Surviving the Emotional Rollercoaster
The Caring Generation® – Episode 4 August 14, 2019 On this caregiving radio program Pamela D. Wilson, caregiving expert, talks about caregiving and Surviving the Emotional Roller Coaster. Caregiver anger and caregiver resentment are common feelings when caregiving stress rises. Special guest Michael Hackard, Esq. joins Pamela to talk about elder financial abuse and how to avoid becoming a victim.
00:04 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.
00:48 Pamela D. Wilson: This is Pamela D. Wilson caregiving expert. I am 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. TuneIn radio on the BBM page and Beautiful Colorado. The Caring Generation focuses on the conversation of caring, giving us permission to talk and laugh about aging. The challenges of caregiving health and everything in between.
01:15 Pamela D. Wilson: You are not alone in fact, you’re in exactly the right place to share your stories and become more informed. Please invite your family, your friends, your co-workers and others to join us each week on the Caring Generation. We have a great show for you tonight, this week, we’re going to be talking about the ups and downs of the caregiving roller coaster. For caregivers of aging parents and spouses who have health conditions, we all know that life can change in the blink of an eye. There are so many decisions to be made about taking care of family members. It can be crazy.
01:50 Pamela D. Wilson: In the second segment of this hour we’ll visit with special guest Attorney, Michael Hackard to talk about elder financial abuse. Michael has practiced law for 40 years. He represents clients in California and federal courts, and the focus of his practice is Estate, Trust and Probate law at his law firm in Sacramento. He is going to be giving away free books tonight. His book is called “The Wolf at the Door.” So stay with us to find out how you can get a copy of his book.
02:22 Pamela D. Wilson: How many of you love amusement parks, roller coasters and those rides that make your stomach feel like it’s dropping. Or that you have the experience of continual butterflies. That feeling that you get in your stomach on a roller coaster is the same feeling that you might have, when you’re a family caregiver or a professional caregiver.
02:44 Pamela D. Wilson: Many in-home caregivers and certified nursing assistants have similar worries, and similar feelings about the clients they care for. Why does being a caregiver make us feel like we’re on this up and down roller coaster? Part of the worry is all of those unexpected things that happen. Caregivers worry about what might happen tomorrow. We don’t know what to expect. How many of you feel that way? Caregiving is so much of the unexpected. It’s also like that feeling we get when we’re watching a scary movie and we can see what’s behind the door that the actor in that movie can’t see. Sometimes I just want to cover my eyes so that I don’t have to watch what’s coming because behind that door, it’s scary. It’s usually not good for the person on the other side of the door who doesn’t know what to expect, so much like being a caregiver.
03:42 Pamela D. Wilson: Another part of that roller coaster is worrying about health conditions of an aging parent or a spouse. Because caregivers don’t have a lot of medical background, being responsible for the care of an aging parent or a spouse, it can feel nerve-racking. I felt this way when I was caring for my mother over 20 years ago. There is so much to do in taking care of all of the daily tasks. Back then I didn’t know how to take care of her medical care. I thought all that was up to the doctors to manage. Many of you may think the same way. After working in the healthcare industry for 20 years, I now realize that really, only about 10% is up to the doctors and the healthcare system. The other 90%, it’s our responsibility as the family caregivers.
04:38 Pamela D. Wilson: The idea of having all of that responsibility can easily make caregiving feel even more like that emotional up and down roller coaster. My challenge over 20 years ago was that, I didn’t know what to ask. I didn’t even know what was important to ask. Many of you tell me that you feel the same way. The doctor might talk to you, but all of that information being explained, it doesn’t make sense. And then, oh my gosh, time is limited because of the insurance guidelines and the number of people that a doctor has to see every day. We are rushed in and rushed out. We’re lucky to have 10 minutes, maybe 15 minutes. That can be difficult when your aging parent wants to chat and be social with the doctor, and you see that visit timer, it’s ticking away.
There’s barely time to talk about the reason for the appointment and then you are shushed and rushed out that door. You might get some information from the doctor, but it might not have been enough to answer your questions and maybe you wanted to accomplish a lot more, but there just wasn’t any time. Sometimes that issue is with the style of the doctor. Some of them will just rush you in and rush you out quickly. Other doctors may actually be more interested, how amazing. And try to make sure that the questions you have are answered and that you and your parents or spouse understand all of the recommendations from that appointment.
06:14 Pamela D. Wilson: How many times do we find ourselves in a situation where we feel like we get little bits and pieces of the story? Then we keep going and we talk to somebody else who gives us maybe a little bit more information and then maybe another person and then all of a sudden it starts to make sense. My own personal experience when I’m learning something new, that seems complicated is that I have to spend time reading and asking questions and participating, and then reading again to make any progress. What I find, though, is the more that I reread or re-listen or take a look at my notes, it all makes sense. My suggestion, when you go to the doctor is to have a written list, write out your questions, write out the answers that you get so that when you leave there’s no confusion over what was discussed.
07:08 Pamela D. Wilson: Learning aspects of how to be a caregiver is the same learning to care for loved ones who have multiple health issues, it can take a little bit of time, a little bit of repetition and most of all, sharing with others. I was with a amazing group of caregivers yesterday at a Transition Living Group, and the caregivers were sharing information back and forth with each other and the really cool, amazing thing was some of these caregivers were in a different place, so some of them had more experience than others, some of them were a little further down the road in caring for loved ones, and so it was great to see the more experienced caregivers, sharing with the caregivers who didn’t have as much experience and then really everyone was amazed by all of the information that we talked about, things that caregivers never even imagined could happen.
08:06 Pamela D. Wilson: There are support groups and information on my website, it’s Pamela D Wilson, you can check out the How I Help tab, we’re going to be heading out to a break in about a minute. We’re going to talk about elder financial abuse with attorney Michael Hackard who is an expert in estate trust and probate law. He is going to be giving away copies of his book, so stay with us to find out how you can get a copy. He will also talk about how to help you avoid becoming a victim of financial abuse. I’m Pamela Wilson, you are with me on the Caring Generation live on the BBM Global Network and TuneIn radio on the BBM page, helpful information for caregivers and aging adults is on my website Pameladwilson.com. If you’re listening on the BBM global website page on the Caring Generation page scroll to the bottom, during this break leave me a comment or a suggestion for a future program, I promise to respond let’s make care-giving something to talk about, we will be right back.
11:13 Pamela D. Wilson: This is Pamela D Wilson care-giving expert. I am 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, TuneIn radio in Colorado. Follow me on Facebook at Pamela D Wilson page where you can watch my daily Facebook Live videos. We’re back to talk about financial elder abuse. Joining me is Attorney Michael Hackard, he’s a 40-year veteran in the legal field, and his practice is in Sacramento, California. Michael, how are you today? Welcome.
11:49 Michael Hackard: Great, great, thanks for having me on, I appreciate it Pamela.
11:53 Pamela D. Wilson: My pleasure. So, I have a copy of your book in my hand, it’s called Wolf at the Door, and you are graciously going to give away copies tonight, to listeners. Could you let listeners know how they can get the copy of the book before I start asking you questions?
12:09 Michael Hackard: Certainly, I’m happy to send them a copy of the book if they email me at email@example.com And Hackard is spelled H-A-C-K-A-R-D, again, firstname.lastname@example.org and I’m happy to share a book.
12:25 Pamela D. Wilson: Perfect, so I’m looking at your book here and I’m on page six. And it talks about undue influence which is persuading an older person to do something that they don’t want to do. Can you talk about how that happens?
12:39 Michael Hackard: Sure, I’m happy to talk about it. There are more and more studies now, scientific studies as to what undue influence is and how does it come about and it’s basic definition means excessive persuasion that causes another person to act or refrain from acting by overcoming that person’s freewill, and results in inequity because we all are influencers. Just a question of when does it become undue influence? So there are a number of factors, one is if someone lacks capacity to make say a will or a trust, but while they lack capacity, they have a family member, or a neighbor, or caregiver whoever it is, that basically forces them into making a decision or transferring property or creating something that they didn’t really want to create.
Basically, undue influence occurs when someone is vulnerable, and we’re talking about seniors, so seniors who are vulnerable by illness or disability maybe by greed I see that a fair amount or even their education, some people maybe are not that well-educated and have a difficult time considering what are, some of the concepts, what are some of the concepts involved in making the decision as to a will or a trust. So that’s how it happens.
14:05 Pamela D. Wilson: And is it usually… So who’s the most likely influencer is it a spouse is it an adult child who’s doing this influencing?
14:14 Michael Hackard: Statistically an adult child.
14:17 Pamela D. Wilson: Okay.
14:18 Michael Hackard: Caregivers are also up on the list but not nearly time nearly as much as an adult child. And when we’re talking about adult children, the high incidence of dependency by the child on the parent, because later, the child… The parent becomes dependent on the child, and you also see a high incidence of substance abuse and alcoholism.
14:44 Pamela D. Wilson: It’s just such a shame. There’s a case in your book where you talk about police misconduct, and a policeman actually taking advantage of somebody. To me that is so shocking. Can you share that story?
15:00 Michael Hackard: Sure, I’m happy to do that, and I have some follow-up stories, on it as well. This occurred in Portsmouth, New Hampshire and there was a younger officer, a sergeant in the police department who befriended a 90 basically a 94 year old woman and somehow he convinced her by taking her to casinos, and on trips and other types of things that he loved her and that he wanted to leave his wife and family for her and of course, she said she was in deep love with him, and she changed her will and trust so that at her death he received $2.7 million.
15:44 Michael Hackard: And some of the interesting aspects of the case are that she had a neighbor who was also a police officer who had been on the force for over 40 years, and I’ve actually communicated with that particular gentleman and he was blowing the whistle on the younger officer, but the Portsmouth the police department ignored it, and later fired the older officer, and then the PostScript all that is a court, did set aside the trust, the $2.7 million, the younger officer, and they set that aside because they said that he was acting upon her fears and hopes.
16:27 Michael Hackard: And the older officer, who had been terminated, because of his whistleblowing received a settlement from the city of 300 and something thousand dollars. So anyway, I wrote about it, and later the media from that area contacted me and then later the older officer, the whistleblower contacted me and told me how much he appreciated that I wrote about it, well he deserved to be written about, he was a hero.
16:56 Pamela D. Wilson: Well, and how this is so way to me, but how do people think they can get away with this kind of stuff? I just, it blows me away.
17:05 Michael Hackard: I know it is surprising, it’s surprising that people think that they can get away with it and you see, of course, I feel like I’m an emergency room doctor. I see all of the bad things, all of the accidents or the intentional acts, but then I see them all the time. But I think people just… Maybe it’s greed, or maybe they think that through secrecy or through maybe after they get the money going on to another state that they’re going get away with it, and unfortunately, they do get away with it for a fairly high percentage of time.
17:44 Pamela D. Wilson: That was going to be my question. If somebody doesn’t step up, like this other police officer if somebody doesn’t raise a question how many of these just go through and this, I’ll call it a perpetrator gets all the money?
17:56 Michael Hackard: Well I do I think they get away with a large number. We keep track of our calls new calls from people per week, and they range anywhere from 30 to 35 new calls per week. And the people, not all of them are about financial abuse cases, but most of the time that people have been somehow frozen, out of a will or a trust and one of the initial impediments is just being able to get a lawyer to do the case because lawyers either have to be paid by the hour, or on the contingency and that’s a hurdle for people. They’ve been frozen out, they’ve been cut off and they oftentimes simply don’t have the money to chase the wrong-doer.
18:40 Pamela D. Wilson: Okay, and we’ve going head out to a break. We’re going come back and continue to talk to Attorney Michael Hackard. He will give his email again after the break if you are interested in getting a copy of his book, The Wolf at the Door. You’re listening to The Caring Generation radio program. We will be right back.
21:06 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, TuneIn Radio on the BBM page. The Caring Generation focuses on the conversation of caring, giving us permission to laugh, to talk about aging, the challenges of caregiving and everything in between. We are continuing our conversation with estate trust and probate attorney, Michael Hackard from Sacramento, California. He is giving away copies of his book, The Wolf at the Door. Michael, could you give out your email address again before we start chatting?
21:46 Michael Hackard: Yes, my email address is email@example.com, and that is spelled H-A-C-K-A-R-D. And I’m happy to do that and to share it.
22:00 Pamela D. Wilson: Great, thank you so much. So I want to talk about how financial abuse happens so that our listeners can maybe become a little more sensitive about what they should watch out for. And your book talks about all these different ways. So can you just maybe start talking about if someone was going to be financially abused, what’s the common way that this happens?
22:22 Michael Hackard: A common way that it happens is first of all, the taking of personal property from the home. So you may notice some things from, say in a relative’s home or a friend’s home that are gone. The other prime indicator is the isolation of that elder. And they get… And surveillance, I would add that one, too. But we’ll start with the isolation, is that you’re making every effort to, say reach a parent. And if there is a caregiver or another family member who answers the phone, they say that they’re not available. They might even show up at the door, they may say, “Well, they’re sleeping, you can’t see them.” And sometimes, phone numbers are changed, telephone calls go unanswered, mail goes unanswered. Isolation is a very, very much a telltale sign. And then, what I see more and more is we’ll call it parent-napping and that’s where a mother or a father who’s probably cognitively-impaired is taken by a relative away from wherever they were. At the same time that that occurs, there are people that are doing that to actually protect their parent against someone else’s wrongdoing, so you just have to look at it closely.
23:44 Pamela D. Wilson: And so, in that situation, let’s say a daughter’s trying to go see dad, and the phone calls are not answered, or it’s always, “Dad is sleeping,” what does the daughter do? Should she contact an attorney?
23:58 Michael Hackard: Well, if you can contact Adult Protective Services, but I have a caveat on that. That’s not their fault, but for the most part, they just do a stop-in and they’ll ask the senior, “Are you okay?” And most of the time, people who are going to say, even if they’re not okay, they’re going to say they’re okay. Some smaller areas, some smaller urban or suburban areas, police departments will actually go check. So you can ask for law enforcement to do a safety check on a senior or a parent. Other times, you have to ask a friend who is in that community, or you yourself if you can, go to the home and find out what’s going on. You show up, you’re going to know a lot more. And sometimes, you show up and you will be shocked at what’s occurring. And oftentimes, you’ll find a senior who’s confused, who can be easily undue influenced who will respond to the latest entreaties of whoever it is that’s talking to them. Like, “Mom, you want to stay here in Denver, don’t you?” “Yes.” And then the other sibling says, “But mom, I thought you wanted to move to Sacramento?” “Yes, I do.” So you have to go through that.
25:17 Pamela D. Wilson: I have seen those situations when I was a guardian and a power of attorney, and they’re horrible. Talk a little bit about personal property just disappearing, and how family members might notice that.
25:29 Michael Hackard: Well, they might ask, “Gee mom, I notice your TV’s gone.” Or whatever else it is that seems to be fairly valuable around the house. Or, “Your jewelry is missing. What happened to your jewelry?” That I hear about a lot. That certainly is a danger. The other thing are when… It is a danger when people are put on accounts with the senior. Now, at times you simply have to do that. Or a trustee of a trust needs to be on those accounts, but it’s really good to have some kind of transparency within the family, if you can, to find out how money is being transferred around accounts, what’s being spent and what the accounts are, be cause just too often you see a lot of money, sometimes it’s in the millions, or certainly a lot of time, in the hundreds of thousands of dollars that are transferred to someone who it shouldn’t have been transferred to. Seniors are so vulnerable, that they forget how much they have and they forget what they’ve done.
26:33 Pamela D. Wilson: Well. And would it be a good idea… So let’s say dad wanted to put a daughter on the account. Should then there be a conversation in the family saying, “Okay, I’m putting Mary on the account, but all of you get copies of the account statements every month, just to make sure that there’s nothing funny going on.”
26:51 Michael Hackard: When I’ve seen families do that, it helps to keep peace in the family, because everyone feels like they then have a hand in it, even if it is a sister who’s on the account. But when everyone can look at it, that’s very helpful.
27:04 Pamela D. Wilson: I agree. And I’ve seen the things that you comment about. A kid takes a loan out from the parents and then they need to qualify for Medicaid, and they can’t because the money’s gone. It’s a sad situation.
27:15 Michael Hackard: It is.
27:16 Pamela D. Wilson: We have about a minute. Anything else that you would like to share before we head out for our next break?
27:22 Michael Hackard: Yeah. Well, I’d just like to share that this is a great thing for people to be looking out, and to try and to protect seniors. I’m part of the baby boomer generation, which is huge, 65 million or so boomers. And this is… We see these incidents occur all the time, among friends, neighbors, family. And so, be on the look out for it. Be on the look out to help out someone who may not be able to help themselves.
27:50 Pamela D. Wilson: Perfect. And would you give your email one more time so that people can email you for a copy of your book.
27:56 Michael Hackard: Yes. It’s Hackard@hackardlaw.com, and I’ll spell Hackard again, H-A-C-K-A-R-D.
28:03 Pamela D. Wilson: Perfect. Thank you so much for joining us. I appreciate it. I am Pamela Wilson, your host. Please invite your family, your friends, your co-workers, to join us each week on The Caring Generation, live on the BBM Global Network and TuneIn Radio. Helpful information for caregivers and aging adults is on my website at pameladwilson.com. You can click on the, How I help, drop down, where you will find frequently asked questions about caregiver support and information about my online support groups and courses. If you have a suggestion, and you are on the BBM website on The Caring Generation page, do me a favor during this break. Scroll to the bottom of the page, leave me some suggestions for our future programs. You can also post comments and suggestions there. I go back to that page all the time and I am happy to answer and respond to your questions. We are heading out to a break. We’ll be right back.
31:03 Pamela D. Wilson: This is Pamela D. Wilson, caregiving expert. I’m your host. I’m excited to be here with you tonight. You are listening to The Caring Generation Radio Program for Caregivers and Aging Adults, coming to you live from the BBM Global Network, TuneIn Radio on the BBM page. Caregiving conversations should be a two-way street. Let’s start the conversation. If you have a story to share, have an opinion, a question, now is the time 866-451-1451. 866-451-1451. Help, help and support for caregivers is available on my website at pameladwilson.com. Please share information about The Caring Generation and the website with everyone you know. We’re back talking about the emotional caregiving rollercoaster and making caregiving decisions.
31:55 Pamela D. Wilson: Understanding the responsibility that we have as caregivers and in making caregiving decisions, it can be stressful. Making care decisions, especially if you don’t have experience, can be challenging for everybody involved. If we take this idea outside of the subject of caregiving, it would be like being asked to make a serious decision about something you know nothing about. How many of you have ever bought a house? That is a very serious decision. And if you’ve never bought a house, what questions would you want to ask? What information would you want to know before making that decision? Questions might be, well how much money do I have to put down? Is my credit rating good enough? How do I get a loan? What is my payment going to be? How will I know if repairs need to be made?
32:50 Pamela D. Wilson: All of those questions that relate to buying a house would be questions that you would wanna ask about a care giving situation but obviously the questions would be different. In real estate, you’ve got a realtor who holds your hand so that everything goes smoothly. There are a few, what I call realtors unfortunately in the care giving world, I am one of them. And these gaps exist because caregiving takes a lot of information. I gained all of my experience, for being on call 24/7, a lot like a doctor for more than 20 years. Just like there are so many questions involved in buying a house, there’s a lot of questions involved in making caregiving decisions for a loved one. Buying a house is one of those important decisions we make in a lifetime and becoming a caregiver is one of the most important responsibilities that we accept in a lifetime.
33:51 Pamela D. Wilson: We can continue talking about medications, which is another important decision. There are a lot of issues with not taking medications that happen in caregiving. Through the years with all of my clients, I had to make decisions about medical treatments and about medical care. I monitored the medications of my clients and while that may seem like a small task, it was a huge task. Especially when clients saw multiple doctors. I don’t know how many of your parents are seeing multiple doctors and there’s multiple medications involved, and that happens because they have a lot of health conditions. Some people see so many doctors and different types of doctors. It could be a Cardiologist for heart disease, a Pulmonologist for reading diseases, maybe an Endocrinologist if somebody has diabetes. There are doctors for feet, there’s doctors for loss of feelings in your legs. Every doctor has a different specialty. And they prescribe his or her own treatments and medications.
35:04 Pamela D. Wilson: We also have to be careful that one doctor doesn’t discontinue or change a medication or dosage of a medication that another physician prescribes because that can be life threatening. There were so many situations where I managed medications for a client who saw four or five different doctors who were all prescribing. You may be helping your elderly parents or somebody else with medications. It’s an important responsibility for a lot of reasons. If you haven’t experienced it yet your parents will be either really good about taking their medications or you could be really forgetful. They may even deny that medication is needed. I had clients over the years who would hide their medications under place mats. Or hide them in the cheek in their mouth, only to spit them out later.
35:58 Pamela D. Wilson: Those of you who are listening who work in care communities you know what I’m talking about. It’s a medical speak term and it’s called “cheeking.” It’s a scary fact though. Medication errors, which include adding or discontinuing medications, taking the wrong medications at the wrong time or taking the wrong dose, it’s the number sixth or seventh reason that elderly adults go into hospital emergency rooms, it’s shocking. As we age and we’re all going to get there one day. Our minds become less sharp, it becomes easier to be confused by medications that we take and many of our aging parents, mine included, have more difficulty ordering their medications. We have a caller that we’re going bring on who may have a question or an opinion. Can you bring her on Sal?
36:50 Pamela D. Wilson: Hi who’s on? Hello.
36:55 Astrid (Caller): Hello. Hi.
36:56 Pamela D. Wilson: Hi. What is your name?
37:00 Astrid (Caller): This is Astrid.
37:01 Pamela D. Wilson: Hi Astrid, what would you like to talk about?
37:05 Astrid (Caller): Well, I would like to talk about recognizing the need for help when caring for a loved one, and the importance of knowing that asking for help is actually a strength and not a weakness. You know, there’s no 24-hour jobs and caregiving shouldn’t be a 24-hour job. It requires both physical and emotional strength, and it’s just too difficult for one to handle alone. So I’d like to share a couple of recent encounters that made me realize how important it is to recognize when you need help and to never be afraid to ask for it. The other day, while I was picking up a prescription, there was an elderly couple behind me, and the woman was using a walker, and was continually whining. It was just like a…
38:03 Astrid (Caller): And I thought, “Oh my goodness, what a challenge that must be for him.” Well, when it was his turn, he just threw a temper tantrum while talking to the pharmacist. And I thought, “Well, probably due to the constant pressure on him.” And then at my last job, I worked with a lady whose husband moved to Wyoming to care for his father, and this has been going on for more than a year now. Quite frankly, I don’t know what…
38:34 Pamela D. Wilson: I’m going to have you hold that thought for a second, Astrid. We’re gonna go out to a break and we’re going to bring you back after the break.
38:40 Astrid (Caller): Okay.
38:41 Pamela D. Wilson: So hang on just a second. We are going to continue this conversation with our caller about why caregivers should get help, and to realize that needing help really is a strength and it’s not a weakness. We all need help in caregiving, and it’s so important to get that help before these situations happen, like our caller is explaining, where we become impatient with other people.
39:06 Pamela D. Wilson: You are listening to The Caring Generation on the BBM Global Network and TuneIn Radio. Please if you’re listening, scroll down to the page. If you’re on the BBM Network, leave me a comment or a suggestion, I will respond. We want to make caregiving something that we talk about. Caregiving conversation should be a two-way street. We’ll be back right after the break and continue our conversation with Astrid.
41:33 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. A podcast replay of this program and the program transcript will be available on my website, pameladwilson.com in about a week. You can click on the media dropdown, and then the Caring Generation radio program. We are back with a caller, Astrid, and we’re talking about the fact that asking for help as a caregiver is a strength and not a weakness. Astrid, we’re back, let’s talk about your second story that you’d like to share.
42:13 Astrid (Caller): Okay, yeah, the second one is about somebody that I worked with and her husband moved to Wyoming full time to just care for his father, meanwhile she stayed in Palm Springs. And this has been going on for more than a year now, and quite frankly, I don’t know when the husband and wife ever even see each other. And she has mentioned to me how much pressure her husband is under, so he did give her your information, and hopefully they’re getting some information on caregiving. But I think too many people try to handle this all by themselves, “It’s my family. I know him or her better than anybody. I can do this.” And that’s why what you provide is so important, and it leads me to a very important topic, and that is, how to know when you need help and where to find it.
43:13 Pamela D. Wilson: And I can answer that. So I think the first way that you know how you need help is when you’re feeling frustrated, or you’re angry about your caregiving situation. When there’s bumps in the roads and things are not going well, that’s a sign that I call it a gap. So there’s all these caregiving gaps. And a gap is, “Man, I’m emotionally distressed. Things aren’t going well.” And I’ll say, “You know, finding help is the challenge.” Because there aren’t really a lot of local groups or resources anymore, they’re more disease-specific. So, somebody has heart disease you to go to the heart disease association. My website, pameladwilson.com, has so much information on it. There’s a library, I’ve got videos, there’s podcasts, there’s this show every week that people now can share and I have caregiving courses. So for people who are frustrated caregivers and are going through what you’re talking about, not knowing how to care for loved ones and not take on everything [laughter] in my opinion my courses are the answer. Anything else you’d like to add?
44:21 Astrid (Caller): No, I think that’s pretty much it for me, but I do think that what you do is so valuable and I just hope more and more people take advantage of what you do provide.
44:34 Pamela D. Wilson: Awesome, thank you so much for joining us, I appreciate it.
44:37 Astrid (Caller): Absolutely.
44:38 Pamela D. Wilson: And if anybody else out there is listening and you want call in and share information and an opinion, the number is 866-451-1451. I’m going continue talking about decisions, about taking medications because this is a huge issue that affects our aging parents and really all of us, and because our doctor appointments are rushed, we often don’t understand the importance of why we take a medication. A lot of people will get that piece of paper from a doctor’s office, and it ends up in a purse, or a wallet and that prescription is never ever filled. So, some statistics about taking medications, 50 people who are prescribed a medication don’t take it as prescribed. How many of you out there have fallen into this 50% category? There’s actually a medical speak term for it, it’s called medication non-adherence. And what it means is, your doctor might prescribe a medication for you and you don’t take it and you go back and the doctor’s like, “Hey, how’s that medication working out for you?” And you say, “Oh, Doc, you know, I didn’t take it, I didn’t get it filled, I didn’t think I needed it, maybe I was embarrassed about taking it.” And believe it or not, a note goes into your medical chart.
45:57 Pamela D. Wilson: And this is something that medical and healthcare professionals don’t tell you. The problem with that note going into your chart is that next time a doctor might make a recommendation for a medication or a treatment, he might not recommend it because he feels like you are going to decline the treatment or decline the medication, and that’s really not good for your health. Taking medications, I find, is a lot like talking about caregiving, it’s a subject that we don’t wanna talk about. The stats are that 70% of people in the United States are taking at least one medication, but we don’t like to talk about having a disease, or high blood pressure, or having to take medication for high blood pressure because we might feel embarrassed about it, but that not wanting to talk about it, that not taking your medications, it has serious long-term consequences for health and well-being. And next week, I’ve got a special guest who’s gonna be coming on who’s gonna talk to us about heart health and the importance of keeping our hearts healthy.
47:10 Pamela D. Wilson: So, that decision when you’re prescribed a medication really think about it, think about asking your doctor a question about why it’s important to take it. We all have a choice, but if we choose not to take that medication serious, serious and unfortunate consequences; that not taking medications, it leads to more health issues and believe it or not, it costs the healthcare system money. People end up in the emergency room, they end up with advancing health conditions because we don’t take our medication so we wonder why, “Oh, my gosh, why is the healthcare system in the United States so expensive?” We as the patients, believe it or not, are part of that problem because we don’t follow doctor’s orders.
47:56 Pamela D. Wilson: It’s better to at least consider what the doctors are telling us and totally take better care of ourselves so that we don’t have all of these health issues. We are gonna be heading into our last break. While we’ll finish talking about why we don’t do what’s good for us, I will also share information about our program for next week, we have another really great program coming up for you. This is Pamela D. Wilson, caregiving expert, I’m your host. My website is pameladwilson.com. There is a lot of helpful information there for you, and 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.
48:37 Pamela D. Wilson: Please help me make this program valuable for you. If you are on the BBM Global website, scroll to the bottom of the page. During that break, there is a comment section, you can leave me a comment, a suggestion, your opinion for future programs, I would really appreciate it. We are headed out to a break and we’ll be right back.
51:02 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. A replay of this program will be available in podcast form on my website, pameladwilson.com, in about a week. Please share the Caring Generation with family, friends, and everyone you know, because we are all going to be a caregiver. Let’s continue our conversation of why we don’t do what is good for us. We talked about the fact that taking medications can be a thing that is really good for us, but the reasons that we do this may not be obvious, we may not readily see improvement if we take a medication for a couple of weeks. Sometimes we also don’t do what’s good for us because we don’t believe that it’s going to help. An example is to talk to our aging parents about the fact that a medication could help, and then talk about the trade-offs because it’s important to talk about trade-offs and pros and cons when we’re trying to convince an aging parent to do what we or a doctor thinks is good.
52:15 Pamela D. Wilson: Let’s say that your parent sits all day in a recliner and they’re not healthy, but they’re happy. They don’t walk around enough and they’re starting to have difficulty walking. Maybe they can’t get their shoes on, they refuse to do any type of activity. There’s some issues there because if you are the caregiver, what happens when they can’t stand up from a chair? What happens when they can’t walk? Is that house wheelchair accessible? The more a person sits, especially if they have health issues, the less mobile that they become. If you’re the caregiver, how will you help them stay at home? That’s a conversation to have with an aging parent because if your parents aren’t willing to change their habits, how will they stay at home if you can’t help them walk, if you can help them get around? It’s an important conversation to have.
53:09 Pamela D. Wilson: Our guest next week is Dr. Melissa Walton-Shirley. She’s a cardiologist with 27 years of experience. We’re going to be talking about high blood pressure, how to prevent other additional heart issues, heart failure, congestive heart failure. We’ll talk about things that you can do to prevent heart disease and prevent heart disease from getting worse. Did you know that heart disease is the number one cause of the death in the United States? It’s a tragic issue that we all have to watch out for and we want to make sure that we can avoid these things.
53:47 Pamela D. Wilson: I want to talk just for a second about the importance of having caregiving conversations, which we’ve obviously touched on today, but conversations about everything. So Mike Hackard talked to us about conversations in the family about if one person is on a bank account, to share financial information with everybody in the family, it can avoid a lot of arguments. And also to be proactive and caring for family members, don’t let a loved one isolate a parent so that you can’t visit or so that you can’t see them, that can be a tragic issue. We talked about the importance of taking medications, about asking questions from your doctors. There are so many responsibilities that we have as caregivers to make sure that our loved ones are getting the help that we need.
54:35 Pamela D. Wilson: Listeners, if nobody has told you that you are amazing this week or if they haven’t thanked you for everything that you do as a caregiver and helping others, if you are a family member or a professional, let me say thank you. Together we can work through all of these changes that caregiving and needing care brings to our lives. We all face different challenges, whether we are a family caregiver or a working caregiver, and sometimes that caregiving, oh, it can feel like such a struggle. It can feel like we are on such an emotional roller coaster. Help, hope and support are on my website at pameladwilson.com. My library is there, there are online courses that you can access. Podcasts of this show will be there every week.
55:24 Pamela D. Wilson: This is Pamela D. Wilson, caregiving expert, I’m your host. I thank you so much for joining me this week. Please share this show with others that you know. There are so many caregivers out there who are looking for hope, help and love. Here on the BBM Global Network and TuneIn radio, I look forward to being again with you next Wednesday evening. Remember to invite your family and friends to join us. God bless you all. Sleep well tonight, so that we can all get up again tomorrow and be caregivers. I’ll talk to you next week.
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