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Re: AARP Caregiving Summer Break Contest

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Message 221 of 1,085

This has been a blessing to be a part of. I love being a part of this all.

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Re: AARP Caregiving Summer Break Contest

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Message 222 of 1,085

Thanks.  We had a wonderful time.

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Re: AARP Caregiving Summer Break Contest

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Message 223 of 1,085

I strive to give my dad the dignity he deserves as well as the freedom he needs. We often do road trips and talk about how things used to be. A treasure for me; a mental vacation for him. Sadly, with health issues, he cannot travel far from home. 

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Re: AARP Caregiving Summer Break Contest

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Message 224 of 1,085
Love the summer get to spend time with love ones nothing like summer time
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Re: AARP Caregiving Summer Break Contest

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Message 225 of 1,085

going to see my grandson. i think. 

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Re: AARP Caregiving Summer Break Contest

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Message 226 of 1,085

What an absolutely amazing story. I'm so happy you guys were able to take that trip.

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Re: AARP Caregiving Summer Break Contest

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Message 227 of 1,085

My mom's bucket list trip first took shape as a love letter from my Dad.  He had planned many trips for them over the 65 years they were together so he listened to her wishes and plans and he researched and built a 9 page, highly detailed (with excerpts cut and taped from appropriate AAA guides) itinerary of where to go, where to eat, where to stop and where to stay as they traveled from Florida to Mount Rushmore and the Black Hills, so close to where she had been born but had never seen.  When he sent the original copy of his plan to me I was overwhelmed - still working full time, disabled husband at home, demanding job.  I wasn't sure what he wanted ME to do with it.  But he knew his hard work would would be safe with me until the plan could fully take shape.  How glad I am now that he shared his work with me because he died unexpectedly just a few months later.  As we dealt with the sorrow and the details of his passing the plan was buried away.  For three long years my mother would not travel or plan or even discuss "her" trip. 

 

Finally, this spring, she agreed to think about "the trip".  I was newly retired and finally up to the challenge of driving the 10 state road trip that would take us to Mount Rushmore.  We poured over an old fashioned Rand McNally road atlas, using my father's notes and plans as the backbone for what we shaped into a two week trip.  We gassed up the car and took off - Mom, my sister, my husband and me.  We visited all of her immediate family, cruised by literally every home where she had ever lived, unearthed memories of her 8 year old self in the Ozark mountains where her father had helped to build Ft. Leonard Wood, ate far too much at wonderful restaurants, laughed a lot, cried a little and and filled her bucket to the brim with memories and love.  We stood in awe at the base of Mount Rushmore, drove through the town where she was born, crossed and recrossed the Missouri and Mississippi rivers and rang every last drop of memory out of her 86 year life in the Midwest  We hugged people I didn't even know we were related to and hugged each other a lot too.  Finally, after 14 days and 4000 miles (almost exactly) we were back home with many buckets of memories and stories to share. 

 

She called the trip "the trip of a lifetime", pretty high praise from someone who has traveled extensively throughout the US, cruised many times and spent time in Europe.  I know that we all have memories that we will always hold close to our hearts.  The 4000 miles flew by as we reminisced and laughed and planned.  Thanks Dad - You did good!             

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Re: AARP Caregiving Summer Break Contest

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Message 228 of 1,085

I am my fathers POA and have cared for him since 2009, a year after he was diagnosed with neurological complications (brain injury) causing onset of dimentia. My father was on a quiet Sunday drive on a country road on the same weekend as families celebrate the 4th of July. During this time my father noticed two motorcycles approached the side of his vehicle, while he continued to drive the other motorist began to perform wheelies and become wreckless, at that time my father chose to slow down so he could move to the side of the road. At that time a third motorist driving a motorcycle slammed into his vehicle, he respectfully exits the vehicle to confirm the well-being of the individual, while he is surrounded by at this time 10 individuals which who are friends of the individual. Two men approach my father while one assaults him and takes him to the ground and continually kicking him in the frontal lobe causing him to blackout. The individuals grabbed their friends and fled the seen leaving a 72 hour investigation to take place. While my father was flown to shock trauma for immediate surgery and after 16 hours we were told he would stay in a medicated coma with his left portion of his skull removed to help reduse the swelling while the brain is draining and the blood clots continue to be monitored. He awakened over a month later to no conversation, mobility nor knowing how to eat. Seeing the man that I called my father lay in front of me so lifeless how could another being do a thing?  After some time physical therapy as well as speech would slowly have him not as frustrated with his quality of life. However prior to being transferred to a specialty hospital we were told his brain was severed and unfortunately we did not know what to expect. During intense rehab legs and arms became more than noodles and he was able to chew more and light up when I and my children would walk in. Over two years until my father is accepted into a program for individuals with brain trauma and the transition for him was challenging. My mother decided she was unable to care for him and would need to move on and my sibling chose to not face the situation. Leaving myself and my husband to assist in anyway possible. Life was challenging while we had 6 small children at the time as now they are teen and still challenge his visits. However seeing my father transition into a assistant facility with life restrictions after working his entire life was the next hurdle, while trying to figure out ways to not make him feel less of a person and close to our family as possible, even with being  an hour away. Here we are today 10 years from the accident and I look at the accomplishments he has made as an individual as well as a new person. He has concussion due to the dementia onset and frustrations that follow brain trauma patients however he wants to travel and experience life as he never did before. Taking his first trip to Miami last year while being monitored by his home aids, he was able to feel like a person with a purpose. Having a facility dictate all of his moves has been a challenge and he feels as if he were in prison. I enjoy my time with my father since he is a man I can have hour conversations with and remember the little moments. Not taking life for granted or those in your life is how we raise our children, as we never know what road they may travel could be there last. - Grateful Daddy’s Girl. 

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Re: AARP Caregiving Summer Break Contest

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Message 229 of 1,085

My favorite summer vacation happened this year.

I took my parents to france for the first time, it was insane.

Seen the eiffel tower, went to the louvre, ate authentic food.

I've never seen them more happy, god bless.

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Re: AARP Caregiving Summer Break Contest

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Message 230 of 1,085

hello all

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