How to organize a group of caregivers to help a terminally ill friend
January 25, 2013 4:00 PM Subscribe
One of my best friends was just diagnosed with late-stage cancer. My friend's going to need a lot of help, and I want to organize people to do it. Have you organized or been part of a caregiving group? I need advice from someone who's been down this road.
posted by feets to human relations (10 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
My friend is unmarried, supports a kid on her own, and her family lives in a different country. The doctors have given her a prognosis of a year to live, and plan to keep my friend on chemo until it's no longer feasible to continue it.
In the near future there will be a thousand tasks that need doing: cooking, cleaning, driving, tutoring, basic kid-wrangling, accompaniments to chemo, nursing/caretaking, administration of household bills and so forth. Friends and acquaintances keep saying "let us know what we can do to help." So I want to coordinate the helpers.
I found a book called "Share the Care" which tells you how to set up a caregiving group, and was wondering if anyone had ever used it, and what their experience with it was. I also found a website called lotsahelpinghands.com and was wondering if I could use both systems or if that would be too much. Alternatively, if you did it another way I'd love to hear about that too.
(At first glance, Share the Care seems a little intense, like people would feel like they were being asked to apply for a job if I put them through what the book suggests as an "intake" process; alternately, lotsahelpinghands looks like it will work well to marshal acquaintances to bring lasagna, but like as the primary coordinator I will never be able to step away for a week.)
Bonus question: I can already feel myself getting codependent, and my house looks like a bomb hit it (laundry everywhere, cat barf on the floor, food rotting in the fridge etc). Do you have any tips on how not to turn into a mess when trying to give care to someone you love?