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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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@v226070h mini-vacays are a great idea! Sometimes it's a matter of whether or not we can be fully away in our minds - and be fully mindful of where we are at the time - that makes even a mini-vacay do the trick when we need a break! Caregiving really taught me to be more mindful - live in the moment! Carpe Diem! 

 

Amy Goyer, AARP Family & Caregiving Expert

Author, Juggling Life, Work and Caregiving and

Color Your Way Content When Caring for Loved Ones

 

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cool
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My mother had Alzheimers and was confined to a wheelchair so it was very difficult to take her places.  She enjoyed going on walks and we would take her dog to visit.  Sometimes she would not remember us but she always remembered the dog. We also took her favorite candy.  I will always treasure those precious moments.

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I've never been much one for vacations. When I get a break I just load up the ol' youtube playlists, boot up a game through Steam, and just veg out.

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Hello, my name is Kaitlyn and I am currently the caregiver of my 57 year old uncle who recently suffered a stroke and lost half of his mobility on the right side of his body. He struggled with alcohol abuse and the recent stroke caused him to give up alcohol completely, which has effected his mental and physical state. He is such a champ though as he continues to love spending time with his siblings, as well as his nieces and nephews and their children by the lake. Despite going through such a low point in his life, he manages to keep hoping on to a brighter future where he will regain full mobility and be completely sober.

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Boy, oh boy, making sure to take a break is imperative.  I don't get long when I do, but I try to be alone.  Yes, having a friend or someone with me is great, even therapeutic, but being alone really let's the weight off my shoulders.  I find someplace quiet and read or go places I always say one day I'll go if I get the chance.  Its time for me to do the things I keep putting off for myself.

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yeah i stayed at home all day or something like that

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MY favorite thing about summer is the hotness and being with your family


@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 Travel 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 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 Travel 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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I recently took a trip to Chicago with my husband.  We both desperately needed a change of scenery and a break.  Taking care of a loved one can take a toll on the caregiver both mentally and physically.  As a therapist, I am well aware of the self-care that we must all implement in our lives.  AARP makes it possible to enjoy ourselves together so that we can be the best for our loved ones.

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We took my mom to Myrtle Beach she always wanted to go.  My youngest son went with me to help with my mom.  We did have a good time relaxing at the beach, seeing the whales.  We were able to get a umbrella so my mom wasn't right in the sun. Someone at to be with my mom at all times because my mom would have seisures. I love my mom and spending time with her.

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For me, taking a break is all about relaxing my body and mind. Being a caregiver can be exhausting both physically and mentally. Whenever I have even a few minutes to spare I pull out a book, my Bible, or a sudoku book to escape for as long as I can. It gives me an opportunity to recharge and makes me more valuable later on. 

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Many years ago I took care of my ex husbands parents one at a time .We did take his daddy camping he enjoyed it and kept us entertained by telling us crazy stories.I miss him so much 

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I hope this is the place for my story. I clicked all around but cannot seem to find the 'appropriate' place for the contest but I could really use a break. I am the 'sandwich generation'. My parents had me very late in their life. My sister was 16 when I was born and my brother 13 years old then me. I am the sole care taker of my almost 96 year old Mom. My mom is the best. She is very kind, giving and loving. She moved to my town at 90 years young and gave up her car of which she drove around in her small town until then (it WAS time). She lives in her own condo but I maintain her house as well as mine. I have 15 year old and am married and lots of furry kids. While having a teenager, one might think that 'its easy' - well it is not. For the past 5 years, I have had to divide by time up between my son, my mom, my pets, my husband and my jobs. I never get a day off because even if I am off from my 'job', I still have my legally blind Mom to care for by doing her bills, taking her shopping, ironing, taking care of her dog, taking her to doctor appts after teaching all day long, etc. and this takes time, my time. Time is important to me - I am a 13 year Breast Cancer survivor and my husband had brain surgery the year before I was diagnosed - we both are fine (our son was 2-3 at the time). My Mom was the only one there for us thick and thin through our jouneys. I love her dearly and what I do is a 'labor of love' but I am 52 years old and tired. I have worked up to three jobs at one time all the WHILE doing for everyone else. My days start at 5:30 am and end sometimes as a late as 9:30 pm before I put my head down to go to bed. I sort of don't like this forum because it sounds like I am complaining and I know how lucky I am to STILL have my Mom. The family members all live 15 hours away and visit maybe, once a year. I would love a week to go away or weekend with my husband who is always like 5th on the list of 'things to do' (haha-spending time) and lately, I just feel old and run down. My husband and I have only had 4 weekend getaways since we were married 18 years ago. I don't feel like I own my life because of all the things I have to do for my mom. She can't afford to 'hire' an elder care helper - that's me. She has great neigbhors but she won't ask them to take her places - she'd rather wait until I get home from work taking me away from my family. My son is growing and he is growing away from me. After my Mom had been living in my town for two years, I picked my son up from school and he asked me in a dull tone of only a 4th grader can ask, 'where are we taking Nana today?'; I just want to go home Mom.' ... I just want to go someplace where I don't have to rush to hurry to get back to do something for someone else. I just want some time for me and not feel like I am on a schedule ALL OF THE TIME!!!! - Rush rush rush..to do for others but don't get to enjoy my life. This sounds horrible but I need a break.....Yet, I know in 4 years, my son God willing will be in college, my Mom could be gone or she'd be almost 99, and my horse gone (my therapy). LIfe is so fast, so quick, so desperate at time, so full of life yet so sad and tiring at others.

 

 

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Hi my name is John and I am just here to say that I have only ever taking a vacation once and I have a sick son and he would love to go with me. It's really just a sad part but once we manage to get through everything I believe that we will be stronger and better in the long run.

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Im Tome. My mom never got a vacation cause she was always looking out for us. Until recently after a hardship. I decided to take her out to a neighboring city and let her have her spirits lifted. She enjoyed it. 

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Hi AARP Community,
I realized it was too late and i needed to take the time for a “mental break” from the constant series of the same questions that were posed by my Uncle, so I wrote her story in a notebook. Whenever, I needed a break, I would give him the notebook so he could read her story (with joy) that answered all of his routinely asked questions. My favorite part was when he would read that he was 90 years old. Each time he would deny that truth... “90 years old...that can’t be true” he would exclaim emphatically...I would laugh each and every time! I hope this story brings you some laughter about memories shared

 

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i am getting older but i enjot caming with my family and friends it uised to be so much easier when i was younger LOL to get up adn down but i just adjust my camping supllies to try adn meet my needs but i tell ya that is my perfect trip and one day just one day maybe i will end up with a camper and then all my problems wuld be solved

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Newbie

This is a great motivtional site to help realize there's alot of good in the world and to keep moving forward.

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During the year, we took my parents (ages 94 and 90) to Atlantic city. They can sit and play at a slot machine, get free beverages, and not have to spend a lot of money, but have the time of their lives. They get to meet a lot of people and feel like a part of something again. Helps everyone.

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One summer we took a road trip to California from Texas. We were going to visit family. Most of my family did not think that my daughter would travel well. I knew that she would. The only difficulty we had was having to pack more stuff like diapers. She drove better in the car than the rest of us did. 

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Camping and hiking with my dog, Rascal, in Acadia National Park in ME.

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Mom ❤

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I take a break from caregiving by getting one of my sisters to stay with our dad while I go to a hotel somewhere at least 2 hours away. I stay for about 2-3 nights and swim and go shopping or browsing to my hearts content. It really refreshes my body and mind.

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This summer I took me and my best friend on a vacation. It was only for one day because I don't like being away from my home for more than a day. We went shopping at a bunch of stores and I mean a bunch. Whatever cool store we saw we stoped by and looked through the whole store. Then after we went shopping we stoped to get brunch at a very fancy resturant. The food at that resturant was absolutley devine. I had a very, very fun one day summer vacation with my best friend that I take good care of. 

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Hello my name is Vickie I'm caregiver to my mom Dorothy who is 82 in 2007 she was diagnosed with short term memory because of her thyroid condition which caused her to have unbalance memory and with medication she just never reverted back to how she was prior to this condition. Since that time until now has been a completely new chapter and journey she has Dementia. The aggression and the day to day is unexplainable . I now monitor behavior, moods, all discomfort, sleeping , breathing, eating you name I'm doing it and each day is different yet I have programs and activities for her trying to see what is a good fit is my focus now and wanting to keep her safe and secure. This is round the clock and if you see me you see her. I feel isolated from the world but I'd rather look in my mothers eyes every day and try to imagine what she feel with her illness cause sometimes I just try to understand and I can't why this illness is here. Staying stronge for my mom cause she would do it for me. She is my air I breath.

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Mom had become very sick very unexpectedly 2.5 years ago. It was (still can be) very time consuming. So much so that I realized it had been quite along time since we had spent any real time together as a family because I had time warped  into hospital / rehab time. Mom was finally getting settled into what was now her new life with us. I finally looked up and saw that my kids were 2 years older than I remember and that soon they would be gone off to college and we would have missed some valuable family moments because I coudn't get past making sure mom was ok, that her blood work was off or her feet were swelling. I decided I had to put MY family first. My mom understood. We talked about how she had the opportunity to be a mom to her kids and a wife to her husband and that I needed to do the same and deserved it to. So I did the "unthinkable" I asked for help. I asked for help from my sister who isn't the "choosen one" and I accepted help from a friend who offered. This was so uncomfortable for me. Making the decision to put myself first was hard and then to accept help was just so out of my comfort zone. So I booked 7 days at a beach. We packed the kids in the car, I put the meds list and directions on the fridge, got the therapist lined up, prepped all her food and plopped my butt on the beach with my kids and husband and I let myself enjoy my time with just them. I trusted that they all had it handled and that mom would be fine, maybe not completely happy but fine. I talked with her everyday. When I came back I was a better daughter, caregiver, mother and wife! While it wasn't easy it was very much needed and gave me the recharge I needed so I can continue to help and be here for the ones that rely on me. I hope my story can inspire someone else to realize it us ok to put yourself into the equation. You matter to. You were given a life that is intended to be lived fully and while we want to be there for our loved ones we also need to recharge ourselves in order to be at full capacity for others. 

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Great great 

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Vacations are very difficult to plan and seems harder getting ready to take one and getting things settled after one than the time you spend on one. But, all caretakers need some time away from the constant pressure of caring for a loved one. I generally have a difficult time taking a long break so I do try for what I call my "mini" breaks. Some times it is only to go out for a night to dinner or a great show. Maybe once a year I plan an overnight trip. There are many trips sponsored that you can pick to let the driver do the driving on a bus and leader to plan where you spend the night. These make it much easier on your mind and usually easier on your wallet. Many times there are others dealing with the same issues as you so great for all of you to enjoy some happiness together. Try it..Works great. When you return home to your loved one you will have a renewed love for them just by being away for a short time. And sometimes when they are in good spirits, they have enjoyed you being away as well. Good luck to all on finding the best way for you to keep a renewed spirit while caring for a loved one.
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When driving back home from Florida with my mom, I found that listening to her stories she’d remembered throughout her lifetime and a lot of laughter made the trip the best moments we’d had together. 

 

She just wanted to keep moving on the road and talking. I will never forget that trip!

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My step father needed took get groceries and when I got there he was laying the floor because he had fallen. I didn't realize that he had gotten that old and unable to take care of himself. So I moved him in and after a couple of years i found myself exhausted and needing a break so I around with relatives till someone took him for a month. In that month I was able to recuperate and realized I had been missing out on living my life especially as a young man. I got him back and didn't know how to get back use to it but one his younger sisters decided they would take over the duties as his caretaker just I really started to struggle with tryna be young and responsible for someone else. I can say if I miss him and visit quite often

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