gmhTODAY 17 gmhToday Nov Dec 2017 - Page 85

Be generous in expressing your gratitude for those who are there in your absence. Acknowledge that they care. Acknowledge their contribution and their sacrifi ces. Seek to understand the process. Some care recipients, like my brother, are very lucid. He wanted tests done because he wanted to understand his medical condition. Before you say “no tests” because a loved one may be fac- ing a terminal illness, talk to him or her. Remember whose voice should be heard and whose needs must be met. If we’re not doctors, it’s not our place to give uninformed diagnoses. When a care recipient wants certain procedures, unless they’ve been declared mentally in- competent, they have certain rights under the law. Their wishes are paramount. To advise the caregiver to “let go” is not helpful. What do you mean? In this case, it’s you who needs to provide details. Suggesting that your loved one should be taken off a feeding tube or pain medication could increase their suffering, which would be inhumane. It’s essential to understand the process. Doctors talk with and assess their patients and per- form tests before providing a diagnosis. If a patient’s condition changes, a doctor may consult with other specialists and perform more tests before adjusting the plan of care. The same holds true in palliative care, when the goal is simply to keep the patient as comfortable as possible. Tests help doctors decide on a new course of treatment, or a change in medication if the previous approach no longer works. Suggesting that a caregiver “let go” warrants thought and caution! Seek fi rst to understand. Don’t make assumptions. Those who set aside their own lives and needs to care for some- one you and they both love, may be struggling with the demands of it all. To help, be supportive, trusting, and respectful. Take ownership of your decision not to be there. If you feel guilty, accept it, and don’t let guilt cloud your judgment. Sending money helps pay the bills but it’s no substitute for love. Show that you care about the caregiver by calling. Ask them how things are going and listen as they share the details. Then you can be more understanding even if you can’t be there. Proudly Employee Owned The direct relationship between work, ownership, and community involvement fuels a strong commitment to customer satisfaction. 1351 Pacheco Pass Hwy Gilroy, CA 95020 408-842-3358 Garlic City Mercantile RecologySouthValley-ad.indd 1 10/10/2017 9:44:46 AM Come Downtown… and be tempted by our many wonderful garlicky condiments, sauces, seasonings, gifts, gadgets and décor items. 408.767.2434 • 7550 Monterey Street • Gilroy GILROY • MORGAN HILL • SAN MARTIN NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2017 85