A Practical To-Do List For Family Caregivers [CaliforniaHealthline.org]

 

Ask Kathy Kenyon about what it’s like to be a family caregiver, and she’ll give you an earful.

On several occasions, doctors have treated this accomplished lawyer like she was an interloper — not the person to whom her elderly parents had entrusted health care and legal decision-making.

Kenyon wasn’t told how to identify signs that her mother, who had low sodium levels, was slipping into a medical crisis. Nor was she given any advice about how to prevent those crises from occurring.

When her parents — both with early-stage dementia — moved to the Washington, D.C. area, it took months for medical records to be transferred because Kenyon’s right to the information wasn’t initially recognized.

An aberration? Hardly, according to a long-awaited report on family caregiving from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine, which acknowledges that the nearly 18 million caregivers for older adults are routinely marginalized and ignored within the health care system.



[For more of this story, written by Judith Graham, go to http://californiahealthline.or...Q&_hsmi=35094343]

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