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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

Hello everyone! I am 63 years young and I act as a full-time caregiver for my 72 year-young husband and our disabled adult daughter. As you might imagine, this is a very time-consuming and challenging job. I have to monitor their medications, keep them safe, help them with personal tasks (everything from eating to paying bills), and take them to all of their appointments. I am in the midst of planning for us to take a short trip to visit our other daughter and her family (a 3-hour flight away). While we considered having them come to visit us, we could certainly use a break from the daily grind, my daughter and son-in-law will provide me with some respite, and we have yet to see our daughter's new home. I am just focused on making sure that we are amply prepared with their medications, etc. and thinking of ways to make the trip as comfortable for my two charges as I can. Best wishes for a healthy and happy summer!

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Newbie

I used to be a caregiver for my mom and Brother when they were alive and you don't always get to go on vacations.
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Newbie

Hello I’m morgan and summertime traveling is hard for me. Often I don’t get to go or have to depend on my family to help

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Contributor

I take care of my 86 year old grandmother who has Alzheimer's and cannot walk. Every day we do the same ritual as to remind her of the past and help her to remember. We have a photo album we look through everyday and she remembers and tells me the most wonderful stories. It doesn't matter to me if I have heard them for the first time or the hundred and first time, To see Grandmas face light up every time she tells them, melts my heart to the core

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Newbie

I love to travel alone. I love the open road and it's complete and utter lack of expectation. I love that I can sing out loud; sugar binge and skip showers; roll windows down; drive fast or drive slow. I can stop just to stare, count clouds, write a while; or find some café and talk with a stranger for hours. It's hard to find people you can do all those things with on the road, but if you do find them, don't ever let them go.

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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 by someone who loves them and who they love.  We have been blessed to have my 87 year old 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 how I wanted my mom 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

care giver contest

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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 and with people who love them and that they love.  We have been blessed to have my 87 year old 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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Periodic Contributor

Great job.
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Contributor

I am a caregiver for my neighbor who doesnt have any family members in town to help her.  I have had to travel and take her to visit family in another state.  We just have to make sure we are prepared to make numerous stops along the way so she can get out and stretch her legs and use the restroom.  I personally havent had to many bad experienes with traveling with her.  She is always so grateful to get out and to have someone there to help.  She is a blessing to me just as I am to her.

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With both young children and a parent with failing health, vacations are usually close to home and with all driving done at night along main roads with lots of rest stops. Our last trip we got a suite so everyone could have some privacy at night and to accommodate naptimes.

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Contributor

Hi, I would love a summer break of taking care of my ederly mom.  Been doing it for 3 years now.  It is a lot of work with no help from other family members.

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Newbie

I'm Denise and I'm 48.  I recently soent the last 2 years as Mom's caregiver.  I wouldn't change it for anything.  But it IS exhausting.  Unlike having young children and being able to call a babysitter like the teenage kid down the street, caring for elderly or ill family members means you don't get very many breaks!  For our cruise last year, we had to arrange to have my brother fly halfway across the country just so we could go.  That means even though HE is not the caregiver, he still had to take time off from work to do so.  Caregiving isn't just up to a prmary giver!

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Kudos
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Newbie

Taking a break is nice, however it can be hard.  Luckily, we have another famiy member that can help out so both families can get a break and a vacation.  However, when we cannot get a formal vacation, we go for rides in the car so he can reminice and tell us his stories.  Seriously, that is the part I love the most, the stories.

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Contributor

I took so many wonderful trips with my mother over the years, that even though travel is now often limited we still have a wonderful time remembering all the wonderful travels we shared.  The family has arranged a wonderful celebration i Branson for her 80th birthday.

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 h

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Newbie

Traveling to a new area with family member, hiking a little in the caverns, visiting historic areas and talking about the history we remember is fun and wonderful to see the beauty in the mountains.  Everyone came together from 4 different states to celebrate my Dad's 80's birthday and just great to see each other.  We are all distant to this visit was fun for everyone.  Love the food and learning about the area.

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Newbie

Even a caregiver needs a break!

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Newbie

I care for my grandmother who is unable to care for herself due to a fall.  I remember all the times she used to drive my around, and  I think to myself, NOW it is my turn.

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Newbie

Hello, 

I'm Sheila and the care giving of my new mother in law.  My husband and I have been married 4 months. I have left my home, my husband , my childern and family to move 3 states away to care for her   Her time with us is limited. I will stay until then. She is a sweet and wonderful person. I will miss her so much..

 

 

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Newbie

not only do i care for my husband and two small boys, I also help tkae care of my 75yr old uncle.  I have a very big, very close family and when my uncle found out he had cancer last year it was a hard hit to all of us.  while his wife and daughters help, the general rule in our family is "ask sasha".  going to the doctor, to chemo, whatever he needs, whatever anyone needs i take care of.  i look at it as doing hte right thing, family always comes first, but sometimes it can get taxing as i have a full-time job teaching higher education, and 2 younger boys at home with a husband who travels for work.

 

To those who are in a caregiver position I appluad you and thank you for htee sometimes sacrifices that we have to make.

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Newbie

When I learned of her “under-age” husband (that is, under HER age), I began to call her cougar. And being Southern-born and raised, the “Louisville Cougar” label stuck.

As fun-loving as she is and always trying to take the high road with dementia, Janice gets “mad” when PWoDs (People WithOut Dementia) tell her she doesn’t look like she has dementia. Then, in an ill-fated and weak attempt to connect with her terminal diagnosis for which there is no cure – yet – they further aggravate her when they say, “Oh, I forget stuff all the time.”

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Newbie

I usually take my loved one to the beach for the summer, not to an overly crowded beach but a nice secluded beach so they can look at the waves and reminesece about the first time they and then we would enjoy a nice lunch there

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Contributor

.

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Newbie

Taking care of my mother with the help of my sister in her final days were the best. Even though my job didn't give me time to spend with her. It was 2 years before family leave law took effect in NY state. I wish I had it back then to spend more time with my mother and job had the nerve to want me to work before I could get to plan my mother's funeral.

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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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The most difficult situation a person could go thru. I have become my husband's care giver after 15 years of Happiness. 

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A

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Newbie

I am the care giver to many! I take care of my parents, my elderly neighbors and my mother in. What was suppose to be a time of staying at home with the kids turned in to a transition. 

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Newbie

Its important to take a break as a caregiver, but sometimes I like to take my break with my mom.  We take a break and enjoy a cup of coffee together. 

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