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Re: AARP Caregiving Summer Break Contest

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Hi all
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Re: AARP Caregiving Summer Break Contest

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I take care of my 83 mother. Since my dad was killed in an auto accident 18 years ago she moved in a trailer in our yard.Or I should say we moved her in our yard. She was so spoiled she coldn't change a lightbulb. She can't cook, clean, not anything. I am a 6 year cancer survivor and my husband was diagnosed with glioblastoma 3 years ago. I also have fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndorme. I tried to take my mother to the beach last year and this year and my 3 children and their families came so we could all be together. It was a total disaster both years. She complained both years about everything and we were all miserable. My kids and families ended up leaving early and she said she was glad they left. I cried the rest of the time and told the kids I would get somebody to sit with her next year and we come by ourselves. I need the break anyway. She is such a difficult woman. Nothing I do is ever right. I get cussed out every time I turn around. I have a sister that lives 15 miles away that neverdoes anything but she is going to have to start. I need a break. I wish I had some of the happy stories some of you had. It would surely make life easier.

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Re: AARP Caregiving Summer Break Contest

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I hope this is the correct area to enter into the contest!  Just wanted to encourage those who are out there caring for their parents and/or loved ones.

 

My mom was a Type 1 diabetic and that posed some issues with taking road trips and vacations.  When you have to eat on a schedule, it can be hard to go sightseeing as your regular meal times may not synch up in another time zone.  Thankfully, more places are becoming more aware of the need for rest and food - and I have found that calling ahead works wonders!

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Re: AARP Caregiving Summer Break Contest

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@HeatherM512269 This is SO wonderful! I can just see her saying “that can’t be true!” I never took the time to write it out for Daddy (wish I had) but I used to tell him his life story and he’d listen and it always calmed him and he loved it. I would sing songs to go with the parts of his life - he had taught us all of them... his  Elementary school song, high school song, college songs, fraternity songs, World War II songs, musicals he had acted in etc.  it was a wonderful way to pass the time and very interactive and fun. 

 

 There are more good ideas in AARP‘s new Memory Activity for those with Dementia book!   https://www.aarp.org/entertainment/books/bookstore/health-food-cooking/info-2018/memory-activity-boo...

 

Take care,

Amy Goyer, AARP’s Family & Caregiving Expert

Author, Juggling Life, Work and Caregiving and Color Your Way Content When Caring for Loved Ones

 

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Re: AARP Caregiving Summer Break Contest

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Hi Caregiver Community,
In an effort to take a “mental break” from the constant bombardment of the same questions that were posed by my Aunt (continuously...God bless her) I wrote “her story” in a small booklet. Whenever, I needed a break, I would give her the booklet so she could read her story (with amazement and delight) that answered all of her routinely asked questions. My favorite part was when she would read that she was 90 years old. Each time (just like most of the women I know), she would deny that truth... “90 years old...that can’t be true” she would exclaim emphatically...I would laugh each and every time! Affording Auntie the opportunity to read her “book” both calmed and entertained her, giving me or other caregivers the mental break that was so needed from time to time. RIP, Auntie Ida!!
 

 

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Re: AARP Caregiving Summer Break Contest

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My family member that I care for can not be too far from home or the hospital so our summer break is usually going to the beach.  We can sit and watch the water and if he is feeling up to it we can take a short walk.  The fresh air is needed to stay healthy and being outside with other people even if you are not interacting with them lets you know the world is still turning and we are all living life.

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Re: AARP Caregiving Summer Break Contest

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My Mama is 90 and is a rockstar, I function as a caregiver when she needs me and a companion when she needs that and a coordinator when she needs me to figure out who can fix what. However, my primary role in this amazing woman's life is her next door neighbour. . With bridge groups 3 times a week, her volunteer schedule, and social calendar she runs circles around me.  If you met her you'd never guess she had just celebrated her 90th birthday (with 119 of her closest friends at a truly elegant seated lunch with wine cocktails and 3 other generations)  My only wish...that i can be just like her when I grow up. 

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Re: AARP Caregiving Summer Break Contest

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Summertime is the time to take a break and be with the ones you love and care for. go on trips or just a day at the park to recharge the batteries can make all the difference.

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Re: AARP Caregiving Summer Break Contest

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I have been a care giver to both of my parents since I graduated from high school. Before then I helped care for my grandmother. I have learned that caregiving is not an easy job, but it is rewarding in the sense that you know that your loved one is properly being taken care of and with people who love them and that they love. When traveling things can become difficult when you are a caregiver responsible for someone else. It becomes not about enjoying yourselves, but also about making sure that things are in place to accommodate your needs as well as the needs of the people you are caring for. Weather it is for kids or adults you are responsible for their needs as well as your own. Everything has to be in order so that your travels can go as smooth as possible. You need to have your route to the destination planed out so that you know where the bathrooms, gas stations, food places, and emergency care facilities are just in case of an emergency. You have to find accommodation that meets the need of everyone you are traveling with so that everyone is comfortable and can enjoy themselves. You have to rush to get things done and make sure everything is taking care of appropriately so that you can enjoy a small part of the vacation while making sure that all of the people you are a caregiver to is taken care of in all aspects of their day. You need to do things that both you and your family enjoy so that everyone can enjoy the vacation. Yes, vacations and traveling can be a hassle when you are a caregiver to the elderly, disabled, and children but with the proper planning and a little luck vacations and travel can be a fun way to spend time with your loved ones.

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Re: AARP Caregiving Summer Break Contest

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Live life to the fullest! I used to think about why I couldn't do things and so I didn't. But recently after almost 20 yrs of caregiving for 2 disabled people (my son & father) I now figure out how I can. Accept it won't be what others get to do on vacation but just go! My secret is go to a familiar place so you know what is available ahead of time, carry a transfer chair (lighter wheelchair) every where you go. I have preplanned the trips even to the point of all family members (even the young ones) or anyone else that comes along to help so everyone enjoys the trip. We work as a team. I was assigned to my son and my 14 year old was assigned to my 80 yr. old father when we took our whirlwind trip to the beach. We choose the one thing most important to do instead of trying to do it all. I drove us 5 hrs to the beach stayed one night and drove home but we still talk about our fun adventure!! We met our goal - feeling the ocean breeze and getting to stick our big toe in the ocean! Life is short, don't expect perfect, plan ahead, be patient with each other, take a photo and laugh together often. And the best part...you get to smile every day reliving and talking about those memories forever!!

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