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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 favorite summer break was going to the nursing home to visit my 88 year old mother and have lunch with her every week.

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my dad is semi-retired, technically he was retired but started working again. i would love to take him on a vacation somewhere, not sure where but it would be fun to have him go with us and his grandkids one year

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I was taking care of both my mother and grandfather who both was diagnosed with cancer around the same time period.  I was the only one taking care of them both, and my grandfather required 24/7 care.  My mother was going through chemo therapy, and could only help out when she could. Needless to say, I was beyond overwhelmed.  What I found that relaxed us all was a trip to our favorite park.  My mother and grandfather would sit and gaze at the duck pond, while I would go jogging around the track.  It seems like a little of nothing to go the park, but it relaxed me, and gave me energy to keep taking care of them.  I lost my grandfather last year, and my mother is now in remission from breast cancer.  Caregivers need to know how important it is to take care of yourself as well as others

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Summertime means my friend young Tom Rose goes on lots of walks both around his neighborhood and also at the mall.  My favourite memories of these times are when we talk about the same topic around and around again in circles and just frustrate each other.  I can only assume it initially starts off trying to troll one another and then it just turns into everyone mad.  I miss the good ol' days with young Tom Rose.

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As caregivers to our parents, we have it extremly challenging with the decline in my parents health. We are planning a trip over to the Oregon Coast that has been in the works for some time. The challenge will be comfortable transportation as both are not very mobile. Making sure that they do not push themselves is going to be important.


I think that the most important aspect of all of this is that it is never to late to take a trip. Despite all of the mobility issues, health problems and logistical issues, just taking a trip with them is reward enough

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hello

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helllo faefafef f aef

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My sister cares for my older brother, who has a seizure disorder, and some short term memory loss. In order to give her some time for herself, my fiance and I step in to help. We take him to church organization meetings, out to dinner, to the library and to group picnics. He even rode a float with my fiance in a local parade! He helps us work church festivals, and goes on local riverboat cruises with us. He loves getting out, and we love his company. Even just stopping by their home and visiting, or taking a walk, is a great time for him. I love my brother and sister so very much, and any way I can make life easier and more pleasant for them, I'm ready and willing.

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Traveling is really a prior planning, to be able to really enjoy the moment. We took Mom to the beach, she could dive many times in the water with confidence, because we were very attentive to her, so that nothing bad happened to her. I have very good memories of this holiday. 
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I like to take my Mom on rides every thursday to get her out of the house and seeing a different scenery,She enjoys it and so do I.

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Just get out of the house for a bit

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Just get out of the house.

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Newbie

I currently take care of a gentleman that has Dementia.  I am with him about 12 hours a day.  He dosen't like to leave home so getting a break is sometimes impossible.  On the rare occassion that he wants to go somewhere I usually take him out for a treat.  He loves ice cream, so I take him to the local Dairy Queen to get him something.  Seeing the smile on his face makes it all worth it.  He is just like a little kid and it brings him such pleasure.  Each time I take him, it is something new for him.  People in the community that we live in know him and always come by to speak to him.  He is always so happy and it gives me the time to catch a little break my self.  

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Being a caregiver for your parents, is what you OWE them. I was married to a wonderful man, had 3 children, one who was still at home and went two hundred miles away, to care for my parents. My Mom died with a few months of a rapid cancer, and I stayed six years to take care of my Dad, until his death. It is so difficult to be a caregiver and it can be financially and mentally draining. I did all I could for my parents and while taking care of my dad, I took him places, and we did things together at his home. We worked on special projects, such as building a nut feeder for the birds, stripping motors and all the old wires he had in his basement, jobs around the home etc. I did anything to keep him mentally focused. I tought him computers, streaming music, VOIP and so much more. He was always learning. I was his cook, and so much more. I didn't do much for me, but I have to say, it was one of the most rewarding things I've ever done. It came out a great cost to my family/marriage.

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Caring for my 94 year old mother is a challenge.  She claims to be bored all of the time, but does not remember anything she is doing.  In the summer she seems to enjoy a drive past the house she and dad lived in for many years, so I will take her there and park in the road out front, talking about the things we used to do there.  I can often see a glimmer of recognition, although it's fading fast.  It seems the least I can do to try to bring some happiness to her life.

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Newbie

Being a primary caregiver for my parents while also caring for my own family can be overwhelming at times. It is good to see others are also doing this for their loved ones.

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Newbie

Caretaking is never easy.We have to give up our own private lives to do so,however it is well worth it to see the love in their eyes.We may have to wait for those times,and exceptthat at times it is buried deep but it is there..I thank God for every day I  have her with me.

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Newbie

Hi, I'm Shane. After spending the past several years being one of two caregivers to my father, navigating him through countless medical appointments, I've learned that it's also a life lesson too many in the medical profession have completely forgotten about. Caregivers will encounter a lot of doctors, nurses, and technicians who are absolute experts in their field of practice. But it's the caregivers themselves who are the experts of their loved ones---the patients; they know them better than anyone. And it's up to them to speak up when they feel a medical professional isn't seeing the whole picture. Caregivers need not be afraid to use their voice. My father, for one, was definitely better off by me being an advocate for him.

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  1. It has been over 10 years since my  mom and I have been on vacation because my dad was wheelchair bound and very sick. A year ago my dad finally passed away and finally after a long hard year we decided it was time to go on a vacation . We knew it wasn't going to be fanc fance but that was ok with us . We decided to stay a week at a motel just so we could use the pool and bath in the sun like we wanted to and enjoy watching the my grandbabies and her great grandchildren play hand have fun with us. She said it was the happiest day she had been in a while because she never thought she would ever see this day
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Newbie

Mom has dementia.  Although hard to leave her, I do take brew.  We tried taking her along but it seems to make her word

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after becoming physically and mentally disabled last year i learned i had to take a lot of breaks. if i don't manage my grocery shopping with a power cart instead of walking i will flare up my spinal nerve issues and autoimmune and it will cause me to need steroids and take days off of work to recover.

 

sometimes your body forces you to learn to break.

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I take a break by relaxing with the ones I love and adore. I'm such a home body I don't care to be anywhere else. I love my family that is all my relaxation.

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Regular Contributor

Caregiving is not an easy job, but it is rewarding in the sense that you know that your loved one is properly being taken care of.  We have been blessed to have my mother in our care for the past seven years.  Mom had several strokes two years ago and currently has two clogged arteries in her brain that are inoperable. When mom had the strokes, they sent her to a nursing care facility for three months, where she sat in wet diapers for hours, amongst other things that were not acceptable to us.  The facilities comments to my complaints were that they were understaffed, and this may have been true, but was not acceptable that mom was not properly cared for.  This is when we decided that we would never send her to any facility for caregiving, as long as we were capable of taking care of her.  It is crucial that caretakers find ways, to make time for some relaxation, enjoyment and stress relief.  Because of moms inoperable clogged arteries in her brain, she is unable to travel by airplane, so we had to work around that issue.  We decided to take mom on a cruise, this would eliminate me having to make decisions on what to cook, shopping for the meals and cooking them, cleaning the house,  changing bed sheets and doing laundry for at least ten days.  Yes, I still had to change moms diapers, dress her daily and feed her at meal time but what a blessing to eliminate all the other routine chores.  This decision proved to be a good choice for us and mom,  great food, wonderful accommodations and planned entertainment.   Even though we weren't able to take any shore excursions, we were blessed to relax and enjoy beautiful sunsets and sunrises.  We even pushed mom in her wheelchair around the outdoor track so we could get fresh air, exercise and enjoy the calming effects of the ocean waters together.  We also recieved and added blessing from so many strangers, they would talk to mom and us,  several would touch her (touch is so important) and say what a blessing she was with her beautiful smile, which made her smile even more.  When it was time to leave the cruise ship mom said, "can't you sell the house and we just live on this ship," refreshment and renewal was had by all!   

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Newbie

I care for my older Aunt who is challenged, and she loves to play the card game Skip Bo! We sit outside on the patio and play literally for hours, with breaks to watch her favorite show “Family Fued”.

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I took care of my sister-in-law for eleven years. She was a kidney transplant patient with lots of other illinesses. The hospital and clinics she went to was Mayo in Rochester MN. It's about a two hour drive from our home. There were many times she would go to an appointment and be admitted. I wouldn't have clothes to be able to stay. My husband and I were raising eight children so money was tight and I couldn't afford going home and go back up to pick her up. I once had to spend two days and nights in one outfit and ate once a day when, to our surprize, she was admitted. After that we both started carrying a suitcase with clothes and toiletres when ever we went to an appointment. I also carried food because the prices of meals are crazy high at most hospitals cafaterias. Sad to say she passed away February of 2011. It was just over a month after my husband had multitable heart attacks and I became a caretaker to both of them. My husband is disabled and we spend a lot of time at the Universary of Iowa hospital and clinics. Anytime we head down there I have my bags packed.      

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Newbie

such an amazing story thank yoiu so much for sharing.

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Newbie

AARP SAVED MY LIFE

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AARP Expert

@ShyA157223 SO glad we've been helpful to you!!! Let us know if there is anything else we can do to help! 

 

Take care,

Amy Goyer, AARP Family & Caregiving Expert

Author, Juggling Life, Work and Caregiving and

Color Your Way Content When Caring for Loved Ones

 

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Being a caregiver can be extremly challenging. Esspecially with the decline in my parents in laws health. We have just finished planning a trip down to South Carolina that has been in the works for some time. The challenge is really transportation considering that both are not very mobile. Making sure that they do not push themselves is going to be important. 


I think that the most important aspect of all of this is that it is never to late to take a trip. Despite all of the mobility issues, health problems and logistical issues, just taking a trip with them is reward enough. 

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It's hard to be a caregiver so we take mini vaca

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