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Re: Is anyone taking care of a spouse?

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Hi, Everyone, this is also my first time on this sight. Your individual stories were not only interesting to me , but comforting just to know that I' m not alone. My story is a little different,in that my husband has a vascular dementia, but like the two of you, I have to take care of everything and although I'm a positive person, I often feel depressed because I never thought I'd be in this kind of situation.
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Re: Is anyone taking care of a spouse?

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I have been taking care of my spouse for several years now and it is a very lonely and isolating world.  People will offer to help but then when you ask they are "too busy."  We have lost friends and family because the longer the illness drags on the less people want to spend any time with you.  I sometimes wonder if it would be easier to get a divorce and let him become a ward of the court.  He has the opportunity to work on getting better but doesn't do it.  It is so frustrating and aggravating that I can't continue to deal with it.  I lost my sister 6 years ago to cancer and my mother is in a nursing home.  My main support system is gone.  

 

 

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Re: Is anyone taking care of a spouse?

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Hi Mary,

I am also Mary and yes I take care of my spouse.  I certainly know the alone feeling with him hear I feel I have no one to talk to and when I do talk he just stares at me.  My husband is quite advanced now and I have moments of severe frustrations.  I just joined this site and hope it helps you and I.

Mary

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Re: Is anyone taking care of a spouse?

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I read both of your posts and i think, wow, once again, spouses taking 'in sickness and in health' to heart and living by it. I'm also thinking, it takes a village...

 

I'm worrying about how to reduce the burden and your isolation, before your own health suffers.

 

If you type in your zip code into www.eldercare.gov, you'll find an Agency on Aging in your community. Go make an appointment to learn what services are free, or which ones have fees, that could help. Are Adult Day programs available? Even one day a week would help. Is there paratransit or an elder transport option?

 

How about hiring a professional caregiver? Just once a week for 4 hours could give you respite to get out of the house alone. It may cost 20 dollars an hour, but 80 dollars (for 4 hours) is cheaper than psychotherapy!

 

Do you know about the Well Spouse Foundation?  They offer in person as well as online support groups. As you say, no one quite understands unless they are in the same boat. They're listed by state: http://www.wellspouse.org/united-states/

 

Do you belong to worship communities? Has anyone asked you, let me know if i can help? Take them up on it!  Be specific. "can you by any chance mow our lawn every couple of weeks?" "Could you sit with my husband (or wife) and watch tv while i go to the store?"

 

You don't have to do EVERYTHING yourself. It does take creativity and gumption to ask for help. Do you have a close friend who can help you ask? This saves on awkwardness.

 

Is there a "village" in your area? Here's an explanation of what they are, which is basically a volunteer staffed group that helps 'members' who are neighbors help those who need help to stay in their homes: http://assets.aarp.org/rgcenter/ppi/liv-com/fs177-village.pdf

 

Anyway, that's a lot. I'm working as a geriatric care manager, and in my job, i try to create a 'village' around people who are in need of help. Some forms of help cost money but not all. Your own health may suffer if you get no relief.

 

What do YOU do to get a break?

 

Please tell us how you cope, and share your wisdom. So glad you posted.

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Re: Is anyone taking care of a spouse?

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Yes, I am taking care of my wife (2) years younger than I am.  She has a mitochondrial mutation that affects her in many ways.  She has had 4 strokes of which there are no visual affects.  There are some problems with communication (aphasia) and mental cognition.  This condition means she will have more strokes and early on set dementia.  Some seems to be already manifesting itself.  It also means that she has to feed through a tube each night (nothing by mouth except meds) and periodically her whole digestive system shuts down.  She manages her feedings each night herself.

I am responsible for everything else in the house.  sometimes i just feel overwhelmed.  Her son could provide me a break in the past if I just needed to get away.  Unfortunately he did a header off a 3rd story balcony last fall and died at 31 years of age.  Thanks for letting me vent.  I need someone to talk to about this.

Gary f

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Re: Is anyone taking care of a spouse?

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Hi



I am new to this sight. I have been caregiver to my husband for the last three years and recently had to quit my job and become a full-time caregiver because he can't be alone anymore. He has dementia and Parkinson's and gets lost in our home.It has been a big adjustment because my husband gets so confused with everything and I have to take care of absolutely everything. I feel alone most of the time even though he is here. Unless you are in this situation no-one else understands. Talking with other caregivers is important because we understand the hi's and lo's of our days.



Good Luck and God Bless each of you!



Mary

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