We are hearing so much about Flu on the news and Caregivers are especially concerned about airborne illnesses. There is little we can do to protect our loved one or patient from this kind of exposure. There is however, a protection we should consider. That protection is a plan should we the caregiver be the one who gets sick. Everyone focuses on the patient, which is of course natural; but in this instance the caregiver is just as or more important to focus on as we will see.
• If the caregiver is doing all the shopping, attending medical appointments for visiting in the hospital, they are more exposed than the patient and frequently they are more rundown with all that they must do. Caregivers meet many different roles in our patient’s life, which can leave them more at risk than the patient.
• If the caregiver becomes ill; the patient is immediately more agitated and concern seems to be in hyper drive. The patient is only to aware of the work done for and on their behalf. Certainly, they may not know each intricate detail, but they do know how much of their own well-being is tied up in the abilities of the caregiver.
Each family and community needs a plan for the care and well-being of the patient should the caregiver become ill. Where that illness is flu or a heart attack, the result will be the same and there needs to be a plan in place.