The June/July Family Counselor featured a woman who was struggling to care for her elderly mother. Your answer explained how today’s generation has changed the types of people involved in the care-giving process, and that this woman needs to care for herself. However, you failed to offer this person proper resources to ensure that she continues to provide good care to her mother and takes time for herself as well.
I realize there may be more information in the letter sent to the counselor, as well as in his response; however, I would like to point out that this woman reached out for help and was offered nothing. Frankly, this has the potential to set the mother and daughter up for an abusive situation, which can be avoided if the proper resources are acquired prior to the point of crisis.
There are valuable resources for the elderly in each state through the local Area Agency on Aging (AAA), where services such as respite care, homemaker/home chore, adult daycare, transportation, meals-on-wheels, and caregiver support programs are available. These services offered under AAA are often free. The clearing house for the AAA is http://www.n4a.org. This site provides additional resources and helps put citizens in touch with their local AAA.
Alana R Kietzman
Cascade County Aging Services
In the June/July Family Counselor department, Dr. Jack Fyans addressed with platitudes the subject of a caregiver who is getting burned out.
Those of us who have been in that situation know only too well what this woman is going through. I learned the hard way not to try to do it all myself during the months when I was caring for my dying husband. Finally, I was so overstressed I had to ask others for help; I should have asked much sooner.
Today there are caregiver support groups who are available to help.
But I wonder why the woman’s church friends aren’t offering to help. If you are in a similar situation, and your church friends don’t know you need help, please ask them for some assistance.
Elsie Schmied Knoke
Oak Ridge, Tenn.
I read the June/July “Honoring My Mother” Family Counselor’s reply with interest. Years ago, I was faced with becoming a caregiver.
I don’t believe that the answer given was what the woman needed. She was already honoring her mom by doing her best care-giving. I think she needed to learn about caregiver groups. Such meetings give one a place to vent, question, cry, laugh, and find some solutions—plus a list of available adult-care places or groups, and perhaps home-care groups. Perhaps her own church has people willing to provide relief, a meal, or other help (a drive around the countryside is great).
I think that once she finds some practical help, she will be able to take that time for herself. Just a few hours are like a real vacation.
San Marcos, Texas
Send letters to “Letters,”
c/o The Lutheran Witness,
1333 S. Kirkwood Road,
St. Louis, MO 63122-7295;
or send them via e-mail to Lutheran.Witness@LCMS.org.