Do You Know What Type of Caregiving Family Yours Is?
Is Your Family One or More of These?
Welcome again to my virtual support community and December blog.
Recently, Rhonda Kay Leonard and I delivered Savvy Caregiver training. This free, six-week course helps decrease caregiver stress and increase confidence and self-care while finding ways to positively engage their person. We discussed these various types of family caregiving:
Solitary Caregiving: one person does all the work and has the sole responsibility of care, with little help or support provided.
Observed Caregiving: others merely observe and offer verbal or written advice, solicited or otherwise, about how to care for your person. However, they do little or none of the work nor relieve your burden.
Tag Team: the family shares the work of caregiving sequentially or in rotation. Instead of all at once, one family member at a time provides most of the care for the person living with dementia.
Uneasy Caregiving Alliance: more than one member at a time provides care and shares in the work but do not necessarily have the same goals nor manner of providing care.
Collaborative Caregiving: everyone takes part in caring for a person, with common goals. All pitch in to help but may not do the same amount or have the same role in caregiving: they all see help as being supportive.
Do you see your family’s style? Some families are one type, others are a blend, and others change over time. No single type is better or worse, good or bad, but perhaps your family can adjust to a more supportive one. “Family” can also include neighbors, friends, or other close acquaintances.
For my mother Sheila’s care, at times our family was collaborative, and other times tag team, but I was mostly in the solitary caregiving role. My family helped in many different ways: ensured she had good care and was safe in a care community, visited and spent time with her, contributed financially after Katrina destroyed her home, ran medical appointments and handled medications, helped with her computer while she was still able to use it, or generally supported me and mom. Another illustrative example: one aunt in Florida had primary care responsibilities before mom moved here, another aunt moved to Portland to help me here, and my wife stepped up when I needed her the most. I can’t thank them all enough for relieving some of my burden.
Your, your person’s, and your family’s days and evenings can be less stressful and more positive by:
identifying, and perhaps adjusting, your family’s type of caregiving,
having a good sense of what stage your person’s dementia is, and
developing activities and strategies for more support for and “contented involvement” with your loved one.
Are you interested in more information about our next series of Savvy Caregiver classes or do you know others in SW Portland who might be? Please see the flyer below and get in touch with me.
Would you like more information and a complimentary initial conversation? Contact me at My Websiteor call: 503-522-8320.
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Bill Cohen, Certified Senior Advisor (CSA)®
Cohen Caregiving Support Consultants 💜
"Are you happy with how I’ve helped you? A referral or recommendation goes a long way. I'd be deeply grateful and I will reciprocate!”