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Community Manager
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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Contributor

Although my husband is able to do things, he is not the man I once knew. After a car accident left him with short term memory issues he has become quick to snap. 3 strokes later and numerous other medical issues he is withdrawn, sullen and can be outright mean. 

The best way to bring him back to his old self is to have our granddaughter come for a visit. This is my vacation from the worries and his motivation to keep going.

It's not a real vacation but it helps!

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Newbie

I take care of my grandma as much as i love to i need time to myself

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Contributor

Caring for someone else is so important and makes me feel good.... I don't get a break but it's ok!

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Contributor

Taking care of my mother was not the easiest task.  She had a lot of problems breathing so planning for her oxygen and how she was going to get around was very important.  It took planning and attention, but in the end, really, thats whats important.  She wanted to spend time with us and she wanted to be included so that was what we did.

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Contributor

For a long trip we purchased a travel pillow that supports the neck and head when resting. And we arrange her medications in a color coded pill box with an alarm set on her smartphone.

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Newbie

God is good

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Newbie

aarp saved me

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Newbie

getting us all to the beach is our favorite way to have a mini-vacation, with the kids, parents and all of the other family members. Love the sun, water and seeing everyones smiles.

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Newbie

I take a spa day once a month to alleviate stress.

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Newbie

Caring for my mother who has Parkinson's disease can be very difficult at times. Vacations are not really something the family gets anymore because it is too complicated to travel with so much equipment and medication and usually the experience is uncomfortable for my mom. We have dreams of a vacation to Hawaii but logically we do not have the money for it and I think it would be too stressful for her to travel on a plane. 

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My dad is 74 years old and he’s required to be in a wheelchair because he’s not very strong. We are planning to travel to the Bahamas for his 75th birthday because he loves the oceans and needs a get-away! 

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Newbie

Hi, my name is Leslie Saxon.

My first son Dean was born in 1985. Well with work and household and child care responsibilities. There was no room or talks about ever getting away from caregiving for are caregiving. We always did things as a family like fishing, which that's where me and my true love met on a fishing bank in 1982. And unfortunately broke up and did not see each other to the year of 1984 and we got back together March 19th 1984 and we was together 32 years and unfortunately I lost my husband two years ago on July 16th 2016 he was walking to his dad's and got hit by a car. so now I am a widow. But can we got pregnant in 1988. And my father called and asked us if we wanted to take a vacation and go to Tennessee on houseboat the fish and he said that my son he was 3 years old at the time yes it took 3 years to finally get away from caregiving and I said I was pregnant and she was born September 16th 1988. and this was in June a 1988. And my dad felt it wasn't safe to take a three-year-old on Norris Lake in Tennessee on this houseboat. So I paid my sister-in-law and brother-in-law $50 to care for my son for the week. And then off we went driving to Tennessee and we had a very beautiful time with my dad and his wife fishing swimming and taking baths in the in the lake. But when I got there I realized that I could of taken care of my son safely on that trip and was wanting him to be there the whole time we were there wishing he was with us the whole time and he was missing out. But we enjoyed our getaway and return home and again living life again. Thank you for read my story.

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Kudos
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My dad had Alzheimer's, and I had him in an assisted living two blocks from my home. I stopped in each evening on my way home from work to check him and get him shaved and smelling nice for the ladies.  Smiley Happy  Dear husband and I received an invitation to spend a long weekend in Branson (our first vacation in 10 years) with family, so I took a couple days off work and we left.  I phoned the facility daily to check on Pa, and he was A-OK the whole weekend. I was very lucky that Pa was in a good place with good people who liked him, but that didn't stop me from worrying and feeling a little guilty for having fun without him. I needed the break, Pa did just fine, and the people I'd trusted him with proved they were worth every penny and more!

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I enjoyed giving my mom time at the theater in NYC. It was a nice break for her to get out and she really liked seeing the lights and sounds.

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Contributor

I like to give my Mom a break by getting her a Manicure and a Pedicure.She loves them.

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Contributor

I hope that I will be able to travel with my mom somewhere soon, even if it's local. It's difficult because she shattered her foot and had to get surgery and it's going to be about a year until she can really walk around. I also thought about doing a staycation where we watch movies and have a theme and try to bring the vacation into the house so she doesn't feel trapped and hopeless.

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Newbie

"Travel is really about pre-planning when you are a caregiver responsible for someone else. It becomes not only about enjoying yourselves, for instance, bathrooms are important - stop often and carry an Occupied sign."

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Newbie

We adopted our granddaughter when she was 2 years old.  She is now 17.   She has made summer breaks a joy in that she has lead us on new adventures and kept us feeling young.  This is our last summer before she graduates from high school.  Where has the time gone?  We are off on an adventure soon; I can't wait to enjoy the laughter in the car as we take another road trip.  

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Newbie

I am a caretaker 

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Self care is really important, whether it’s just going out for coffee or getting a night out. Be sure to think of yourself too. 

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Periodic Contributor

It's difficult for my 89 year-old dad to spend very much time away from home due to health issues. For this reason, he's hard to convince to get out of the house even for a day. On a beautiful (and rare for South Dakota) 70 degree "summer" afternoon in February, however, I was able to convince him to go for a ride to check out the countryside.

 

He's a retired farmer and loves to look at the fields, the farms, and the cattle (As an adorable sign of spring, there were a lot of cute little calves already!) - and just see what's going on in the farming community of which he has been a part all of his life. We drove around to most of his old haunts, including the farm where he was born and he grew up. This land is currently owned by my uncle, my dad's youngest brother, and includes the house built by my great-great-grandfather. We drove to a nearby town to see land he had farmed in the past, and then closer to home by the farm he has owned for over 40 years but now rents to a younger farmer.

 

We went by the farm once owned by my other uncle, his brother, who died suddenly of a heart attack decades ago at the age of 39. We went by the cemetery where we have a family plot in which are buried my grandparents, my previously mentioned uncle, my aunt who died about 30 years ago from complications of severe MS, my sister who died suddenly of a heart attack at the age of 54, and my mom who died of lung cancer. There's so much family history and that tiny piece of land!

 

We went by shelterbelts that my dad had planted decades ago, and one that he had planted more recently and was surrounded by several acres of prairie. It was great to see deer enjoying this land he had set aside as habitat for wildlife! What a legacy my Dad has created!

 

My dad really loved this little "mini vacation" and trip down memory lane - enjoyed entirely from the passenger seat of his beautiful new Suburban! For me, it was a really relaxing, educational, and much-needed "mini vacation" and trip through family history! And, a beautiful day that I will remember for the rest of my life!

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Newbie

um, I don't really have a story, yet! But you just wait and see, it'll be a good one! 

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Newbie

Hello, my name is Ned. I don't really have a lot to share about much, but my mother has a number of memory issues, and they've been growing as of late. It's left me stuck working only part-time so I can make sure I have enough time to spend with her and take care of her. I don't have much of a touching story or anything, but... she's a good person and took care of me after my dad died, so now it's my turn to take care of her.

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Newbie

Hello everyone,

I have come to realize that part of being able to take care of others is to take care of yourself as well. It can become taxing to take care of a love one at times so it is even more beneficial to stay in good health as long as possible. For me, a trip to the lake is often soothing to my soul. Most times, I am able to take a break and just relax. I calm my mind and regroup. Pulling it all together helps me cope and stay focused.

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Contributor

Hi my name is Samantha. My husband got sick in November 2017 with andiocarcunoma. It was very quick moving. We had constant Dr visits everyday. 4 diff Drs to be exact. He was a trooper though. Our vacation wasn't a normal one like the beach, although I wish he had been strong enough for that. Our mini vaca was to go visit the family for the holidays, just a long, one day visit away from it all. We visited with his son, mother, sisters, brothers,  then off to my family. It was very hard on him, but he pushed through it. The pictures we took during our family vacation was probably the last picture he ever smiled for. I still cry when I look at them. Sadly, He passed in March of 2018. I will always remember his smile, his kind heart and the memories he gave us all. I'll see you again baby. Love you still. 

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Newbie

As a caregiver to both my 94-year-old mother in Florida and my disabled wife in Connecticut, the closest thing to a vacation has to visit mom for a week to help her with her accumulated problems. That means shuffling her to/from doctors, sitting with her, repairs or changes in her Independent Living apartment, emptying her phone mailbox (very technologically challenged, she has an old flip phone so she doesn't have to try to learn a new phone), etc. Neither can travel well so they hadn't seen each other in 9 years. I finally got smart and rented a motor home (for about what a plane ticket and car rental would have cost) and was able to take them both through the Blue Ridge mountains on a real vacation! The best two weeks I've had in 10 years or more. I'll be looking to buy a used RV as soon as I can find one I can afford.

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Contributor

Just doing this for some money dont mind me. I love old people.

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Newbie

A vacation as a caregiver can be a challenge but has it's rewards. I'll never forget being with my mother-in-law when she saw the ocean for the first time.

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Newbie

When taking a break with my in laws, we went to the beach. I made sure that everyone had their own bedrooms and bathrooms so that we all felt comfortable. I also made sure there were plenty of windows and a large balcony so that my elderly mother in law could see the beach, hear the waves, and feel the wind from the condominium since she isn't physically able to walk to the beach or on the sand. We brought sand up to her so she could feel it under her feet. We made sure that we set up our chairs within close proximity to the condo unit so she could see the fun we were having and feel part of it. We ate all of our meals together and spent time with her on the balcony so that she didn't feel left out. It was a wonderful vacation even though she could not physically walk to the beach.

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Contributor

Is this where we enter the conest?  Is it just on this board?

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