing decisions, which would you choose? You are diabetic and now suffer from kidney failure, that will result in death, if you do nothing. Or you can go to a dialysis center for treatment, four days a week for four to six hours a day for the rest of your life.
03:32 Pamela D. Wilson: What do you choose, death or dialysis, knowing that if you ever stop the dialysis, the result is death? Do you want to buy time today to live, by participating in dialysis or end your life? The next choice. You suffer a change in health that results in being unable to eat, drink, or swallow. The only option to keep you alive is a feeding tube inserted into your stomach. No more eating solid foods. No more drinking and swallowing. Do you choose death or a feeding tube? Next, you have Alzheimer’s, and you can’t feed yourself because you can’t remember how to use the silverware. And your living will says that you don’t want to be kept alive by artificial nutrition. That living will doesn’t include a definition about being hand-fed. Your Alzheimer’s has progressed to the point where you can’t tell your family what you want or don’t want. Your children are arguing about your wishes. What would you have wanted if you knew you would have Alzheimer’s, starve or be fed? Making these life-changing decisions can tear families apart. And the last one, moving to a little easier territory, help an aging parent stay at home or move to a nursing home? We’ll talk more about this one later in the hour.
04:53 Pamela D. Wilson: These are all life-changing decisions that become part of aging and part of being a caregiver. If you are the medical power of attorney, you have an even greater responsibility to do the right thing when taking care of an aging parent. If you want more information about power of attorney, and living wills, it’s on my website, pameladwilson.com, under the “how I help” tab. Your medical power of attorney should know your wishes if you are diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or dementia. Do you want whatever care is necessary to live and be comfortable? Meaning that if you do forget how to use silverware, somebody will feed you. These decisions are so common yet most probate, elder law or estate planning attorneys, they don’t know how to talk to you about these decisions, because they’ve never had to make them. It is totally up to you, to be as detailed in your living will as possible. [chuckle] Thanks for hanging in there while I shared examples of these difficult making life-changing decisions. I know that talking about this can be scary and uncomfortable. Sooner or later, most of us will be faced with making these decisions. It’s better to be aware of what might happen so that we talk and plan for these concerns today.
06:09 Pamela D. Wilson: And by the way, if you don’t have your medical and financial power of attorney documents and a living will completed, I highly encourage you to take a look at making progress in doing this. Accidents happen. The unexpected happens. It’s difficult. Let’s move to a light subject of making difficult decisions that affect you, but are not life-ending. How many of you remember what you were thinking when you decided it was time to move out of mom and dad’s house? You had to choose an apartment. Maybe you also chose a college, a husband or a wife. You might have decided to have children or make a decision to change jobs. These are all big decisions because they change the future of our lives. Many of these decisions are significant life transitions, a lot like becoming a caregiver. Experiencing health concerns in our later life, all these changes, and becoming a caregiver is a significant life transition. Even though we don’t talk at all or really talk enough about how to respond to these changes in health, or even create a checklist of things that we do when we become a caregiver. Most of the time these discussions are delayed until we don’t have any choice, but to talk about them.
07:33 Pamela D. Wilson: At that time when we feel pressured to make decisions under stress, we don’t always make the right decisions. Sometimes we make mistakes, and sometimes we’re worried about being blamed for any kind of decision that negatively affects our aging parents or our spouses. Because you know how this goes, it’s like that old saying about elephants, aging parents, and spouses never forget what we do or what we recommended. Ah, it can be difficult. We’re about to change subjects and talk with Maro Casparian, the Director of Community Outreach and Engagement for the Denver, Colorado District Attorney’s Office. I had the opportunity to call her about a month ago because I was involved in a scam about a local electricity company. They threatened to turn off my electricity even though I had paid my bill. All of these scams are so serious; because becoming a victim of a scam, it is so easy. It happens so easily. I don’t want you or a loved one to become a victim of a scam. Stay with me for this important conversation. You are listening to The Caring Generation Live on the BBM Global Network and TuneIn Radio on the BBM Global Network page.
11:06 Pamela D. Wilson: This is Pamela D. Wilson, caregiving expert, I’m your host. You are listening to The Caring Generation coming to you live from the BBM Global Network and TuneIn Radio on the BBM Global Network page. You can follow me on Facebook at PamelaDWilson.page where you can watch my daily Facebook live videos and join my groups. The Caregiving Trap for family caregivers, and The Caring Collaborative for professional caregivers. We’re back to talk about how to avoid being scammed on the telephone, through the Internet and other ways that these pesky scammers find their way into our lives. Maro Casparian from the Denver, Colorado District Attorney’s Office joins us, Maro, welcome to the show.
11:49 Maro Casparian: Oh, thank you very much. I appreciate it.
11:53 Pamela D. Wilson: So, I’ve been talking about this show all week, and for listeners who are concerned about scams and being scammed, can you share some examples of the top three scams that are happening right now?
12:04 Maro Casparian: Absolutely. I guess I would first say that all scams are really those that have happened year over year, but they just get refreshed and re-circulated and updated probably based on technology. So, you have the three basics, the IRS scam; you haven’t paid your back taxes, social security scam, which actually I got that call the other day that said my Social Security card was terminated and shut down. And then another one, which is, it’s really about impostor scams, and what your listeners may be familiar with is the grandmother scam, or we kidnapped someone or your loved one is overseas and has been robbed and needs money. So those tend to be the nuts and bolts of the scam.
13:02 Pamela D. Wilson: Well, and I like you got that call from Social Security last week, I go the same call, and I’m like, “You’ve just got to be kidding me.” And we were in touch about a month ago about…
13:09 Maro Casparian: Oh, it’s so real, it’s so real sounding.
13:13 Pamela D. Wilson: Well, it is and like we talked about a month ago about that Xcel energy scam, it’s crazy. I’m blocking all of these numbers, and I know to be suspicious, but how would a consumer know that the Social Security call or the IRS call or this kidnapping thing, how do they know that those aren’t real because they’re emotionally stressful?
13:37 Maro Casparian: Yes, you’ve hit the nail on the head. It’s not just emotionally stressful; it’s scary. And I will say the first thing a scammer wants to do is to scare you. We all know that when we’re scared, we act in a different way than we normally would be. So, we tend to lose our reasoning brain and just go to, “I’m going to fix this.” So, to answer your question directly, how are some signs? First of all, no legitimate company will ever call you directly without first initiating a mail or certified mail. The IRS will certainly never initiate a call. Nor will social security. Nor will Medicaid. These are legitimate companies that would never ever call a customer directly. Okay, so if you think about it, it just doesn’t make sense, but if you receive that call, just a reminder, while blocking is a good technique, scammers use burn phones. When we spoke, I appreciated that you gave the phone number, but that phone number will change right away, or within the next call or two.
15:03 Pamela D. Wilson: And Internet scams. So, I got an email the other day from a credit card company, and I knew that one, my credit card companies don’t email me. But it came from, instead of Visa, it was some other name. But again, if somebody’s not paying attention and they get an email, and you click on the link in that email, what happens? Does your computer get taken over or how do these Internet scams work?
15:30 Maro Casparian: Well, there are so many things that can happen with an Internet scam. First of all, when you get an email like that, just to your point, it looks just like your MasterCard or Visa card. Or it can even look like FedEx. I received an email from FedEx saying that my package was ready to be picked up. But when I looked in the URL, which I call that little thing, WWW up in the top corner, I call the return address; it was www.phedex. So, first of all, I always tell people look at the URL, look at that “return address” and see if it makes sense. Second of all, if they’re saying anything, look for the language. Is it a generic or personal greeting? Look up the organization they’re saying they represent. Call that organization and say to FedEx, “Did you call me?” Don’t respond to the email. Be a good investigator is what I tell people. Do your own research. You got this email, and as I said before, the first thing they want to do is scare you, take you off guard. You didn’t pick this up. I am kidnapped, I am in England, and I’ve had my wallet stolen. That’s what they want you to respond to. Do your own research. If you get that kidnapping scam, call your friend, “Are you home? Are you in England?” Does that make sense?
17:18 Pamela D. Wilson: It does, it does, and I had…
17:19 Maro Casparian: Also, poor grammar… Go ahead.
17:21 Pamela D. Wilson: You know, another quick example is, I would get emails from friends, okay, that were their emails. And I think you call that spoofing, right? It looks like it was from my friend’s email and instead of responding, I did what you said, I picked up the phone, and I called.
17:36 Maro Casparian: Good for you, perfect. I also want to say, and I know this is very hard to do when you get those scams on the phone, my general comment is, if you do not recognize the phone number, don’t answer it. Don’t answer the phone if you don’t recognize a number. And that’s hard to do these days with cell phone and quick technology. But if it’s a legitimate person, they’ll leave a message. Now, some scammers will leave a message, but it will give you time to think if you listen to it on your voicemail. So, all these spoofing and emails, it’s very difficult for people to really look at it and understand that it’s fake, but look for those things. The language doesn’t really match the person’s background. People can change the URLs, as I said, FedEx is not the PHED. So always look at those, and I’ll tell you, I will say that the FedEx logo on that email that I got was perfect, but any scammer can grab those logos off the Internet and paste it on a fake email.
19:00 Pamela D. Wilson: We are going to head out to a break, so stay with me. We’re going to be back. We’re going to continue our conversation with Maro Casparian about scamming. I’m Pamela D. Wilson, your host. Podcast replays of The Caring Generation are available now on all of your favorite sites, iTunes, Spotify, Spreaker, iHeartRadio, Stitcher, Google Podcasts. You can listen everywhere. You can download the program. You can take it with you to the gym. Listen to it in your car. Please share details about The Caring Generation Radio program live on the BBM Global Network and TuneIn Radio on the BBM Global Network page with your family, your friends, everybody in your workplace, your social groups, everybody you know because we talk about important information on this show every week that can help you. Stay with us; we’ll be right back after this break.
22:06 Pamela D. Wilson: This is Pamela D. Wilson, caregiving expert, I’m your host. You’re listening to The Caring Generation Radio program for caregivers, and aging adults, coming to you live from the BBM Global Network and TuneIn Radio on the BBM Global Network page. Let’s continue our conversation with Maro Casparian from the Denver, Colorado District Attorney’s Office. Maro, can you talk a little bit more about the phone calls that come in? And if they’re local or long distance and how you should handle those. If you think they’re a scam or somebody that you don’t know?
22:40 Maro Casparian: Sure. As I said before the break, try this discipline, which is, don’t answer the phone if you don’t know, if you don’t recognize the number. Program in your doctor’s phone number, so you know it’s the doctor. People have relied on it for years before technology got so up-to-date, people relied on seeing these 866 numbers, these long-distance numbers and they could identify, “Oh, that’s a long-distance number, oh, that’s a number I don’t recognize.” But now with spoofing and voiceover IP, it doesn’t matter how they do it. It’s the fact is that scammers can make a number appear on your cell phone or your caller ID, and if it’s any number local is now the hot one, so it looks like 303 calls, 720 numbers. So, they’re taking you off guard. They’re making you think, “Oh, it’s a local call. It couldn’t be a scammer.” Yes, it is. And as a matter of fact, a number of years ago when the chief of police was Chief White, I got a phone call, and it said caller ID from Chief White. That’s how good these scammers are. They want to throw you off guard. They want to scare you. So, I knew Chief White was not going to call me. But it sure threw me off guard. So, don’t rely on the phone numbers.
24:13 Pamela D. Wilson: Well, and that’s what happened with me with Xcel Energy, it came from Xcel Energy, and it even had that, you know, da-da-da-da, the music from Excel Energy, and I thought, “Oh my gosh.” Let’s talk about social media a little bit. I have received some Facebook Messenger messages from my friends on Facebook, and it’ll say something like, “Oh my gosh, I have such good news to tell you. You’ve won this,” and getting money this way, and I know that it’s not real, but how on earth do people get into our Facebook accounts? [chuckle]
24:44 Maro Casparian: Well, I guess what I would say that with the evolution of social media and technology, it has made life really, really lovely for scammers. What a great opportunity for them to just get anything they want. Social media is relying on you and all of us, to provide all your information, your family information, how much information do you share on Facebook? Do you share what your home town is, your birthday, the names of your children, schools that you went to? Anything like that leaves crumbs and clues for scammers to pick up along the way. So, the popularity of social media combined with how social media is an open platform, as they say, makes it very easy for scammers to reach an enormous number of people in a quick amount of time. How do they do it? What would you look for?
25:57 Maro Casparian: So yes, they hack into your friend’s Facebook, and you get a messenger with Sally is waving at you. Oh, you have to see this and click on it. Now remember, let’s go back to emails. We trained everybody to be cautious about email. Scammers got ahead of the game, and now they’re doing that same thing on Messenger and Facebook. So be wary. If you’re not sure or you haven’t heard from somebody in a while or somebody that doesn’t normally reach out to you, email that person, text that person. “Did you just text me?” More likely than not, if that’s an unusual circumstance, they’ve gotten hacked. And scammers want you to click on these things. How about those ads on social media? How about, Ray-Bans for $20? Who doesn’t want a $20 pair of Ray-Bans, and you click on it, so you could get any number of things, a Trojan, malware on your computer, you could lose your personal information, any number of things. It depends on what that scammer’s shopping for.
27:12 Pamela D. Wilson: Does it help if you change your password a lot? Is that something that you recommend?
27:17 Maro Casparian: Always. And people hate for me to tell them that. But choose your passwords carefully. Change them every 30 days, and do not make the password the same for every single site. I know it’s hard, but it’s very… and there’s password vaults that people can use, and it’s a software, and you can look it up on Google, for different software for passwords.
27:40 Pamela D. Wilson: And do you think those are safe? Are they pretty safe to use?
27:45 Maro Casparian: You know, the safest thing is for you to remember your own passwords and hide the password book in your drawer.
27:54 Pamela D. Wilson: Yes, that makes sense.
27:55 Maro Casparian: Anything on the web will get hacked. May or not be, but change the passwords is the most secure thing you can do.
28:04 Pamela D. Wilson: I thank you so much for joining us. We’ve got to head out to the next break. So really quick, 10 seconds. Should people report these crimes to the district attorney, what should they do?
28:14 Maro Casparian: I want to tell you that the first thing that you should do is, I always recommend that people call FTC, the Federal Trade Consumers, ftc.gov. Also, and they aggregate all the complaints. It’s very difficult to track down scammers because they’re mostly offshore and certainly our office wants to hear about fraud and scams because we want to alert people just like you did, that this scam is going around, and I thank you for that because you did increase their awareness. [The number for the Denver DA Fraud hotline is 720-913-9179.]
28:49 Pamela D. Wilson: And we have got to cut out to our break, this is Pamela D. Wilson. You’re listening to The Caring Generation. We’re going to take a break. We’ll be right back.
31:16 Pamela D. Wilson: This is Pamela D. Wilson caregiving expert, I’m your host. You are listening to The Caring Generation Radio program for caregivers, and aging adults coming to you live from the BBM Global Network and TuneIn Radio on the BBM Global Network page. The Caring Generation is the place where we share tips and things you should know about life, help, hope, and support for caregivers is available on my website at pameladwilson.com.
31:44 Pamela D. Wilson: Let’s start again by talking about the price of not putting a price on love. Since we don’t talk about this in society, about becoming a caregiver for aging parents, for spouses, for others, the idea of caregiving is really pushed aside to be a family responsibility, and we don’t talk a lot about care or caregiving costs. And the cost of caregiving are not purely financial. They can be physical, emotional, and very personal. These costs directly affect our lives. Why then, don’t we talk about this more? If you were with me during the opening of the show, you know part of the answer. We don’t talk about the effects of care and caregiving, because it can be emotionally stressful and difficult. We, as humans, we don’t like to face these emotional challenges or have to make life or death decisions, or sometimes even talk about the stress of caring for elderly parents.
32:47 Pamela D. Wilson: As we talked about that decision to have a feeding tube put in, choosing to participate in dialysis, or even being hand-fed, because we can’t feed ourselves, oh, that’s enough to send our stomach on a roller coaster ride. Those subjects are enough to make us queasy and very uncomfortable. We also don’t want to have to put a price on the life of a loved one. We don’t want to have to choose A over B, because of cost, whether it’s financial, emotional, physical, or personal. Let’s talk a little bit about personal cost, which might be the easiest ones for us to understand.
33:29 Pamela D. Wilson: Your aging parent becomes sick. You might or might not have any family, brothers, or sisters who can help you out. And you are the one who accepts all of the responsibilities. But you have a career. Your own family, maybe you’re stuck in the middle where you’re raising your children, and you’re caring for your aging parents. If you’re like most caregivers, on average, you spend 24 hours a week helping your parent. One in four caregivers spends more than 40 hours a week. How many of you fall into those categories? Twenty-four or less or 40 or more? I suspect a lot of you. Especially those of you who are professional caregivers working in care communities. Where does this caregiving time come from? It comes from other parts of our lives. So, maybe time that you spent working extra hours before so that you could advance your career. Maybe you were going to night school, and then you decided, well, I have to end these classes because I have to care for mom or dad.
34:33 Pamela D. Wilson: Maybe it was time spent with your husband, your children, your friends. I know caregivers who have stopped going to church or the gym or spending time outside in nature. All of these things that are good for us–that keep us sane as a caregiver. Caregivers will give them up one by one by one. And I know this happens. Because caregivers tell me all the time. They give up these things in their life because they love. So even love has a price. Caregiving does have a personal cost. And I know many of you are going to tell me this isn’t possible. It is possible to manage caregiving, so that you don’t lose all of your life, place your job at risk, place your health and well-being at risk. How do you do this? You ask for help. You become better at organizing your time. Choosing your priorities. What steps have you taken to move in this direction or have you? I’ll tell you — you don’t have to stay stuck where you are. Everything that we do is a choice. You don’t have to say, “Oh, this is just who I am. I know I have to struggle with this. It’s difficult.” No, no, no, no, no. Don’t let your mind become conditioned. Don’t let your mind say to yourself, “Oh, this is just the way it is. I can’t change it.”
35:57 Pamela D. Wilson: I want to share a story of a client who had very complicated health situation, and you can learn from this story. So, this client had diabetes, heart disease, osteoporosis, COPD, a lot of issues. He was a veteran, and he lived in a nursing home, and he was in his 90s. I took care of his wife before she passed away. She was still living in their home when he was in the nursing home because she was independent. But she couldn’t take care of him. She was diagnosed with cancer and passed away, and so, over time this man became depressed. How many caregivers out there feel depressed or maybe you have a parent who lost another parent, who’s feeling depressed? I watched this depression get worse day by day. Before all of this happened, he would sit out in the lobby of the nursing home and he would people watch. He would rarely be in his room. He was super social; he enjoyed everything. And all of this started to slip away; he started staying in his room more, he wouldn’t get out of bed. He stopped eating his favorite foods. There were a lot more bad days than there were good days.
37:11 Pamela D. Wilson: And I mentioned all these concerns to the nursing home staff, and they ignored me. They told me that John wasn’t depressed. They gave him a test called a depression scale, and they said that he passed the test. Well, if you know this, of course, he passed the test. What older adult wants to admit that they are depressed? None. Being depressed is viewed as a sign of weakness. These are important things, because you may see this happening in your parent or a spouse, and you don’t have to let it happen. My client was apathetic; he didn’t care about life. He wasn’t motivated to do anything. We’re going to continue talking about this when we come back after the break. I will share the rest of John’s story. But if you’re in that situation where a loved one isn’t getting the care that he or she needs, you have to speak up, just don’t let it go astray because you’re responsible for taking care of your aging parents. Help me make The Caring Generation valuable, interesting and entertaining for you. If you have comments, ideas or suggestions, and you are listening on the BBM Global website page, on The Caring Generation page, scroll down to the bottom, during this break, leaving a comment or a suggestion.
38:22 Pamela D. Wilson: I’m Pamela D. Wilson, caregiving expert, I’m your host. You’re listening to The Caring Generation live from the BBM Global Network and TuneIn Radio on the BBM Global Network page. Podcast replays of the show are now available wherever you are, iHeartRadio, iTunes, Spotify, Spreaker, Stitcher, Google Podcasts, SoundCloud, Digital podcasts and more. Please share The Caring Generation with everyone you know; we’ll be right back after this break.
41:03 Pamela D. Wilson: This is Pamela D. Wilson, caregiving expert. I’m your host. You’re listening to The Caring Generation coming to you live from the BBM Global Network, and TuneIn Radio on the BBM Global Network page. Let’s get back to the question of what happened to John? So, John, my client who was depressed. He started doing less and less. He needed help. Before he could walk, now, he was using a wheelchair. How on earth could the staff of the nursing home not notice this? Well, it’s because they were called what I call “facilitized.” For those of you who are listening, who might be CNAs or care staff working in care communities, you probably know what I’m talking about. The staff at this nursing home were defined by their environment, which was the nursing home. There are so many older adults there who are depressed and apathetic that this was normal to them. They didn’t see anything wrong with John being depressed. They didn’t believe that anything could be done. If you are a family member, don’t fall into this trap and if you’re a caregiver working in a community, you can do something about it. It’s important to talk to the staff at the nursing home, the doctors at the nursing home, and you may have to be pretty persistent.
42:19 Pamela D. Wilson: I eventually had to contact the Veteran’s Hospital. Because John was a veteran and I found a geriatric psychiatrist who met with him, who prescribed some depression medication that in a few weeks worked. Depression medications, you may know this or not, but they don’t work immediately. Soon he was back to dressing himself, walking, sitting in the front lobby, talking and joking with staff, and the nursing home couldn’t believe the change in his behaviors. This is an example for all of us that we can really become limited by our environments. Those could be our friends, the places where we work, even the way that we think, and it’s a far-reaching thought or a life lesson. We have free will; we can change. We don’t have to become a part of environments or friends that aren’t good for us. In John’s situation, I wasn’t going to allow his health to be ignored just because the care community staff thought that, “Well, he’s old, everybody is this way.” If you are care community staff, do you go in day after day and do the same thing? Do you think about people that you’re caring for and the effect you could have on their lives? I know that you can do this because I’ve seen it happen.
43:39 Pamela D. Wilson: One motivated person, whether in a family or if you’re a professional working at a care community, you can change lives. My mission for this Caring Generation Radio program is to start a positive movement for caregivers, for working caregivers, employers, and businesses. We have to recognize and support caregivers, who take care of loved ones, and professional caregivers. In my opinion, being a caregiver, it is so under-recognized for all the work that caregivers do, and it is undervalued. Caregivers make life-changing decisions. They understand the price of not putting a price on love, of taking action when other people tell you that it can’t be done. The cost, and I’m not talking financial, the price of being a caregiver who has to make these decisions for an aging parent or spouse can be difficult especially when you’re not sure what to do, or people are ignoring your concerns. Sometimes you might feel pressured by others who are telling you that something can’t be done. None of us have to accept average care for our parents or loved ones or honestly below-average customer service. Refuse, don’t accept it.
44:54 Pamela D. Wilson: Set new standards for yourself and for the care of loved ones. Know that you may have to continually explain to doctors and nurses and care staff why you want what you want. I had to do that for my clients, because care staff, they grow into ruts. Sometimes they want to treat patients like every other patient. You have to be persistent to achieve your goal. Here’s one of the secrets that you should know about managing the emotional cost of not putting a price on love. Being a caregiver is like an up and down roller coaster, you feel like you’re on a teeter-totter. The choices that we have to make don’t always feel like good choices. Sometimes it’s a choice between what we see as bad or worse. How many of you have been in that type of position? Let’s say that you have to make a choice between keeping your aging parent at home or moving them to a nursing home and you are just struggling. You’re doing everything that you can, working, taking care of your children, your husband, your parent needs more care. You’re also watching their health decline. You have this fear, this worry in the pit of your stomach that, “Oh my gosh, something worse is going to happen,” and you don’t know what to do. And you’re afraid to talk to your parent about this.
46:12 Pamela D. Wilson: It’s no surprise. None of us want to talk about nursing homes. The thought of having to move a parent from their home to a nursing home is one of those conversations we don’t want to have. Maybe the doctor or other people are telling you that your parent needs more care. You have two options, keep your parent at home or move your parent. When we look at these decisions, it is essential to look at all the options. Let’s say that you do make the decision to move your parent to a nursing home. Have you thought about what’s involved? And again, we’re not talking about money — yet. Research talks about the differences between how adult children and elderly parents make decisions, and it’s very different. The younger people, we tend to make lists, pros, and cons. We’ll do spreadsheets. We’ll look at alternatives. On the other hand, elderly parents, they may want to delegate, delay. Sometimes they even refuse to make a decision, and a lot of that is based on their past experience. Older adults don’t like a lot of choices. They don’t like a lot of alternatives, because it feels so overwhelming. How many of you have parents who say that the only way they’re leaving their house is feet first, meaning dead. My clients said this to me all of the time. They wanted to stay home.
47:37 Pamela D. Wilson: After this break, I’ll share information, we’ll continue to talk about this, we’ll talk about our show next week. I invite you to follow me on social media, on Facebook, my Page is PamelaDWilson.page. Most mornings, I do a Facebook live video based on comments from caregivers. There are over hundred videos on my Facebook page. On Twitter, I am Caregivingspeak, on LinkedIn, I am Pameladwilsoncaregiverexpert and on Instagram, I am Wilsonpamelad. I am your host. You’re listening to The Caring Generation live from the BBM Global Network on TuneIn Radio and the BBM Global Network page. And if you haven’t heard, The Caring Generation is now just about everywhere. We have been accepted to iTunes. We are on Spreaker, and we are on Spotify. You can listen and take The Caring Generation with you wherever you are, and wherever you go, to the gym, in your car, at the workplace. So please share the show with others. We want to get the word out about the program and stay with me; we’ll be right back, coming up after this break.
51:05 Pamela D. Wilson: This is Pamela D. Wilson, caregiving expert, I’m your host. You’re listening to The Caring Generation Radio program for caregivers, and aging adults coming to you live from the BBM Global Network and TuneIn Radio on the BBM Global Network page. Before the break, we looked at talking about the pros and cons of moving mom or dad to a nursing home, where we know they don’t want to go. Next we want to take a look at keeping mom or dad at home, the pros and the cons and what that might take. Keep in mind that we’re talking about the practicalities of our time, not necessarily money. But then that leads to whether we need to hire help, or if we’re going to move them, what a nursing home costs and so on. Involving our parents in these discussions, even though it’s super uncomfortable for us is mandatory. Because we might need to know about their financial situation.
52:04 Pamela D. Wilson: More than likely, our parents are not going to want to even talk about this. Because they don’t want to talk about moving to a nursing home. It’s really a frightening thought. It’s a last resort. But sometimes it can be the only option. Last week I heard a story about daughters who took their mother to a nursing home. Mom had no idea her daughters were going to do this. They went out to lunch, and then they took her to a nursing home. Can you guess how that worked out? Not very well. Mom was terrified. She felt that her daughters didn’t really care about her and wanted to just dump her off in a nursing home.
52:46 Pamela D. Wilson: A surprise visit to a nursing home without a prior discussion, not really the best way to begin this conversation. We fear talking about the realities of care with elderly parents, but the discussions are important so early on so that we don’t find ourselves in this position of having to talk about moving to nursing homes or making a choice that we didn’t previously talk about. I know these realities, these conversations, they’re never easy. Being a caregiver, it’s a life-changing transition. We have to learn all types of new skills to be successful in taking care of our parents. Communication skills, those are skills we can learn. Put yourself in the position of your elderly parents. Think about how you would want to be approached about moving to a nursing home. How might you react if your children sprung this idea on you? When we put ourselves in the place of another person, we are more successful about having the conversations that go smoothly instead of resulting in any type of conflict or disagreement.
54:06 Pamela D. Wilson: Our subject next week is going to follow up on this idea. We will talk about health changes and how we can choose to make good decisions instead of ignoring or avoiding the subject. It’s the idea of doing what we know in our minds is good for us. Thoughts like, “I don’t have the time,” or, “it’s not that bad yet,” those don’t work. We all have a million excuses not to do why we should do things that are good for us. What are some of the reasons that you might be thinking about? If nobody has told you this week that you are amazing, or if they haven’t thanked you for everything that you do, I want to thank you. All caregivers face different challenges at each step of the way as the demands of being a caregiver increase. Being a caregiver or growing older, gosh, it can feel like a struggle. Help, hope, and information are on my website, as is my caregiving library, courses and other help for aging parents. I thank you for joining me on The Caring Generation Radio program. Please do share the program with everyone that you work with and everyone that you know. It’s important for us to be able to get the word out.
55:30 Pamela D. Wilson: You can also visit my website, which is pameladwilson.com for helpful information. I do look forward to being with you again next Wednesday evening. We’ve got some great subjects coming up. Invite your family and your friends to join us. God bless all of you, sleep well tonight, and have a really fabulous day tomorrow.
55:54 Announcer: Tune in each week for The Caring Generation with host Pamela D. Wilson, come join the conversation and see how Pamela can provide solutions and peace of mind for everyone. Here on Pamela D. Wilson’s The Caring Generation.