You can help to pick the winner of the 2018 Movies for Grownups Readers' Choice award! Vote now for your favorite film.

 

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Re: AARP Caregiving Summer Break Contest

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Message 51 of 1,085

i had to carry my three year old niece up the boardwalk 20 blocks because my sister didn't bring the stroller

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Re: AARP Caregiving Summer Break Contest

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Message 52 of 1,085

my aunt is in her 90 s.   i am an artist, but she didnt know this, till one day, i was showing her some artwork i did. (she said, that her mom, my grndmother was an artist also)  weird huh?  well , she told me she always asked her mom to paint her a picture of a cabin on the bayou with trees and moss, but grndmother never seemed to have the time.  i woke up the next morning and started that picture for her. i painted exactly what she had described. when it was done, days later, i gave it too her as a big surprise, and she bragged to everyone about it. ( look what my niece did for me), lol, seeing her happy , mademe very happy. lol

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Re: AARP Caregiving Summer Break Contest

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Message 53 of 1,085
I'm Sheila, we got married during a hard time and took care of my husband's grandmother until she passed. We didn't have a honeymoon because we wanted to keep his grandmother at home, a promise of love. We've always talked of going on a honeymoon but it never happened. He fell in 2014 and is now disabled and cannot work. I take off work to take him to every appointment he has. I would love to take him to the beach, I'm from Hawaii, renew or vows and finally have a honeymoon. I would just enjoy taking him to the beach, something he has never witnessed and let see and feel it.
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Re: AARP Caregiving Summer Break Contest

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Message 54 of 1,085

I did not take my grandmothher, who had Alzheimers anywhere. I took time for me, usually just a long weekend break here an there. It was a great ‘pick me up’ and I felt some relief when I got home. I strongly encourage everyone who’s a caregiver, if possible, to get out of the house, even if it’s just for lunch. You really need to take time for yourself too. 

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Re: AARP Caregiving Summer Break Contest

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Message 55 of 1,085

My wife katie is my care giver because im permanently disabled due to a work accident.my legs are messed up so she gets me up and outta bed she takes me to drs.shopping etc.but we cant get offically married because it will effect my benefits greatly but she works at a budget truck rental place as an agent so we can keep the bills paid but living on 725 a month dorsnt allow us any room for any get aways ever never been on vacation together and i feel really bad at how much she does for us.so i think if we could win this she would be over the moon.thank you aarp glad we joined.her name is kathryn dobson we are both members..thank you for reading.

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Re: AARP Caregiving Summer Break Contest

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Message 56 of 1,085

I've cared for elderly and/or disabled folk off and on, throughout the years. It's always a rewarding job regardless of pay.  It's satisfying to know you were of help to someone who could very well be you in the future. Being my parents anniversary this month, I'm partially paying some of their expense for a little getaway. Winning the contest would be great for them!

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Re: AARP Caregiving Summer Break Contest

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Message 57 of 1,085

I’ve been a caregiver for family since before 2008. I’m 52 and at that time my husband and I were raising our 3 children. My husband Tracy worked while I was a stay at home mom and to help out with bills I babysat for my brother and his wife they had 2 children the same age as 2 of my 3 children so I practically raised their children from the time they were 12 weeks old until our youngest went to middle school. May 2 2008 my husband was diagnosed with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s  Disease). I had started taking notes on the changes I noticed in him a few years earlier because with his family the ALS is  hereditary.  Known as Familia ALS. Tracy’s father grandfather a set of twin aunts, a half sister to his father, 2 uncles, and a cousin had already passed away from ALS before Tracy was grown. So I knew to be watching for signs. After being told he had it and we knew life expectancy was 2-5 years Tracy came on out of work because he had already started have breathing problems and falling around. We did make the most of our time together as a family. Our daughter was finishing up her year of  kindergarten our middle son was finishing up his first grade and our oldest was finishing his fourth grade. We played a lot of outside games in the summer played board games and card (uno) at night went places that didn’t cost money like parks, streams, ponds fishing, movies, our yearly beach trip that we usually could only go for long weekend but we decided to start making that a week long vacation to have more quality time together to have memories. We did take that one big vacation to Disney World. We did everything we could together as a family. Tracy passed away 5&1/2 years later on The 9th of November 2013! We stayed together 24/7 those few years and I did take care of him as much as he would let me. But during this time my mother had also started having health issues. In and out of hospitals and doctors trying to figure out what was going on with her some doctors that it was her heart others said stoke. And I was the one taking her to all her appointment. We finally found out she was having TIA’s (mini strokes) now my mom had been taking care of my dad with our help since 1981 because he had had a stroke in September that year that left him  paralyzed on his right side in an able to speak sentences but he could say words but it was difficult for him to get them out. After my husbands passing my mom got much worse and needed a lot more care and so I continued my roll as caregiver making sure both my parents had meals and looked after their medicines making sure they took them going to doctor appointments with them both and my mom passed a little over 2 years after my husband on February 23rd, 2016. My dad being disabled I have just continued on taking care of him   He and my mom would have been married 65 years this past July 4th and my dad turns 86 Sunday Aug19th. I’m staying with my dad a lot to make sure he eats and takes his meds. I take him to his doctors appointment and he had another stroke this time last year and I had to stAy with him at the hospital since he can’t talk I can usually make out what he is trying to say. My children and I have taken a week each summer to go to the beach for a week. They are a tremendous help to me in caring for my dad and they helped with their dad and with my mom as much as they could. I don’t have any regrets in taking care of Tracy, mama and now Daddy. I know I’ve done my best but it is  exhausting at times and remember I’ve had 3 children now teenagers to raise alone during all this time. My brother and his family help as much as possible but they all work so most is up to me to do. As I said I have no regrets. My husband and my mom both passed peacefully at home in my arms with a hospice nurse there with us. Also they were surrounded by the people that loved them most. I told my children that I would love to take them on a vacation cruise. Something special for them because they have had to give up or live without a lot. My daughter is now a junior in Early College High School, myxomatosis is a senior at our high school in the STEM program and my oldest son who turned 20 in June and Graduated in May of this year with his  Bachelor of communications with a gaming background from High Point University (he is still looking for a job if anyone is looking for a game  designer/developer!) I need a break. But caregiver for a family member is a 24/7 full time job. Thank you for a chance to tell my story. Susan L Easter From NC

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Come with me!

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Message 58 of 1,085

Only one month after moving from Southern California to Arizona to care full-time for my mother-in-law (who deals with Parkinson's Disease) I had to make an impromptu trip back across the desert to bring my 8-year-old daughter to her scheduled summer camp. I was in a panic about how to have Mom cared for while I was gone when it occurred to me that she hadn't been to the coast in several years. I asked her if she wanted to come with me and at first she was hesitant. She conjured up several excuses about medications, incontinence, and every possible problem that might occur. I'm grateful for the ability I mustered to calmly talk her through the possible SOLUTIONS for each of her concerns. Together we searched online for an affordable hotel at the halfway point and agreed that we would stop every hour to stretch, use a bathroom, or snack if we needed to.

 

It was challenging, especially the first day. The heat was tough, the drive was long and the car was cramped, but we talked and listened to music and my daughter added a bit of comic relief here and there.  The evening at the hotel was even more challenging, but we made the best of it. The next morning we dropped of my daughter and started our "mini vacation" together.

 

As we drove along the coast, my mother-in-law reminisced about her youth growing up on the beach and shared stories about my husband and his childhood family. We were fortunate enough to find a decent parking spot on a busy Saturday morning and I pushed her wheelchair along the boardwalk. She was shocked at the crowds and how different things were in only a few short years. We stopped to watch dolphins playing in the water with the surfers and decided not to get a hot dog from a street vendor, but soon left the crowded beach area and stopped at one of her favorite diners for lunch. She was more relaxed than I had seen in weeks. At one of our rest stops on the way home we went inside a travel center/casino to use the bathroom and ended up playing penny slots for an hour at her insistence! 

 

It was a great trip and I'm so glad we were able to share a nice summer break together. Not only did it provide us with shared memories, but now we know what to do to prepare for smooth and easy future getaways. 

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Re: AARP Caregiving Summer Break Contest

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Message 59 of 1,085

i had a really good summer

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Re: AARP Caregiving Summer Break Contest

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Message 60 of 1,085

Being a caregiver takes a lot out of you mentally and emotionally.  When you love someone with all your heart a caregiver job is very rewarding and fullfilling.  You know you are doing what needs to be done and you feel so empowered to provide your loved one with he/she needs "love". I hope each and everyone one of you that is taking care of a loved one understands they love you as much as you love them even if they don't or can't tell you in words.

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