Friday, July 14, 2017

The Worry Plate

Have you ever heard of the Worry Plate?

We've been caregivers for my elderly mother in law.  Family members do shopping, taking to appointments, help her with her banking, and provide a lot of other help.

But now, my mother in law has fallen once too often.  It appears her days of independent living are nearly at an end.  On top of this, "Bil", my brother in law with autism (who has lived with her all his life), is apparently near the top of a housing list.  When his name reaches the top, he must take the placement, or lose his opportunity all together.

Bil must leave, but it is obvious that he is worrying about his mother's ability to be alone.  He's been skipping going to his day program recently, and it has been noticed.

At a meeting earlier in the week regarding Bil's progress in a program he attends twice a week and in another program he participates in, we were introduced to the concept of the "worry plate". Bil expressed concerns about cuts proposed by the government that will affect him.  "You can worry about your Mom", the director said.  "It is OK for that to be on your worry plate.  And you can worry about what living in a supported apartment will be like.  It is OK for that to be on your worry plate.  But you should not worry about the budget cuts.  There are people whose jobs are to worry about that. Get that off your worry plate."

I love the concept of the worry plate.

My mother in law is very much on our worry plates, which, right now, seem to be overflowing.

We are trying to educate ourselves regarding how to get the care we need and how to pay for it.  I know that in some countries, an elderly parent just moves in with children but in the United States, it is more complex than that.  We do not have extended families to help us out, either.

We are about to embark on a new stage of caregiving.  It has its own vocabulary, its own experts, its own practices.  We are embarking on a steep learning curve.

We've taken the first few steps.  We feel like we are drowning in air with all the information, and all the research and document gathering we will have to do.

We are like fish out of water.

"Fish out of water" - today's prompt for #FridayReflections.

Today I am joining Sanch Vee and other bloggers in #FridayReflections.  I hope you will, too.

One final note:  For several months I have been keeping a "once a week, Fridays" blogging schedule.  Due to time being taken because of this new turn in our lives, I may suspend writing posts for this blog, or post on an irregular schedule.

Wish us luck.


  1. Hi - I do hope all will go well ... it is as you rightly say a really challenging time for you. Just post when you can - I'll be interested in how things work out ... just wish you all, you, your MIL and importantly Bil all the best.

    I like the idea of the worry plate - such a good concept for all of us ... there are things we can deal with, some we don't need to worry about - which can be left on the worry plate.

    With thoughts and all the best - Hilary

    1. Thank you, Hilary. I appreciate all of your past support - I truly do.

  2. Great concept. If I remember, Stephen Covey, called it a Circle of Concern. It's really helpful to keep our focus on things that we can change.
    I do hope things work out well for your family.

    1. Thank you so much, Corinne. I'm starting now to read about this - the Circle of Influence and the Circle of Concern.

  3. Take care. You do have lot on your worry plate. But blogging once a week will take your mind off and you can spend some time on yourself.

  4. I liked the concept of worry plate. It helps in prioritizing our worries instead of dragging all the concerns and worries along with us at all time. I hope you and your family would be able to figure out a good solution suiting to you all. Take care.


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