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Community Manager

AARP Caregiving Summer Break Contest

 

Summertime often means taking breaks and planning vacations. Both of these can be a bit tricky while caring for a loved one.  Have you traveled with your loved one recently or are you planning to?  

Share your experience here and you will be entered in our Caregiving Summer Contest 2018 and could win one of the weekly $100 gift cards or a chance for the overall winning prize of $500 gift card. Your story may be advice or inspirational!

Review rules here:  https://community.aarp.org/t5/Caregiving/AARP-Caregiving-Summer-Break-Contest-2018/m-p/2023713#M67

AARPTeri
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Newbie

Taking care of my aunt as she started feeling sick DURING our summer family vacation changed everything we had in mind but it brought us together even more as a family. Thankfully shefully recovered!

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Newbie

Just something as simple as taking my FIL to lunch or getting his favorite milkshake at McDonalds is always nice for us to relax as a family and catch up. It's something he loves to do. 

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Newbie

My favorite summer breaks involved taking my mom to the spa for day of pampering.  Calling ahead and making necessary arrangements is highly recommended, but we enjoy relaxing away from the house for a brief escape.

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Summertime often means taking breaks and planning vacations. Both of these can be a bit tricky while caring for a loved one.  Have you traveled with your loved one recently or are you planning to?   

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Contributor

My 75 year old mom and I are taking a trip soon together.  It will be our first!  I am going with a group of seniors from her church.  I want to be sensitive to their needs as we travel together.  

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Contributor

 One  place that is very elderly friendly is Walt Disney World. My father is in a wheelchair, but loves going on the rides. They don't treat him any different just because he is mobility imparied, just get him on the ride and seeing his smile is worth it. One of his favorites is the raft ride in  the Animal Theme park. At the end, they ask if he wants to do it again, and he always says yes. I gues since it is pretty wild, he doesn't feel like he is being treated as old and infirm, but doing something rather dangerous. 

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Newbie

I just want to give support to the caregivers who do it alone.  I'm grateful that I have other family members to help as the role of caregiver since taking care of your own kids and your parents in between work demands is mentally and physically exhausting.  It's been an ongoing revovling door with my parents (diabetes with prothestics, parkinsons) and my inlaws (recently deceased with dementia, and early dementia and numerous brain surgeries).  It's been endless trips to emergency rooms and doctors but have siblings and in laws who can pick up when others can't.  My utmost respect to those who are traveling the caregiver journey alone.

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I traveled to my son's college graduation with my mom.  It was a challenge but well worth it!  Watching her see my son graduate was priceless.  We booked a hotel across from a dialysis center and I was able to take her in her wheelchair for an early morning walk over there for treatment.  All  3 of my young adult children joined us and we had the best vacation in New York.  Sure it took more effort to coordinate care, but I'm sure it will be easier as we go on.  Taking time to plan ahead made meals and eating out a breeze.  My mom is a diabetic and an end stage renal failure patient.  She is in a wheelchair and can only walk with a cane or walker for very short distances.  I made sure that we had plenty of time to drive around in the minivan we rented to let her see her old neighborhood and favorite places.

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Contributor

We were able to take a nice drive in the country.  This allowed us to get out of the house and spend some quality and relaxing time together.  Don't know if you can consider that a vacation but it sure seemed like something!

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Newbie

My best memories are of my grandparents taking me on vacations with them. That's pretty much all I have to write here at this point. 

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Kudos
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9,555 Views
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Contributor

WEEK 3 WINNING POST

 

My dad was a principal of  ahigh school for 38 years and never missed a day. He retired after myson was born to be grandpa and spend time with his only grandhchild. Soon afterwards he delveloped a cough that owuldnt go away. Having never been ill we thought it was a cold or the flu. After seeing his primary care doctor who was almost a strager he was diagnosed with cancer of the throat after many many tests in one day. After that diagnosis everything went very fast. He was scheduled for surgery the next day. ICU and coding twice he  made it through. However he had a prolonged stay inthe hospital which left him unable to walk and unable to talk as they had removed his voice box because of the cancerous growth. He finally was able to go home after  6 weeks inthe hospital and many therapies. It was trying learning how to walk again . Learning how to communicate without talking for some one 73 years old was  difficult for every one. We struggled and  accomplished many things. Everyday challenges were huge. But somehow we maded it through. Dad regain his ability to walk a little. He had one wish which was to have  a family vacation with his only grand son and the rest of  the family. WE managed to get everything together wheelchair and all and plan a family cruise for 5 days. It was magical. It was exhauting. It was memorable. Lost of laughter, great food. many long days and night of making fond memories. I was totally drained after this trip but had to continue care of my father. Dad lasted 2 months after this trip. He died inthe hospital one sunny Sunday watching golf and having family coming by to see him as he had requested. It was pleasure being his caretaker.  If only you could grant every wish you had ever dreamed of inyour heart of hearts.

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I am not expecting to win this contest. I only came to say that I can understand the heartache and frustration that goes with me a caretaker.  When my dad was alive he had to put in a nursing home due to his stroke and amputation of one foot.  This was a very hard time for me since I was an only child and was married with 2 young children of my own.  This was a learning experience, I had to grow up fast and try to manage his care and still work and take care of my family.

 

I know it must me hard for loved ones to care for an elderly parent or realtive that live with them. I wish everyone in that stituation the very best of luck and love.

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Newbie

we really enjoyed a weekend together with my grandmother.  we went upstate in new york, and stayed in a quaint inn.  we all went swimming and took nice walks.  we also went to the local library to take out books to read.  it was a real relaxing vacation.

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The hardest situation to handle with My mother who is (The best mother in the whole world, of course) is her inability to be mobile anymore. Once a very active energetic person, this 83 year old has been robbed of her ability to getup and go. 
With the help of wheelchairs, walkers, and canes, we manage to get her out and about on small "day trips". Even a couple of hours out of the house to a museum, a coffee shop or a store" brightens her spirits. I know the mind feeds the body so we have to make sure we keep her mentally the best as we can. It's an honor to take care of my mother. Not my duty or obligation.

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Honored Social Butterfly

@leem.......what a blessing you are to your Mother. So glad to read your post.
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My mom will be 86 in Sept. and is legally blind as well as having dementia.  She lives across the street from me and I walked over daily to do her meds and would take her dinner over every day.  Breakfast and lunch she pretty much helped herself to simple meals.  But then it got to a point where she was afraid at night some nights, and after several calls to me and my going over to sit with her a few hours and my losing sleep, I found a woman to move in for free room and board that could be there nights, tho she worked days.

 

When I did meds I'd sit an hour with her to chat, sometimes longer if we went out to her screen room.   But when she needed groceries I'd have her go with me, even tho it greatly slowed me down, or we'd go to Dollar Tree or Walmart.  She did better when I'd get her out of the house, and at times we'd eat out too.  Gets boring and lonely, depressing for an elderly person to be home 24/7.  Also took her to Dr appts and to get her haircuts.

 

Right now she is in a nursing home for physical therapy.  She fell one night and broke her hip, and I am glad she had the night time person there who notified me.  Saw her today for a visitation, and she was about in tears, remarking it seems forever to get back home again.  

 

We lost my dad 10 yrs ago from Parkinsons and dementia.  I was there for him too.  My compassion needs no breaks from helping aging parents.  It's a break to be with them, breaking from my life, to listen to their stories of when they were young and sharing their memories

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Contributor

My mom is living alone and doesn’t get out much. Sometimes I forgot that it doesn’t take elaborate planning of a trip

to make her feel better. She loves to go shopping and eat out with my boys and me. It also doesn’t have to be a grand vacation planned to have her feel like she has had a vacation. Just getting out of her house and away for a weekend will do.  

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Newbie

I just love the summer so that my dad can come and visit, he just loves the beach

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Newbie

My summer was amazing like omg

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Contributor

This story is about my wife.  We divorced in 2004 & remarried in 2009.  how ever, the journey was a long one.  We divorced while I was n active duty in the Army.  Shortly after in 2005, I was hospitalized with complications from colon cancer surgery.  Twice I was near death & my then ex-wife was by my side encouraging me to hang on to life.  That is just part of the story.  She lived in Milwaukee WI & I was hospitalize in Great Lakes Naval hospital in Illinoise.  She drove 60 miles to be with me after she left he nursing home where here mother was cnfined with Alzhimers.  It was also after she got through taking care of her only brother who was hospitalized at the VA hospital in Milwaukee where he was confined with the later stages of Muktiple Sclerosous.  She made this circuit for over 6 months until I was eventually transferred to the VA hospital in Milwaukee.  When I was released from care after 8 months, we started seeing each other as friends, then we started dating & the next thing we knew we were in love all over again.  My wife is my hero and my best friend.  I don't think I'd be here today if not for her.

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Kudos
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Newbie

All I can say is AARP is the best!!!

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Newbie

we have found with my father in law to always keep a bag packed. He's 91 & sometimes just wants to go get a cup of coffee. So we keep a bag packed that has things like tissues, a spare bottle, extra hearing aids, & hard candy. So all we have to do it grab the bag & we are ready to go. Our trips don't get much longer than a trip to the coffee shop because of age & mobilty but they always a fun unexpected journey.

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My mother in law used to travel all over the country. Her husband had passed away from cancer and her traveling had ceased.  My wife and I decided to rent an rv and  take her with us on our vacation to Florida. We were concerned how the trip would go because her health is declining.  Renting an rv was a great way to do it. She was able to have comfort and also had less worries about getting into and out of a hotel. My wife was able to enjoy her time more knowing her mother was safe and close by.

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Newbie

The best break for me in summer is just getting outside and enjoying some sun and fresh air.

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Contributor

My story is a simple one, but I'm sharing and hope you enjoy. Before his passing earlier this year, I would vacation with my Dad often. It wasn't always easy (can you relate?) due to his ailments, but it was always special. Whether it was Las Vegas (he loved the slots!) or to the Rock 'n Roll HOF, vacationing with Dad was something I won't soon forget. RIP Dad. 

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Summer is great for us to travel around and explore new places with grand children.

As Minnesotans we respect summers more than most of the American population, It is important for us to take break and be children ourselves with children, and there is no other time than summer for doing that

 

Thanks

Vijay

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Newbie

While traveling can be inconvenient, I just enjoy making memories while we can. 

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Hello

It is always great to take care of my grand children during summer, it is a great bonding time for us and helps us to grow strong as a family.
I really like the summer time with kids

 

Thanks

Madhavi

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Contributor

Going out to eat with family and friends presents a nice little get away. Sometimes, the laughter that arises from playing family games together like uno provides a vacation-like atmosphere.

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