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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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Hi my name is Gail I'm a 50 year old mother of 2 sons.My youngest son Jt is 24 and he was born with a rare syndrome and has struggled with heath issues all his life and each year grows worse.I am his 24 hour caregiver and also help care for my elderly mom who has dementia  and a weak heart.Its alot of work and I never get a break from my responsibilities.I do really good to shave my legs😂Its not easy!!! But I never let them see me cry.I make it a point to always smile and laugh at the mistakes and when I have them out together I make it a point to have fun at the negative  or the things that would otherwise sadden me.They both use canes when walking  and are slow we make jokes and say if there was a turtle crawling in peanut butter race  you both would be first place😂And some times when I open the door for them I will say in a loud voice all right run this way and I will point in a certain direction and day let's see who can get to the car first and they do try to out walk each other and laugh while trying to race😂Others people who stand by close enough will see and hear and get a kick out of them and also laugh.Its better for us this way because it's sad and we know we don't want to be sad about it and let it get us too down because we count it a blessing we are together and even though it's hard some times got to keep it as cheerful and happy as I can.As far as traveling with my son we can't travel far because pain of sitting in the car to long.But when we do travel we just go in a near by town and get a comfortable place to stay and look for any adventure we can find as long as It can do it and we make it a point to make the best of memories and take lots of pictures so we can go back and talk about it and kinda re live it.Yes I admit I'm tired and overwhelmed alot but I also count it an honor to be blessed with this precious son and loving mother who count on me! It's alot of sleepless nights and there are days I look like a real life zombie rushing around with them but it's okaye we all can laugh about that too😂

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My mom had married and had me later than usual so she's older than most mothers of girls my age. I'm a young wife and new mother. My mother is not fully co-dependent, so she does not live with us (she does not want to feel like a burden), just lives across the street so that we are nearby in case something happens. When it comes to vacations, we usually make sure that someone trustworthy can come stay with her while we are gone unless it is somewhere that she really enjoys going (like the beach) in which she usually comes with us:)

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HI,

 

I take care of my mom.  She has dementia.  I feel overwhelmed at times, so I have to take things day to day minute by minute. I wish we had more family that lived nearer to us.  It has been particularly difficult because of all her hospital stays.  It seems she has been there more than she has been home in the past 10 weeks.  The hospital staff knows us.  I do want to mention that since I took my mom off of all the medications her neurologist prescribed for her, she has been so much better.  She was hallucinating on and more forgetful and falling into delirium.  I thought how fast does this disease take over?  I never thought that is was the medication causing so many problems.  My best suggestion for anyone in this situation is to be extra careful with the meds your doctor prescribes.

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Hiymy name is pauline hill im a caregiver for elderly i wish i could have s vacation have not had one in 5 yrs. Im on a fix income

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it was a cold night and the best day of my life


@AARPTeri wrote:

 

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


 

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Hi, my name is Christie. I had to quit my job three years ago in order to provide care to my husband. He had a life-threatening illness. After being discharged from the nursing home, he was not able to safely probide his own care (forgot meds, fell to floor and forgot how to get up). He had been working full time as a high school teacher on a Friday and was almost dead on the following Monday. 

I have been going to school for a Masters Degree in Nursing Education while taking care of him. He has had two more heart attacks in the past two years that have weakened him further. (He is younger than me.)

I can't really get away from caring for him, but my homework helps. We did take a two day trip this year to attend the Highland Festival in Flagstaff, AZ. I am the Deputy Commissioner, Greater Phoenix Area for ClanRoss America. As such I represent my Clan at Highland events throughout Arizona. It is fun to get out there in my kilt and dance to the bagpipes. At least, at these events, we fit right in!

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I take care of my grandson who has Autism, ADHD and Anxiety Disorder.  We love to take him for ice cream and he loves to play miniature golf so we do that also.  He is a very loveable child so it is no problem for us to watch him.

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Caregiving an aging parent can be a great learning experience, and quite humbling. My mother has always been reluctant to use public restrooms, almost to the point of phobia. This can serve as a barrier to traveling, and seemed to be keeping her from attending important family events that required traveling. I was very irritated, until I realized that her reasons, now, were no longer just the old dislike of public restrooms, which could be overcome by the importance of the events. She is afraid of falling, and once my sister and I figured that out and assured her that we'd help her, life has been a lot more enriching. I wish I'd understood earlier, instead of being irritated by incorrect assumptions.

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We've had to be very careful with where we take my mom. In addition to accessibility, there's the question of what happens if she gets sick. Staying within the US or Canada is key, as is figuring out if she will enjoy the vacation and the travel to get there. Road trips are a bit easier because we can stop whenever we want.

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Summertime means taking a break from work and stress in order to spend time with love ones. It doesn't matter if you guys are at a beach or staying in watching movies at home. It is the time spent together and memories that make summertime special. I do not qualify for the sweepstakes, but I want to share my story. My mother is ill with diabetes. She loves to do Zumba as a way to exercise and stay healthy. I join her, as much as I hate cardio, but it makes her happy. I love seeeing my mother happy, especially when I am partaking in her happiness. We may not be at a beach together, but we are exercising together and staying healthy. 

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It's important to take care of loved ones and give them strength when they need it

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My name is Melissa and I often share in the caregiving of my father who has Parkinson's.  I found even the small breaks while he was napping or while someone else was able to stay with him while I shopped helped.  I appreciated the chance to be by myself for a little while and destress.

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We are planning on a family vacation to Disneyland. It's fun for a multi-generational trip since we can all feel like kids again!

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I havent thought about a break/vacation, but if was able to i want to take my youngest kids 4 &6 to Disney World. the lady i help can ride the rides with us just can not wals all the way. She's never been and its on her bucket list.

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I am a caregiver for my grandmother who has Alzheimers.  My grandmother has always wanted to see the ocean but was never able to. This year we are planning on take her to the ocean as we have noticed her alzheimers is getting worse and may not be able to get around as well in the future. We have everything planned out and are excited to take her in a few weeks. This has been a little overwhelming to plan but we have ironed out all of the details and things have all come together.

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Our daughter, who is paralyzed and medically fragile, always traveled with us during our younger years. As we grew older it became more and more difficult to care for her away from home. We then began having her take a week or two at a respite center while we either took a trip or needed break. Recently, at age 56 when we could no longer lift her, she moved into a long term care center. It is important to seek whatever alternatives are available. Caregivers need respite too!

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Caregiving is hard. It hurts but it's worth it to care for the person who raised you

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Honestly, this summer we had to forfeit our summer trip in order to be able to afford something big we are working on.  Instead, we took many mini "staycations" and explored the city's offerings on days when it wasn't too hot or crowded.  Sometimes you don't have to travel miles away to escape.  I hope you all had a fun and safe summer, I will you a wonderfull Fall.

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A vacation that takes that much prep and accommodation may seem very daunting, but it's so worth it in the end. The look on your loved ones face and the memories you carry with you forever. And knowing you did everything to make them have a super time is very rewarding.
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This summer has been about bringing my father in law back to his birthplace and summer home.  He is 92 years old and was born in the country of Lebanon.  It was not easy to get here.  It takes 2 flights and at least 16 hours of flying time to get here from NJ.  We brought him here for the summer and it has been a bittersweet trip.  He has been sharing his memories of his childhood but is having a tough time because all his friends are gone.  But it is good as a family to be here all together. My sisters in law are here. My son and several nieces and nephews and their families are here. We have from my father in law to the 6 month old great grandson here in the old homestead.  We have been playing cards and having big lunches and dinners together.  Good memories to share from the old generations to the new.

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My grandpa used to be the most active and outgoing person I knew. He taught tumbling, had his own business and everything. He would act and sing and was always open to trying new things. That's when money became a problem. He trusted a guy with his money and buinsess that he never should have trusted. Eventually he lost most of his money and it made him depressed. He argued a lot with my grandma and eventually they decided to separate. This didn't help with his depression and he slowly started to change. He became more distant and less dependant on himself and more on others. He started to lay in bed all day and take medicine more than he should. His new wife did her best to take care of him but it became too much. That is when it was decided he should be put in a living home. They didn't take very good care of him there and he ended up going to the hospital for sepsis. My dad had had enough and brought him to live with us. It was amazing to see how much patience my mom had with taking care of my grandpa. My dad also was so selfless in letting is dad stay with us. None of his other siblings rarely offered to take care of him or come see him. I remember taking care of my grandfather was well. It was hard to see him lose his memories and not recognize my younger siblings. It was hard and eventually it got too hard, especially when his mom passed, he shut down and so did his body.  I miss my grandpa everyday but I know he is in a better place. My parents were amazing.

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Hi. Am 60 and live with my daughter, son in law 12 yr old gradaughter and two 5 year old twin boys. I am the 1 who needs the break. I love and adore the kids but I see them and babysit them 5 days a week. Money is limited and I don't drive or have many friends. What can I do?

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I like spending time with my grandkids in the summertime.

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Sometimes it's nice to just take a day trip, perhaps a museum or a special garden. The arts can be very soothing for all and it is a wonderful change of pace for not a lot of money. Many museums and galleries have handicapped ramps and so on. Some even have a restaurant. A fun and relaxing day can be just a quick trip away!
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 I have had challenges travelling with my husband.  He is on oxygen and uses a scooter but nevertheless we make a point to take a vacation. 

 

Always by car and always preplanning.  The problem is trying to find places that are handicapped accessible.  This year we drove to Tn and found it to be very accommodating.  Just make sure you plan ahead and make frequent stops.  Sometimes it gets difficult but he looks forward to it because I still work full time.  Little things matter even if it is just 1 night.

 

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It's hard to get away when you have no one to watch mom.  

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I loved spending time with my grandma.  She was a wonderful cook and baker.  When she moved into a retirement home, I started making her special recipes and taking them to her whenever I visited.

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I took care of my grandmother who had lung cancer. Within 2 years prior, she lost her son and her husband to illness. I took care of her for 7 months. 

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I love spending time with family.

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Summer is all about getting that vitamin D! I love to spend time with the grandkids at the pool. Great exercise and good for the soul! 

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