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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 97 year old dad was an avid golfer all of his adult life until he just couldn't walk anymore.  When summer comes around I always make time to take him to a golf course and he and I just sit there and watch golfers tee off or sometimes watch as they approach one of the greens.  This may not sound like much to the rest of you, but it filled my dad with joy.  He always seemed invigorated when we did this together.  

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Newbie

it is important to plan.  make sure hotels are wheelchair accessible.

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I travel a lot over the summer with older loved ones,  it can take a little more to get places, because of my bathroom breaks, other than that it's really not much different then normal everyday life

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I havd been taking care of my sister who has MS.  She is my inspriation.

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Newbie

Caregiving isn't for wimps.

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Kudos
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im planning on going to jacksonville in a month 

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i am care giver to my gfather who has sugar BP issues, we try to make him happy by going out to natural places like beaches, forest. Its tough sometimes but is worth his smile

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 I don't feel like I own my life because of all the things I have to do for my mom. She can't afford to 'hire' an elder care helper - that's me. She has great neigbhors but she won't ask them to take her places - she'd rather wait until I get home from work taking me away from my family. My son is growing and he is growing away from me. After my Mom had been living in my town for two years, I picked my son up from school and he asked me in a dull tone of only a 4th grader can ask, 'where are we taking Nana today?'; I just want to go home Mom.' ... I just want to go someplace where I don't have to rush to hurry to get back to do something for someone else. I just want some time for me and not feel like I am on a schedule ALL OF THE TIME!!!! - Rush rush rush..to do for others but don't get to enjoy my life. This sounds horrible but I need a break.....Yet, I know in 4 years, my son God willing will be in college, my Mom could be gone or she'd be almost 99, and my horse gone (my therapy). LIfe is so fast, so quick, so desperate at time, so full of life yet so sad and tiring at others.

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I've been taking care of my uncle who was diagnosed witth ALS. He was never married and has no children. I have no siblings, so I am all he has. It is so hard to see someone you admired for years become so helpless so quickly. I usually end up crying before and after talking to him, but never in front of him. I stay strong and wait until I have enough distance. I stay strong for him, because I couldn't imagine what he is going through. None of my problems matter when I am helping him. I put 100% focus into him and him alone.

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My favorite thing to do over summer break to go go to my grandmother's house and help her bake cakes.

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yes this is difficult for me too

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My mom had a stroke in 2013 that left her partially paralyzed. The first vacation we took after it was in 2016. It was a combination boardwalk casino trip and day cruise scattering ashes at sea - what my late grandmother wanted - so feelings were already mixed and heightened. Between packing, trying to keep up with everyday care, and traveling to and through a crowded shore location, it was exhausting for both of us. But what really helped was talking to the hotel staff for extra help and scheduling as much ahead of time as possible, from luggage pick up to traveling up and down the boardwalk to shopping to dinner, plus a lot of time for naps in between. It takes a lot of spontaneity out of a vacation and adds a little more work, but it makes everything so much more enjoyable for everyone.

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It's been hard recently. With my mom having some really tough luck in life. At times I want to quit, but then I look at her and I can see the fight in her eyes. And I remember that there were times growing up where she may have wanted to quit too, but she persisted. So I will take her strength and channel it in myself and continue to fight with her.

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Although I do enjoy summer, the heat and bugs can be too much- especially as you age.  We have a nice breeze going now but I must say I'm looking forward to the fall.  This summer has been a time of great reflection for me; I've taken the steps to clear up past relationship issues with the people that matter.  Having those relationships in place helps life become more bearable throughout the trials, so I encourage you all to reach out to those you'd like to mend relationships with.  The worse that can happen is you get rejected, but at least you made an effort.

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An elderly woman decided to prepare her will and told her preacher she had two final requests. First, she wanted to be cremated, and second, she wanted her ashes  scattered over Wal-Mart. Wal-Mart?" the preacher exclaimed. "Why Wal-Mart?" Then I'll be sure my daughters visit me twice a week."

 

My memory's not as sharp as it used to be. Also, my memory's not as sharp as it used to be.

Know how to prevent sagging? Just eat till the wrinkles fill out.

I've sure gotten old! I've had two bypass surgeries, a hip replacement, new knees, fought prostate cancer and diabetes. I'm half blind, can't hear anything quieter than a jet engine, take 40 different medications that make me dizzy, winded, and subject to blackouts. Have bouts with dementia. Have poor circulation; hardly feel my hands and feet anymore. Can't remember if I'm 85 or 92. Have lost all my friends. But, thank God, I still have my driver's license.

 

I feel like my body has gotten totally out of shape, so I got my doctor's permission to join a fitness club and start exercising. I decided to take an aerobics class for seniors. I bent, twisted, gyrated, jumped up and down, and perspired for an hour. But, by the time I got my leotards on, the class was over.

 

It's scary when you start making the same noises as your coffee maker.

These days about half the stuff in my shopping cart says, "For fast relief."

 

Remember: You don't stop laughing because you grow old, You grow old
because you stop laughing.

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Just getting support from a website and forum like this is great. It is nice to “take a break”

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Hi, I am Laura. I am a caregiver for my Mother in law. She is just 68 years old, but she had a stroke a few years ago and shw cant properly ise the right side of her body. When I married my husband he was already taking care of her mom while having a full time job. We I are in our early 30’s doing well, and we still want to travel and have adventures but sometimes it feels selfish in our situation. I stay at home with her and work a little from home. It is challenging also because she can make a full recovery, doctors have said it, but for some reason she doesn’t want to, she is closed to reason and just wants to stay at home and watch tv. She doesn’t express how she feels or comunícates her needs so life around our home is quite challenging. We try to do our best and accommodate, but I am not going to lie, for a couple like us it can be quite frustrating sometimes helping someone who doesn’t want to get better. 

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Brought my parents up to our house. Both have their own health issues to deal with, but the difference of them being with their grandkids and doing things they don't on a regular basis, was amazing.

I know the time is coming, that they will not be able to live by themselves anymore, and then my sister and i will have to decide on homecare or assissted living.But for now I try not to think too much about that and enjoy every moment I have with them

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my grandpa is sick and we now hang out outside at the porch telling stories.

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i help take care of my mother who is beginning to have trouble with her memory.  my brother and sister also help out.  would love to take her on a vacation before her memory gets worse.

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We have traveled with mother and hope to again, finding rooms that accomodate her needs.  Car travel can be good, flying is faster but is tricky going through airports.   Looking for tips and tricks!

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This is my second year of taking care of Mom ... We love visiting with her friends and swapping stories about life

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I find that traveling becomes quite different than when having young ones around. When you are a caregiver it suddenly becomes making it through the trip and trying to help your loved one have as good of a time as possible. You come in not knowing what is going to happen and keeping expectations to a minimum. When that day has been completed though, you actually are happier and now have new memories with a loved one you care the world about. I find myself feeling more accomplished and happier when we make it through vacations like this.

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I'm planning on traveling to upstate New York to see my brother.

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i have been helping my niece take care of her children since her marriage unexpectedly blew up.  she has three children who i love very much but it is exhausting!  i have basically moved in with her.  a summer break would be just what the doctor ordered! 

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In the beginning  of the summer we went to Washington  DC  for the weekend.  Wmy sister named law accompanied  us for the trip.  Most museums were handicap accessible but once inside it was difficult to maneuver the wheelchair.  People are so rude.

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i have to clean up my dad's poop

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If you do not have a lot of money, one of the best ways to get away is to rent a hotel room in your city.  It feels like you are away and the best part is that you can relax and get away from your responsibilities for a few days.  I like to rent a room at a hotel with a pool and a hot tub.  If you join the rewards clubs at certain hotels, you can receive a discount.

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My name is Anne. My father is in his nineties and still very active. My mother passed away from a stroke 5 years ago so it's been a major loss for him. They had 5 children, and my father lives with my brother and his family but is still very independent.

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Hello, my name is Laura and I love taking my mother to the ocean. There are so many places along the Pacific Coast that you can just plant yourself and just be. So relaxing and spiratual. 

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