The Caregiver Control Panel


        Lori La Bey is a member of AARP’s blogger kitchen cabinet on caregiving issues.  All opinions are my own.

The Caregiver Control Panel

By Lori La Bey, founder of Alzheimer’s Speaks

The first thing I noticed about the “Caregiver Control Panel” was the huge array of tasks and responsibilities I had placed on it.

Second, I found my emotions were running the show. I noticed not only the person I was caring for was affected by the way I cared, but me too! Being focused on my checklist gave me a false feeling of being totally organized and in control. It seemed to give the person I was caring for a sense of security at times, but also made them feel imprisoned by my rules and structure.

When I stepped back to really look at things, I found the person I was caring for was much more interested in the way I engaged them; then how, when or why I completed a task.

Through this process I found there was no way to separate tasks from emotions. They were a package. They were intertwined and I needed to become aware of both; not only for myself but for those I care for.

To my surprise, I found I was more in control by releasing my need to be in control. See for yourself. Take a look at how you care for others. Is your list of tasks all about them, but your feelings attached to each task all about you? Try to separate the task from your emotions. Can you do it? Are there things you should change? If so, what are they?

Please visit the AARP Caregiving Resource Center for help and more information go here!


6 Replies to “The Caregiver Control Panel”

  1. Lori I just have to share this with our forum…where were you back in the late 90’s when I needed you…damn it. I had notebooks full of tasks. I learned everything by mistake back then. Thank you for your insight.

  2. You asked for my thoughts on this. Well the begining is the normal poor me caregiver junk we hear. Apparently the persons eyes got opened that we with Dementia, no matter the type are real people. Talk to us and you just might find out what you really need to know. I liked this one.

  3. I once had a patient that inspired me to continue what I am doing as a caregiver and helped me to be a better person. Getting paychecks every end of the month is not necessary since I was also learning from her. I missed granny so much.

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