AARP’s "Prepare to Care: A Resource Guide for Families" can help make the job more manageable. Here’s how to receive a free copy.

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Re: AARP Caregiving Summer Break Contest

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Message 221 of 1,088
For many, being a caregiver is a selfless act. Through it all, however, try not to forget or lose your “self” because of the need to assist others.
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Re: AARP Caregiving Summer Break Contest

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Message 222 of 1,088

When my mom was feeling up to it and we had a "good" day I would take a day off work and just go for a ride so she could get some fresh air & sunshine. She would tell me to close the window and I would laugh and say "enjoy the fresh air." Then we would stop and get a cup of coffee & muffin and sit by the nearby lake for a couple of hours and talk and she so enjoyed the sailboats. I know it isn't a vacation, but we both got to relax even just for those few hours.   Carol 

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Message 223 of 1,088

Towards the bitter end, with literally only days, if not hours, to live, the one wish was for him to go fishing. Well, his wish was our cammand and not less than 4 guys came around and we wheeled him down to a dock which the owners graciously approved and encouraged us to use. It was an epic event and put a smile into his face holding that little himemade fishing rod with a small hook on it and a small dug up worm squirming. No, he did not get lucky as far as a fish goes, but was exhilarated to have been able to accomplish his one last wish. Sadly he passed away 1 day later in the middle of the night surrounded by his loved ones.

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Re: AARP Caregiving Summer Break Contest

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Message 224 of 1,088

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 225 of 1,088

Thanks.  We had a wonderful time.

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Message 226 of 1,088

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 227 of 1,088
Love the summer get to spend time with love ones nothing like summer time
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Message 228 of 1,088

going to see my grandson. i think. 

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Message 229 of 1,088

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

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Message 230 of 1,088

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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