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Re: AARP Caregiving Summer Break Contest

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Message 1051 of 1,088

What about a reverse situation? You can't go on vacation without help and do not have any one to go with you? 

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Re: AARP Caregiving Summer Break Contest

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Message 1052 of 1,088

hands.jpgFor many years now I have been juggling life as a single working mom of two teenagers, a daughter of two wonderful parents who both had become disAbled in their upper years and a sister to a brother with multiple handicapping conditions. The sumer of 2016 was coming up and my mom was getting steadily worse. Already 84, she had been battling Parkinson's and spinal stenosis for about 14 years and Parkinson's onset Dementia was the lastest addition to an already complicated dual diagnosis. My father 88, his hearing had worsened, his wet macular degeneration had already taken away his ability to read and drive and was now making it harder to recognize people and this combination was making his newly diagnosed dementia move at a more rapid place. So, I spoke to my kids and told them I wanted to take Grandma and Grandpa on a farewell tour. (My mom has always had a great sense of humor and she appreciated the play on words.) They were willing and dear friends offered my entire clan to come visit their home near Washington, DC and their vacation home on a lake. So, we packed up the van, medication, walkers, etc. and set out on an 8 day visit to DC and beyond. My friends treated them like royalty and my incredible kids and I took care of their every need....a bit trickier than being at home. They came home with some amazing new memories of Washington, the WWII Memorial, the city during the day and again at night. Grandpa shared stories of the Navy with his two grandkids and Grandma kept us laughing with quick humor. We end with 4 days on the lake relaxing and taking in the sights. My mom could watch the kids water ski and tube from a recliner on a glassed in porch and the sights of the sailboats in the early morning hours were peaceful. Dad was able to get to the dock and take a boat ride, along with my brother. My parents and brother had a tremendous time. It was work, more work than normal for the kids and I, but we had no regrets at the end. Mom passed 10 months later. My girlfriend sent a video clip of their 8 days with them. Mom played it several times and truly enjoyed reliving it. The kids and I talk about it from time to time, and the difficulty of it, but we all realize what a huge gift we were able to give these incredible people we call mom, dad, grandma and grandpa. It has no pricetag.....just love.

Thanks for reading. Peggy

image.pngWWI Memorial family 2016.jpg

Peggy Link
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Re: AARP Caregiving Summer Break Contest WEEK 1 WINNING POST!!

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Message 1053 of 1,088

WEEK 1 WINNING POST

 

Live life to the fullest! I used to think about why I couldn't do things and so I didn't. But recently after almost 20 yrs of caregiving for 2 disabled people (my son & father) I now figure out how I can. Accept it won't be what others get to do on vacation but just go! My secret is go to a familiar place so you know what is available ahead of time, carry a transfer chair (lighter wheelchair) every where you go. I have preplanned the trips even to the point of all family members (even the young ones) or anyone else that comes along to help so everyone enjoys the trip. We work as a team. I was assigned to my son and my 14 year old was assigned to my 80 yr. old father when we took our whirlwind trip to the beach. We choose the one thing most important to do instead of trying to do it all. I drove us 5 hrs to the beach stayed one night and drove home but we still talk about our fun adventure!! We met our goal - feeling the ocean breeze and getting to stick our big toe in the ocean! Life is short, don't expect perfect, plan ahead, be patient with each other, take a photo and laugh together often. And the best part...you get to smile every day reliving and talking about those memories forever!!

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Re: AARP Caregiving Summer Break Contest

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Message 1054 of 1,088

My mother always loved roadtrips. While growing up we took roadtrips every summer to visit relatives in Michigan and go to the great lakes and camp. After Dad died, we moved Mom two doors down from me in a tiny house. It was just right for her tiny four foot ten size.

 

In the summer she would sit on the porch and we would talk. She loved the neighborhood and her porch, but I could tell she missed taking roadtrips. She had continued to do so with my father after we were all grown, and since he passed away she had not been able to go anywhere except to the doctor or the store. She was on a walker and had oxygen now, so it was difficult.

 

I had some time off that last summer before she died, so I decided to see if she wanted to take a roadtrip. She was so excited! Since I am a nurse, I knew I could handle things if she got sick, and this made he more confident to travel. Her only request- to take my neice along since she wanted her to experience the fun too.

 

So my son, my neice, and Mom and I all went to Niagara Falls. The weather was perfect. It was amazing. I had not seen my mother so happy in a long time. She could not walk very far, but she sat and enjoyed the scenery while I showed the kids around. I took lots of pictures.

 

It was my mom's last roadtrip, but it was one of the best. I will always treasure that memory. Just all of us together having fun, taking a break from bills and doctors and worries. It was perfect.

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Re: AARP Caregiving Summer Break Contest

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Message 1055 of 1,088

Hi. I am the elderly person in this story. Although I feel I am fine on my own, I totally understand my children's worries. I had the same issues with my own Mom. I was invited to join them on their vacation, but I just wasn't feeling up to the long drive and days on end with 10 little ones! I love them all but sometimes it's just to much. So, I researched and I found a senior living community in my area the holds  an apartment in their community especially for times such as this! We rented it for the 2 weeks for me. It was comphy and clean and quiet and safe! My kids and grandkids could go away with full confidence that I was safe and secure and happy! Maybe not the perfect solution for some but it sure was for us.

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Re: AARP Caregiving Summer Break Contest

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Message 1056 of 1,088

What you’re saying is not terrible at all - it’s the truth! People are afraid of saying it, that’s the problem. My blood pressure was up all the time the last 1.5 years my mother was here. I thought I was going to be in a very bad situation health-wise from it all. I said to my brother “If she could see herself right now, she’d say ‘let me go!’ It’s a terrible situation for everyone concerned. I’d say do the best you can and don’t stop yourself from swearing and cursing every day! You’ve earned it.

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Re: AARP Caregiving Summer Break Contest

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Message 1057 of 1,088

It sounds absolutely terrible, I know, but I am TIRED of hearing people tell me how lucky I am to still have my parents. I KNOW that. What they don't KNOW is that it comes at a very high price to my own well being. Even when I am not dealing with my parents needs hands on I am drilling taking care of something for them daily. No true vacations because I still get calls about this that or the other when I am away. It's like having your toddler live alone. I am her sad, angry and depressed about this whole situation. Both my parents are very needy. Both are severely I'll and elderly. My husband and my friends are my support. 

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Re: AARP Caregiving Summer Break Contest

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Message 1058 of 1,088

Hi, Sandi! You just posted to the topic! Just hit the Reply or Quick Reply button to bring up a text box, type your response and hit the Post button. Good luck!

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Re: AARP Caregiving Summer Break Contest

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Message 1059 of 1,088

How do I make a post on this topic?

Sandi Burkhart
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Re: AARP Caregiving Summer Break Contest

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Message 1060 of 1,088
It is hard to be in the middle of husband, kids, work and caregiver! I understand about your mom waiting until you get home to ask for help with things, because my mom is the same way! You deserve time with your husband and kids, and they deserve time with you, that does not include your mother. If there is an agency in your town, like Visiting Angels, that can come once or twice a week to help, and maybe create a schedule with her neighbors that are willing to help, and give her the schedule - explain that you are taking time to be with your family. You have described your mother as kind and loving, so I am sure that she will understand your need for some "me" time. You have to realize that you deserve that time, it does not make you horrible!!! You cannot give your best as a caretaker when you are run-down and frustrated! It took me a few years to realize that truth, and now I have a much better relationship with my mother and my family. I will keep you in my prayers!
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