This is such an important topic, we had to expound into Part 2. Other significant reasons to hire a care manager rather than spending your time managing the medical and daily care of your loved one includes: Clarity of your role, knowing which “hats” you are wearing, knowing what you are more skilled at doing, etc.
It bears saying that just being in your primary role of daughter, spouse or son can be “enough.” Which role do you really want? Do you want to be all of these things: the daily money manager, the decision maker, the caregiver, the shower-giver, the laundress, the medical manager, the chauffeur, the medical interpreter, the bottom wiper, the errand boy, the worrier, the cook and maid, and – of course- the family member? Perhaps should only pick one role to keep things clear for yourself and the one you care for. Being present in your primary role of daughter, son, or spouse is important enough. To be there for your loved one – it is impossible to be more than one thing for your loved one – and to do it truly well.
Be aware of what you are good at, and let that be your guide. If you are not the best cook, or you do not understand what the doctor is telling you – then don’t beat yourself up about it – get help. Nowhere is it written that once your family member has a diagnosis, do you need to do everything humanly possible for that individual. Play to your strengths. If you are a wonderful daughter, and you spend quality time with mom, that is plenty. She needs you to be that for her, and other people can fill any gaps.
It is time to say “enough.” You are enough, and as for the other hats – hand them off to someone with a different skill set than you have. The whole family will be better off for it. Hiring a GCM can create a more manageable and successful aging for your loved one. Enjoy them for who they are – and who you are for them. Take a deep breath and choose to be enough.