The Caregivers' Thread

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous' started by Peach Wookiee, Dec 30, 2012.

  1. Tora Ziyal

    Tora Ziyal Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Are there any activities that she still enjoys? Some simple task she can help with, like drying dishes? Or just try putting on some music or a movie that she likes.
     
  2. Peach Wookiee

    Peach Wookiee Cuddly Mod of Doom Moderator

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    Her hands don't work well anymore (Dad has to feed her) and she hates just listening to music. I wish she was into more than watching TV and that we had the wheelchair lift in...
     
  3. Tora Ziyal

    Tora Ziyal Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Peach, that must be so frustrating for you.

    We were lucky -- my father was in good shape physically until a month before he died. He could take part in activities, and he usually enjoyed them, even though he didn't remember doing them a few minutes later.

    BTW, he also took a low dose of an antipsychotic med to combat his anger and paranoia. Worked wonders w/ minimal side effects.
     
  4. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    My stepmother seems to be developing dementia, or something very much like it. At first we thought it was because of the heart attack she had years ago playing tennis (which cut off the blood to her brain for a very short time). But her mother had dementia, so she is at higher risk for it too... in any case, my dad is pretty much a full time caretaker for her. She has basically no short term memory, can't even cook a meal anymore. I'm surprised she can even drive a car.
     
  5. Tora Ziyal

    Tora Ziyal Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    ^ Can't help asking... if her memory is so bad that she can't cook a meal, should she really be driving?
     
  6. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I don't know...probably not.
    Fortunately she doesn't really want to drive anymore anyway.
     
  7. Tora Ziyal

    Tora Ziyal Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    ^That's good. But if she's still driving even a little, you might want to make a point of being a passenger in her car occasionally, just to monitor how she's doing.

    When I went to visit my father once (he was still living on his own in another state), the ride to his house from the airport was terrifying. He had always been a very careful driver, but suddenly he was making risky left turns, going through red lights, and making light of it when I said something. His judgment was shot to hell, just since last time I'd seen him. I took the car keys away that day.
     
  8. Peach Wookiee

    Peach Wookiee Cuddly Mod of Doom Moderator

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    ^Did he willingly give up the keys?
     
  9. Captain Ice

    Captain Ice Cookie Constructor Moderator

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    I'm wonderring the same thing.
     
  10. Tora Ziyal

    Tora Ziyal Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Nope.

    I arranged for a friend to stay with him temporarily until I could get him into assisted living a couple months later, and she kept the keys hidden and did all the driving. Well, except the time he found the keys and snuck out. Luckily he only drove two blocks to the post office, but boy did I get a hysterical phone call from the friend! :lol: Funny in retrospect, but not at the time.

    Once he was in assisted living and didn't have the car parked in front of his house to remind him, he was okay with not driving.
     
  11. Peach Wookiee

    Peach Wookiee Cuddly Mod of Doom Moderator

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    ^I'm glad you were able to do that, Tora.

    My granddad still drives at the age of 89. And his older sister only gave it up about three years ago at the age of 101. She only drove in the day for a while in Eau Claire.
     
  12. Sector 7

    Sector 7 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Wow! I just found this thread.

    I am still taking care of my mother. She turned 74 on Friday. Mom had a stroke in 1999. In 2001, my sister told me I was to take care of Mom, because she didn't want to any more. I found a home we both could live with, just outside of town in the country.

    It was very difficult combining two very different households into one. Mom's taste in decor is Early-American Yard Sale (no two items in her home ever matched). My tastes are more refined with matching furniture, drapery, etc. It was quite the mayhem for awhile. Then my niece returned to our home at age 12 and I raised her again. My sister "is not cut out to be a mother" (her words, spoken to her children... God forbid!). I learned long ago to open my heart and home as Jesus taught us to do.

    After a fall 4 years ago, Mom has been bedridden. While it has been a struggle, due to my own physical issues, we have been making it work. For the Americans, look into CAP Care (Community Alternative Programs). It has helped by providing payment for Home Health Aides, Respite Relief (paid help so you can "get away" when necessary), medical supplies not covered by Medicare (diapers & incontinent supplies, etc.). The program in North Carolina has a waiting list. To be blunt, an opening occurs when someone on the program dies.

    CAP Care is designed to keep people out of nursing homes by providing an alternative at home. The theory is that it is less expensive to keep your loved one at home than to place them in a nursing home. Each state has varying requirements for the program, but it may be worth checking into it.

    Our family has a history of Alzheimer's Disease from both sides of my family. Mom and I are both taking Aricept, as a preventive to Alzheimer's. I think Mom will outlive me, although I hope not. Mom only has me to depend upon to take care of her.

    I won't mention names, because this person is a friend of mine, but one of our own TrekBBS members lost a loved one in December. This person has been their primary caregiver and needs the prayers of those who pray. This person has been a great support to me over time and I shall forever be grateful.
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2013
  13. Tora Ziyal

    Tora Ziyal Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    ^ That sounds like a really good program, Sector 7. However, from what I found online, it's specific to North Carolina.

    Sounds like you've more than got your hands full. Prayers for you and for the bbs member you referred to.

    I kind of giggled at your description of the decorating issues. That would be me. In fact, I would probably lose my mind if I had to combine households with someone at this point in my life. :lol:
     
  14. Peach Wookiee

    Peach Wookiee Cuddly Mod of Doom Moderator

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    ^I Googled the CAP program, Tora and there's a program in my state. My family doesn't qualify for it, though.
     
  15. Tora Ziyal

    Tora Ziyal Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    ^ Okay, I must not've looked far enough.
     
  16. Peach Wookiee

    Peach Wookiee Cuddly Mod of Doom Moderator

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    I just added in my state as part of the check. There are probably more around the country, I'm sure. :)
     
  17. Sector 7

    Sector 7 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Try these links for more information for your state. At least, it will give you a place to start:
    1- http://www.mdcsl.org/advantagecallback.asp?template=map_search

    2- http://www.benefits.gov/benefits/browse-by-state/state/MD

    My hands may be full, but I would not trade Mom for anything... warts and all, as they say.

    As for the decorating... for years Mom would very vocally demand that nothing be touched. Her room looked almost like those hoarders on TV.

    In January 2010, Mom had a stay in the hospital. My stepmom and I redid the entire room, top to bottom. It was cleaned out, her bric-a-brac furniture was replaced with the matching bedroom suite I had purchased for my niece when she lived at home.

    We knew Mom would raise hell when she came home. I told stepmom to NOT come around for a few days, taking the heat myself. The first thing Mom said was, "I LOVE IT!" She left me speechless...

    I lost my soulmate a few years ago. I don't think I could ever live with someone again either. We were not legally allowed to marry, but I consider myself a widower.
     
  18. teacake

    teacake Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Sector 7 your mom's reaction blows me away :)

    So nice to read about.
     
  19. SmoothieX

    SmoothieX Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I've never been a direct caregiver. But I have given care to the caregiver. My grandma went downhill with pancreatic cancer in a hurry when I was in high school. She came to live with us for the last year or so. It was rough on my folks, it was my mom's mom, but my dad worked at home a lot so he had a lot of daily care responsibility as well.

    I was 16 or 17, so I had a license and wasn't a kid that couldn't help out. So they would go away for a weekend now and again and I'd be the one doing everything for her.

    My old man got sick with gastrointestinal cancer a few years back. I lived several hours away at the time, but I would try to visit once a month or so. I'd cook and clean and run errands for my exhausted mom, and keep him occupied by talking or playing games with him. His mind was shot from a lack of nutrition and hardcore pain meds and any activity with him got to be tedious and repetitive. In lieu of a fancy funeral, he wanted to set up a scholarship fund for someone going into nursing since they cheerfully scrubbed his ass and balls toward the end. My mom was overwhelmed by it, but I just said fuck it, got in touch with some local charities, and now we've awarded one two years straight.
     
  20. BORU

    BORU Commodore Commodore

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    Raising a four and a seven year old granddaughters due to Mother's Bipolar and addiction plus father being a uncaring git of FIVE kids. At 56 it's a challenge that's for sure but I wake up everyday at 4:30 to go to work, making sure all their crap is laid out and packed up for the sitter and school the night before. If I don't work, they don't eat. I give major props to anyone who is a single parent or sole cargiver of anyone regardless of age because it can be stressful.

    Here's one thing I'll pass along. Wanna help? Offer that person 1/2 hour, a hour, a day of alone time. Take the kids. sit with grandma, take grandfather for a ride, read a book or watch TV with the bedridden just to give the caregiver a break.

    You'd be surprise what even 1/2 hour of downtime can do to recharge the emotional batteries and allow us to continue on.

    Still when I come through that door and they are all smiles and hugs it almost makes it worth it, I say almost because five minutes after I'm home one is climbing the walls and the other is plotting the downfall of the known world.
     

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