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Re: AARP Caregiving Summer Break Contest

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Hi,

 I never thought caregiving would be this hard. I have been taking care of my Mother for the last 6/7 years (really almost since she retired).

At first it was just the usual, picking up meds taking her to doctors appointments and shopping.

But last year everything horrible changed, Mom had two strokes and gallbladder surgery.

So now I’m giving meds, I did that before but now it’s a fight.

 I’m cleaning her, feeding her and trying my best to exercise her. I have family members that should be pitching in to help but all I get is text asking what am I doing for her care not even how I’m holding up or what does Mom need to make her life better.

 I’m doing this all by myself.

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Re: AARP Caregiving Summer Break Contest

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@ChristinaD996445 wrote:

As some of us know, we became caregivers without really knowing that caregiving would be part of our next duty in life.  Each Caregiving Experience is unique according to the city their in along with preparation for such occurrences.  However, it is so very important that no matter how hard it may be, but to always take time for themselves so they can be more attentive to the individual.  Foot messages are always in order, not to mention the hands and neck, whether by Caregiver or a professional.  I recently saw my mother and my aunt, who uses a walker, off to the airport to visit their sister in New York.  I found getting up before everyone & making sure they had something a little hearty on their stomachs, bags were packed in advance, left hours before flight time to allow for wheelchair services along with possible traffic delays, and thank God! all went well.  Even on their return letting Guest Services know what baggage carousel to wheel them to.  All went well to the point of me having a nice meal prepared for them when we arrived home.  Preparation can be a caregiver's best friend.


It sure as heck is not Summer any more. I'm grateful you posted this, and as it turns out, it's Thanksgiving Day. You certainly did prepare them for the trip. And you are a gift to your mother and your aunt. I hope you get enough breaks and nourishment of body mind and spirit to sustain you. 

 

Jane

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Re: AARP Caregiving Summer Break Contest

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As some of us know, we became caregivers without really knowing that caregiving would be part of our next duty in life.  Each Caregiving Experience is unique according to the city their in along with preparation for such occurrences.  However, it is so very important that no matter how hard it may be, but to always take time for themselves so they can be more attentive to the individual.  Foot messages are always in order, not to mention the hands and neck, whether by Caregiver or a professional.  I recently saw my mother and my aunt, who uses a walker, off to the airport to visit their sister in New York.  I found getting up before everyone & making sure they had something a little hearty on their stomachs, bags were packed in advance, left hours before flight time to allow for wheelchair services along with possible traffic delays, and thank God! all went well.  Even on their return letting Guest Services know what baggage carousel to wheel them to.  All went well to the point of me having a nice meal prepared for them when we arrived home.  Preparation can be a caregiver's best friend.

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Re: AARP Caregiving Summer Break Contest

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Message 4 of 1,086

Hello,

My name is Donna and I have been caring for my parents for 6 years. My father was the first to start losing the uphll climb but we had many laughs, at his expense, because he had dementia. I loved walking into a room and getting the big hello as if I had just arrived there with a cup of coffee in my hand or right after we had dinner. I would ask him hw his dinner was and he would say it was great then I would tell him I made it.. nice of you to bring some over. Then there were days he would forget to put his pants on and stroll through my daughter's house bare butt. We would laugh, because my father was such a modest man if he knew, well we would find his pants and put them on him. When the time came for dispoable pants they were a chore trying to keep on since he ripped them off within  an hour of having them on, good things we always had blankets. Dad feel quite ill and within 7 weeks he died, 2015, I then moved my mother back to our home state. When we moved she was doing quite well and had the ability to walk and carry on conversations. Now she does neither and caring for her full time is becoming, well,.... draining. I feel as though I am losing myself. I get 6 hours of care a week from the visitng nurses, but honestly it is not enough. Medicare does not provide long term health care which I think is a shame considering we pay into it all of our working lives. Caring for my mom is very different then caring for my dad. She needs constant cueing and she cannot get up without her gait belt  and hands on supervision so I am always on call. My debt has gone up considerably since the expense for her needs have risen and now I am totally broke. I cannot afford to hire someone to care for her inorder for me to have a weekend away.  I spend everyday here in the house without much conversation. My life is nonexistient and I need a break. I know there are many people with similar stories and wish we could alll win. I plea that people, after reading this, see that a woman of 60 is losing the battle and needs a reprieve. 

Thank you...

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Cargiver Contest

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My mother and father in law are in there 70's and still like to travel. My father in law is a retired police officer and Navy Vet. My mother in law had seven children and was a home maker and also worked outside of the home from time to time. They have children that live all over these United States and wanted to visit one of their daughters that lives in Savanna. They asked my husband and I to drive them there, spend a week with them, and drive them home. This would prove to be some task as my father in law has become more incontinent and does not want to use disposable briefs. There were several stops and multiple bowel and bladder accidents on the journey there. Fourteen hours later we were finally arriving at our destination. Now we can enjoy some family time, right? No. My father in law forgot to bring his insulin! We stayed over night (almost) in the emergency department of a hopistal I had never even heard of and after finally getting to sleep had to wake up the next day and spend approximately six hours getting him the medication that he needed to last for the remainder of the vacation at a doctors appointment, running from CVS to Walgreens and back for lancets, strips, insulin pens, needles, oral medications, fushable wipes, air freshners, depends and a numberous amount of supplies that were either forgotten or suddenly needed. Needless to say he was sick for the rest of the day so the first few days of the vacation was nothing but tending to his every need. Around the fourth day there was a complete turn around. He was back on his feet... or I should say, In his motorized wheelchair and ready to seize the day! Back home he spent most days on his computer, sitting in his computer chair, making online purchases from wish.com, watching the news, ESPN and playing computer games. His bathroom accidents usually happened traveling from the living room, through the dining room, into the bathroom and his medications and insulin were always nearby. This experience did turn out to be enjoyable; with lots of laughs and hugs and shopping and experiencing flavorful meals and encountering beautiful people, but through this I learned that caregiving is a challenging and often thankless task. When you add traveling to the mundane, everyday routine of a loved ones daily routine and changing needs; it can almost feel like a vacation never happened. 

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Re: AARP Caregiving Summer Break Contest

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Your son sounds like an amazing man.  You must be an amazing mom to raise such a caring son.

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Re: AARP Caregiving Summer Break Contest

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My name is Hope and I want to talk about my oldest Son David.  He has been my other son caregiver since he was a 14yrs old. He left my house to take care of his own family. When his brother was in a group home..He decided to take him in his home to live with him and his family.  He gives him 24/7 care which means bathing,feeding(he has a feeding tube)buying all he needs.  He never goes out to places because he does not want to be to far from his brother.   I thing he needs a weekend of rest of an gift certificate for all he does.       Thank you for listening to my plea. He does not know what I am writing about him. I am 68yrs old and he looks out for me too,God Bless Him.

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Re: AARP Caregiving Summer Break Contest

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Message 8 of 1,086

Hello,

 My name is Roberta.

I'm 57 year's old.

 I take care of my two grandson's Little Carlos ( 6 year's old ), and Abraham ( 4 year's old ).

 We like to play monster's, we chase each other around the house saying Rah, rah, growl, growl!

 We also play bucking horse they ride around on my back, and try to stay on.

 Other thing's that we do is go to the park, swing, teeter totter, merry go round, explore the woods for bird's, or bug's.

 We also like to go to the swimming pool one or the other will hang onto my neck while I swimm around, we also play water polo, and various other game's.

 Sometimes we go to Chuckie Cheeses.

 On some day's we watch different family movie's

 When it comes bed time we'll read a story.

 Thank you for reading my Care Giving Summer Story.

Sincerely, Roberta.

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Re: AARP Caregiving Summer Break Contest

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Sounds like you lucked out with her! And you were a handful Smiley Happy I love hearing that you so aware of what she did for you and that you take such joy in doing for her. Really - the fact that you identify what she loves and make sure she can do it - priceless! That is love in action!!!

 

Take care,

Amy Goyer, AARP Family & Caregiving Expert

 

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Re: AARP Caregiving Summer Break Contest

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It is SOOO worth it. She married my dad when I was 7 (married a guy with 4 kids). I was a handful - a tomboy in the 70s who wanted to play sports with the boys. It did lead to a little trouble. She was there for me through every surgery and hospitalization, broken fingers and toes, sprained ankles, cracked ribs, a sliced open finger... everything.
Then, when I was in my 20's, first she had a compound ankle fracture. It required surgery and rods being inserted. She couldn't use crutches, so was wheelchair bound for 3 months. A few years later she had hairline fractures of her C-3 and C-4 vertebrae and a broken collarbone in a car accident. We got her through that. A few years after that, she had hernia surgery and ended up with a major infection (ecoli and salmonella in the wound) that almost killed her... we got her through that.
Then she had some pretty good years, but has arthritis in her neck, back, and ankle. She uses a walker 60-70% of the time, but loves swimming.
The girls love her so much. We try to visit at least once a month and every year, we go on vacation and the lake or someplace with an accessible pool are our first priority. It is what works for us.
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