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5 Assumptions Caregivers Should Not Make

By Mike Mackniak

The work of a caregiver is hard. It is demanding and complex. It is stressful. Caregiving extends well beyond cooking, companionship and direct care. It is also decision making, planning and coordination. Oftentimes, it is essential. Beware: common misconceptions such as the following often frustrate our intentions and the process of good care. Mental Incapacity is treated much like any other illness. We cannot expect a quick fix, a shot or a pill to “cure” mental health issues. It is not like going to a physician with an ear infection. The passion involved in caring for another often leaves us feeling frustrated and anxious. Our need for answers and results overcomes our logic. Providers are not allowed to get confidential information.     There is no circumstance under which a provider should not take the time to listen to information that may be vital to an understanding of the totality of circumstances surrounding any case. Even if a provider cannot acknowledge the presence of a patient, she should still take the time to listen so that treatment may be better informed. Bad Decisions are grounds for interference.      We may not like it but, people have the right to make bad choices. Our contrary belief system is not enough to warrant interference with this right or this basic dignity. Strategy should focus around my loved one’s disability. There has been a major paradigm shift in the overarching theme of care. We no longer focus on issues that prevent an individual from acting. Instead, in today’s more progressive society, our focus is on empowerment, stressing that which an individual is capable of accomplishing. An attorney must act in the best interest of my loved one.      It is unethical for an attorney to act in any manner OTHER than that which his client wishes or so directs. Even when an attorney disagrees he is duty bound to zealously represent his clients position. Our population is aging. The number of individuals in need increases year to year. Your skill and understanding as a caregiver is vital to the health and maintenance of countless people struggling to maintain meaningful lives in our communities. Michael Mackniak is an attorney, innovator and strategist. As a consultant for caregivers, decision-makers and fiduciaries, he is the nation’s foremost speaker on the value of interrelated service systems and developing efficient methods for delivering resources to our most at need populations. Michael lectures across the United States demonstrating the effectiveness of proactive planning and avoiding costly interventions. To learn more about Michael, please visit

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