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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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My grandparents have alzeheimers and AARP has provided great care

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These are great stories!

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Contributor

We took mom to the beach this year but had to change accommodations to be sure there was a ramp and we rented a beach wheelchair to help get her to the beach.  I had to explain to my kids, that I know its hard because grandma is not her old self but we should spend time with her while we can.  I have such fond memories of this vacation even if there were some challenges!

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Newbie

My husband is my care giver. It's really hard to feel so dependent when all I want to be is a capable wife. I want to take care of him. I feel bad because I don't think he signed up for this. He assures me that he is fine.

 

I make sure that my husband goes out with his friends to the movies. Encourage him to "be selfish" sometimes and go out without worrying about me.

 

We have a routine of simple things he does with me. He paints ceramics with me. We go to the local community theater here.

 

He encourages me to do my crafts.

 

One of the funny sides of forgetting things? Getting to watch movies I have seen before but forgotten. 50 First Dates...movie addition. lol

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I think the best summer activity I've ever planned with my older loved ones has been fishing. It was super easy to check out the location of the docks before hand so to make sure they were accessible for everyone. I find fishing to be a great activity for those who are more active or the less active "watchers" of the group. Whether you're reeling in the fish or watching from the sidelines, it's always a great time! Highly recommend for those who aren't looking to travel far either as I know one of my older loved ones cannot handle more than an hour car ride. 

 

Stay safe and have fun this summer!!

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Newbie

We love to go to the beach to get a break from the usual routine!

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Newbie

Hey I'm 66 would really love some help 

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Newbie

How can you enjoy these vactions?

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Newbie

I accompanied and cared for my grandmother (who has breathing issues and may be going senile) to new york so she could handle her business.

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Short and quick story.  

 

Every summer I take a trip to my grandparents' house and take them to their favorite beach.  Its not crazy but it means a lot.

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I have been taking myself on trips this year seeing the Caribbean and Disney just to name a few. I have been so busy helping my family that I decided it was time to treat myself. I bought myself a tiara and sprinkled myself with pixie dust and enjoyed a few days at Disney World. I didn't plan much just a few fast passes and a character breakfast. I found that taking care of myself was much needed and that I am rejuvenated and ready to help my family when I returned.

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Newbie

Even past 80 years ago, my father still loved to piddle around in his wood shop.  We would enjoy spending a summer day going down to Omegas grill and getting a chicken fried steak, then dig around the trash bins at a wooden shutters planet for scraps of wood.  It was like finding treasure.  He loved the beauty of wood and created works of art in that shop.

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TRY NOT TO FEEL GUILTY TAKING TIME FOR YOURSELF. iT'S NATURAL TO FEEL THAT WAY, BUT REALLY, YOU  deserve this time and you need it to stay healthy yourself. 

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Newbie

thank you for sharing.

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My greatest summer story was when I met my best friend. I was alone on the beach, recently divorcef, so I was extremely depressed and lonely. I was at the beach to collect my thoughts when some guy approached me. He was someone I knew, before I retired from my job. "Hello, Edward, how are you doing," he said. "Oh you know, just sandbathing," I said. "Why the long face and the frown, Ed is there something wrong?" I told him about the divorce and he also mentioned that he himself went through a divorce. We later got some beers and watched the Cubs game. It was the 40th game of the MLB season at the time. After that day, me and Bob became best friends.

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My families having been sharing time with my grandmother who is becoming very ill after a recent stroke. We try to make her time with as enjoyable but as she keeps losing her hearing aids and likes to drink, it's hard to get through to her. She recently also lost her license and has been very upset about it. 

 

I remember spending summers at our lake with her and how she was the best grandmother. Keeping those memories in my heart help me care for the one women in my life who truly was a role model and a loving caretaker. We take her to that same lakehouse often to bring back good memories and share in new ones.

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Newbie

I helped my grandmother pack some bags on a trip to Africa! She had a great time with a couple of her friends and she sent me wonderful pictures that were priceless.

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Newbie

Love to spend time in national parks with my family.
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Good luck to everyone

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My husband, 2 small children (ages 7 and 10) and I moved in with my mother-in-law in 1998.  She was having trouble meeting her bills, and she was beginning to show signs that she could not make good decisions anymore.  Other than that, she was completely independent.  I watched her over the years slowly go downhill, and somewhere around 2006, she had a few mini strokes.  I was glad that I was there and able to diagnose what was happening at the time.  She recovered, but not fully, and continued to decline slowly.  In 2007, I changed my full-time position to a part-time position, and in 2011, I retired at the age of 57 so that I could care for her full-time.  It would often be a challenge - she didn't want my teenage kids to have their friends over in her house, and I wasn't allowed to have friends over either.  Mom required more and more assistance, and refused to take her medicine or do physical therapy after having 3 heart procedures.  She would sit in her living room chair and just stare at the TV with the screen off,, except from noon - 1:00 (Daily Mass).  No matter what I did, or cooked, or anything - it was never good enough and she would criticize everything my kids or I did.  I tried to get her involved with the local senior center (it would be good for her to get out and socialize, and would give me a break too), but it interfered with the daily Mass on TV so she wouldn't go.  One of the best days we had was one where she had a doctor's appointment.  It was mid-morning.  By the time we left the doctor's office, it was time for her lunch.  We stopped at an all-you-can eat buffet.  She had a blast!!!!!!  So many food choices, she could eat til her heart's content, and enjoyed all the desserts and ice cream.  It made the rest of the day enjoyable for both of us, and she talked about it for a few weeks whenever someone would come visit.  It was nice for me to hear her telling others that I had done something nice for her for a change.

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I am a caregiver of my elderly mother and father along with my small niece. 

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Newbie

Grandma is getttting old so we take her out to the beach everyday to help her memory improve

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Sometimes it’s difficult and obstacles can get in the way, but cherish every moment. Those moments mean the world to those you are caring for and sometimes it’s too late before you realize how special they were. 

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My best memories is with my Dad and traveling to softball tournaments. Listening to WV games on the radio because we couldn't afford cable. Great times! Would trade anything for another moment together ❤

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HI! my name is Michelle and I am the caregiver for my mom. My family and I would got to Maine every summer to a house that we would rent every year. She absolutely loves going and watching the fishing boats come in every day. She would just love to sit on the porch and watch what was going on around her. She always came back rested and at peace. She loved going and getting her hair done at the same salon that she had been going to for some 25 years. They always treater like a Queen. Then we would go and get bite to eat. She always picked a different restuarant every time we went out. She didnt consider going tothe doctors and a treat. Who would. 

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My greatest memory is when we took my grandma B to the beach. Even though she was in the mid stages of Alzeimers and dementia it was awe inspiring to see her face and watch her reaction to the roar of the ocean. My regrets are that I didn't have more "firsts" with her. Oh how I miss her! 

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I absolutely loved it when we took my mom to see Graceland. She absolutely loved seeing everything thing. They had ramps for her wheelchair so it made it easier for us. Even the hotels were very accommonidating of her wheel chair. Unfortunately, Mom passed about 9 months later but that was all she talked about up till her passing.

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Newbie

I AM A CAREGIVER OF MY OLD GRANDMA

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We live with my 83 year old mother.  Nothing makes her happier then when we take her out shopping.  Just getting out of the house and looking around is the break she needs.

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Taking my parents for a drive throught the country makes their day. Dad had a stroke five years ago and cannot drive now, so they are shut-ins. Most of our time is going to doctor appointments or doing errands. Going on a drive to get them out of the house brighten their day.

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