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Re: AARP Caregiving Summer Break Contest

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I recently joined a hiking group and when I need to break away from caregiving I go on a hike with my group. We usually do 6-12 mile hikes and it gets me out with natural so I can relax and get some much needed exercise. This is a great way to unwind my mind and wind up my muscles at the same time. I have been a caregiver for about 26 years and we all need to take a time out from this stressful job so we don't end up needing a caregiver

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Re: AARP Caregiving Summer Break Contest

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My Grandpa went through similar stuff. My mom and I took care of him for years before he passed and the best advice I can give is Give your your best so he may have his best for the remaining days of his life. 

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Re: AARP Caregiving Summer Break Contest

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My favorite summer breaks are road trip with my dad to see family and friends. It's a little harder now with him being so up in age, have to make a lot more stops, but that just means we get to see things we might not have seen

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Re: AARP Caregiving Summer Break Contest

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I like to take a break by either going out for a long walk in my local community or either traveling to the beach to enjoy so outdoor fun. These breaks are needed when caring for a love one or a close friend to relive stress, tension, and other health aliments. 

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Re: AARP Caregiving Summer Break Contest

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My aunt has pancreatic cancer, my mom was recently diagnosed with breast cancer, and my grandma is 75 and has some memory issues.  I cannot afford a real break like going to a spa or a vacation, so I grab a cup of iced coffee and sit alone and play a game on my phone for a while.  

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Re: AARP Caregiving Summer Break Contest

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Don’t have a good story to tell took care of bedridden father at home for 20 + years till he died last t. still have mother bedridden for almost 10 years I’m 50 and have had a vacation since very little help from anyone I’m single and have not had a date since Clinton’s first term

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Re: AARP Caregiving Summer Break Contest

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I had lots of fun

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Re: AARP Caregiving Summer Break Contest

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Hi, I am Richard.  I take care of my 80 year old father who has severe lymphedema in his leg as a result from cancer.  He has trouble with mobility and doing basic everyday things.  I help him by wrapping his leg and doing all the things we can to keep the lymphedema down.

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Re: AARP Caregiving Summer Break Contest

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My caretaker and I would love a break together

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Re: AARP Caregiving Summer Break Contest, The love of my life, my husband.

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@Fedup68 wrote:

Hi Sandi,

 

Thank you for the reply. I have asked both sides of our familys. They either ignore my question or ignore us all together. They tend to sweep everything regarding feelings under the carpet. They do not like to discuss feelings. I have asked for help everywhere, with not much luck. We can't afford the utility bills at our apartment. We hardly get any food stamps because the county wants me to work. How can I work, when I have to care for my husband. This makes no sense to me. The county does not want to help us. They want people to be homeless. My husband passes out sometimes. I have to be here for when he does. If I am not, he could hit his head really hard and hurt himself badly or die.Why does it seem that everyone wants to "get rid" of poor people, people who are disabled, and people who have no choice about their lives? This is not a life that we have. We do not live. We are prisnors in our home. I really do not know what else to do. I only dream of a vacation. My dreams keep me going and my love for my husband. 


Hi Sue!

 

You're in a tough spot. I have a few suggestions, and please don't be insulted: you've probably tried them all, but i just want to make sure, because you and your husband are suffering something terrible.

 

So you're both 'underage' for the usual services for the elderly, but there are still services for younger people who are permanently disabled. Young people get disabled too or are born with disabilities. Have you looked into your local ADRC? (Defined as The Aging and Disability Resource Center (ADRC), a collaborative effort to streamline access to long-term services and support options for older adults and individuals with disabilities.) Even though the eldercare.gov site is mostly for elders, you can use it, with your zip code, to find the local ADRC, and you can also just google your county and ADRC. 

 

More basically, has your husband filed for social security disability? Because he is surely eligible. With that will come, eventually, Medicare. To get that ball rolling, you simply call the Social Security Administration, put him on the phone briefly so he can give the SSA person permission to talk to you, and ask for the disability papers to be sent to you. His primary care doc will be the most help, i would think.

 

Let me guess, is he a type 1 diabetic? If so, is there an active Diabetes Association near you? have you called them to see what they offer? I'm just guessing based on his issues. 

 

The American world wants you, who is able bodied, to work outside the home, even though your husband needs help. I wonder, is there a part time job you could do, to add to your income? You mentioned he could faint at any time. There is a machine, the apnea machine, that detects interruptions in consciousness. Kind of a pain to use but you could ask his doctor if he'd order one, if he or she thinks that might help. I also once ordered a kind of emergency call button that a client wore on her wrist that detects falls, swift falls to the floor, and then called, in this client's case, her daughter, then her neighbor, and finally 911 if no one could look into her home and check that she's okay. 

 

I'm brainstorming here.

 

Have you looked into the local food bank?

Do you or he belong to a faith community? If so perhaps you could look for volunteers to come be with him while you do errands? 

 

I'm guessing this is a 2nd marriage, and it sounds very romantic that you've reconnected after many years. Perhaps this new marriage feels weird to your children from other marriages? I hope that the two families will come together around the two of you. 

 

Given that your financial situation is so dire, i wonder if you've looked into other options, like cashing in some 401k plans, taking the tax hit, and spending that money on stuff he needs, like making sure the bathroom is safe with grab bars and stuff, as well as some basics. It's a shame to do that, but it also sounds like he might not live to retirement age? Sorry to be so blunt...

 

Anyway, please say more. There are options. There is no need to sit in your home, isolated and broke. I'm sure you've looked into all kinds of things, but keep looking... I think there are options and it takes courage and fortitude to dig in and find them. I hope you are comfortable sharing here with more detail. Because the caregiving community here on AARP is full of wisdom, i've found. And creativity. And it's time to be super creative.

 

With respect and hope for your situation,

Jane

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