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1/20/18 1:12 P

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How is everyone?



"You can make clothes from the wool of your sheep. . .the goats will provide milk for you and your family" (Proverbs 27: 26, 27)


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1/4/18 7:15 P

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Sounds like a great way to spend New Year's Eve, and like your Mom is in a great place. I like to walk each day, but with temps in the freezer it makes it hard to stay out very long. The zumba video is a fabulous solution.




"You can make clothes from the wool of your sheep. . .the goats will provide milk for you and your family" (Proverbs 27: 26, 27)


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ROZIGNAL's Photo ROZIGNAL Posts: 1,087
1/2/18 10:27 A

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Happy 2018!
I started New Year's Eve playing Bingo at a BBQ place with my daughter, her husband and two of their friends. It was only 1 hour but we had fun. Kelcey won $25.00 in split the pot. Her friend won the other 1/2. Then I went to check in on my mom. I realized they were having their NYE party on 2nd floor. She was all decked out in a new outfit and was glad to see me. The activities volunteer was busy with the appetizers. They had door prizes and then ate pizza. Next was bingo. The CNA had to leave for a bit so I took over being the prize tray bearer. It was fun! I was home by 8:30. My husband went to bed at 11. I thought I could stay up, but fell asleep on the couch. I woke up at 12:15 and went to bed.

I bought a Country Zumba video for my stocking stuffer. I have used it twice now. Kelcey was over yesterday and did one song with me. I am working my way up to finish the first workout (so far I've done 4 of 6 songs). I feel a little sore so I will stay with 4 songs for now.
It has been so cold that I couldn't walk outside.

We start back at school tomorrow. I am going in today to put the labels on the new lockers. It will be a learning curve to keep fingers out of the locker doors and learn to shut not slam them!

Have a great day!

Roz

Dream big and pursue those dreams as often as you can.


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1/2/18 1:11 A

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So good to hear from you, we appreciate the update. It is amazing how fast time passes, my mom passed on seven years ago at Christmas. For some, it makes the holidays sad, when a loved one passes at a time when others are celebrating. But my mom loved Christmas, so in a way, it makes it more special for me, as I celebrate the love of the season, where we celebrate the hope of all mankind becoming flesh and growing and walking among us. It is a season of miracles, of love and hope, faith and joy. I choose to focus on the good this Christmas, and try to see the love, instead of the pain.

I envy you being able to visit your mom for Christmas. Most of my family is gone now, even the in-laws, and I would love another Christmas with all of them around the table again. It's sort of like the Dickens Christmas Carol, where the ghost of Christmas future shows the fireplace, with the empty crutch leaning against the fireplace, never to be used again. You still celebrate with the remaining family, but the empty chair reminds you of the one no longer there. Sort of bittersweet, the joy of the season & its love & magic, but the loss of Christmases past, with all the chairs filled. You just have to make new memories and move on, time flies so rapidly you need to treasure every moment.


"You can make clothes from the wool of your sheep. . .the goats will provide milk for you and your family" (Proverbs 27: 26, 27)


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ROZIGNAL's Photo ROZIGNAL Posts: 1,087
12/28/17 10:41 A

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Yesterday was the 4th anniversary of my MIL's death. I was her caregiver for about 1 year. She moved to a senior apartment and was pretty self sufficient. She still had a vehicle and we used it to get to the store and the pharmacy. She liked to do her own shopping until about 3 months before she passed. Then she gave me her list and I did her shopping. She was always grateful and pleasant to me. I really miss her!

My mom is now having O.T. and P.T. visits at her apt and a nurse helps her shower twice a week. She went to the E.R. too many times so they don't want to risk a fall or pneumonia. One of her meds even said it could cause chest pressure but when she mentioned it at a visit for her bladder infection, they called the ambulance to transport her to ER (the other side of the building). I too mom to buy gift cards to mail to her grand and great-grandkids. That was before the arctic freeze we have now. I took her to lunch at Perkins for Christmas Eve (her 71st birthday) and she got a free piece of pie for dessert. My daughter joined us a the end. We had Christmas at our house with just my daughter and her husband. My husband and I went to visit mom on Christmas Day.

Mom is having another sleep test next week. I am sure her doctor wants her to get back to using her C-pap.

Well, I am hoping 2018 is a great year. Merry Christmas.



Roz

Dream big and pursue those dreams as often as you can.


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12/4/17 10:01 P

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Another week, how the time flies. How is everyone?


"You can make clothes from the wool of your sheep. . .the goats will provide milk for you and your family" (Proverbs 27: 26, 27)


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11/19/17 1:50 P

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Welcome to Eleni (sorry if I remembered the name wrong & misspelled it). This team was such a blessing to me when I started caregiving. This is the place I could come and get comfort & help on the bad days, and be able to help others as well. Caregiving is both the most challenging and most rewarding job I've ever done. I've learned so much, learned to appreciate every minute of life.

When I started caregiving, I was crying myself to sleep every night. I'd left the comfort of my own home, my own life, to come back into town and live with mom and take care of her. I'd left relative control of my life behind, to be once again treated like a child, and it was hard. Then I met this group, and others helped me to adjust my thinking. It wasn't the situation that was the problem, though it was admittedly difficult. The real problem was me. I had to adjust my thinking, stop reacting like a victim, and take control of my life again. I was choosing to be a caregiver, and I needed to make new boundaries, new ways of dealing with things. It was an eye-opener for sure, but once I could see the big picture, I could make better choices.

As I watched my mother decline, I was able to see how even simple things are blessings. To be able to go to the kitchen and make yourself a snack, to be able to dress yourself, to be able to follow the plot of a movie (if it ever had one), to be able to play a simple game, or get a joke, or recognize a friend--I never realized what blessings they were, until I watched my mom lose those abilities. To breathe on your own, see a sunrise, hear a child's laughter, feel another's hand in yours, and even use the toilet on your own. . .they are amazing blessings. Once I started seeing the good things, and being thankful for them--the flutter of butterfly wings, the scent of an old-fashioned moss rose, a car that started on a cold day, and a heater that worked. . .instead of seeing just the bad things, my life dramatically changed. I found happiness in countless little things, instead of when things 'going better'. It became a game, to see what blessings I could find--incredibly hard at first, but easier as time went by, until it became second nature. This is one of the greatest gifts caregiving has given me.


"You can make clothes from the wool of your sheep. . .the goats will provide milk for you and your family" (Proverbs 27: 26, 27)


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11/13/17 10:50 A

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Wow, sure a lot going on Roz. Never had parsnip chips, how did they turn out? My boss loves kale chips, just lay out the leaves on a cookie sheet, drizzle a little olive oil over them, sprinkle with just a touch of salt, and then bake in the oven until crispy (she said it didn't take very long). Do the parsnip chips work the same way?

How great that your daughter goes over and cooks with grandma, that's special.

As to the guilt, I think we all want to just make things 'better', only no matter how much you do there is still something else that crops up. Like laundry and dishes, there is no 'done'. There's always one more dish, there's always one more caregiving chore. Eventually, you have to just do what you can, and make peace with that.

We'd all love for things to go back to 'normal', where we are free to live our own lives, knowing our parents are there to help out when needed. It's hard to put that illusion to rest, our minds may still think of that as normal, unless of course your parents were never supportive in the first place. But the new normal is that they need us, whether they realize it or not, whether they accept it or not. And some parents go down this final path kicking and screaming all the way, making life difficult for everyone. Others may be blessed with appreciative, compliant parents, and not realize how the stress of caregiving can be multiplied many times over with difficult parents.

I think the hardest things for me were stepping out of the 'obedient daughter' role, and into the caregiver role where I take more control; getting over the frustration of my efforts not only not being appreciated, but being yelled at; and the lack of methods to refuel my spirit, which was getting drained down to the dregs. It's hard to feel like the bad little girl, never doing enough to please the parent, never being good enough to deserve at least a little appreciation for all your efforts.

Once I started doing things to refresh my own spirit, even if it was in small time blocks, it helped immensely. Spiritually, emotionally and physically, I needed to take care of me. Once I was refreshed, it was easier to accept that my parent/daughter roles have changed, and I needed to decide what I could do in caregiving, and do that--while being a bit detached from all the drama. Once you don't need appreciation, or approval, but are doing what you know needs done regardless, you are amazingly free from a lot of the caregiver guilt. It made caregiving easier, because once free of the guilt and need for appreciation, you can do what needs done with a smile.

When life is full of angst and tension, it infects the others around you, breeding more tension. Once I let go of my expectations, took control of my caregiving, stepped into my new role with a new attitude, life changed dramatically. No, my circumstances hadn't changed one bit, but my reaction to it had changed. I'm with your husband here, sounds like you're doing what you can to help. I pray you find peace in your caregiving, you're carrying a heavy load. Kudos to you for all you do to help, and for passing on to the next generation a desire to help. That's an amazing success that few get to see. Hang in there, and keep us updated, we care.


"You can make clothes from the wool of your sheep. . .the goats will provide milk for you and your family" (Proverbs 27: 26, 27)


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11/10/17 8:12 P

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A little update again. My mom had another angiogram and they put in three stents. They went in through her groin and her wrist. The day after surgery she was asking for the puff popcorn that is full of salt. She needs to lose 100 pounds! I think I have her finances straightened out to afford the nursing services and then she wants 4 tub baths per month. I told her if she gives up the Tuesday Adult Day Services trips that she could probably afford it (if they have time to give them where she lives).

My sister rearranged mom's bedroom so she could sleep in the hospital bed in there. Unfortunately, my sister didn't know she couldn't block the windows with furniture...they have to be able to get in to help her if there is a fire. So, I moved things around again. She slept in the bed for 3 hours and decided it wasn't going to work so soon after her surgery.
My daughter and her husband moved back to town recently. My daughter went to cook a batch of chili with Grandma this afternoon.

I am off school today so I did some grocery shopping and picked up a couple of things mom needed. I had found a recipe for parsnip chips so I bought a bag of parsnips for her to be able to bake a crunchy snack.

As I was leaving she told me she had a prescription ready at the pharmacy. They deliver it so I didn't offer to pick it up.

I would love to visit her just once without feeling guilty that I don't do enough. My husband says I do more than I should.



Roz

Dream big and pursue those dreams as often as you can.


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10/20/17 9:10 P

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Thanks for the update, it's good to hear from you. It's hard enough trying to do all that paperwork when it's for yourself. Kudos to you for helping mom deal with things she let lapse. For many people, the parent's pile of unpaid bills is often the first clue that their parents may not be taking care of themselves anymore. Often, the parents still feel in control, even though they are not taking care of things as they once did, leaving everyone in an awkward situation. Sounds like you have fallen right into this scenario, and it can be difficult.

Does anyone have any good ideas on how to deal with a parent who intends to retain control of things, but is not really doing what needs done? I know this has come up in the past with others, perhaps they can give some ideas?

I'm so glad to hear that you and hubby will be getting some time together, for caregivers, that can be something that dwindles down to nothing if we're not careful. And happy to hear that sis will be coming up as well, hopefully to help. It's such a blessing when you have a support team to lean on.

Caregiving is the most worthwhile thing I've ever done, but also the most challenging. It can be so frustrating at times, and you need ways to release the tension and recharge your own batteries.


"You can make clothes from the wool of your sheep. . .the goats will provide milk for you and your family" (Proverbs 27: 26, 27)


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10/20/17 8:21 P

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How are things for everyone else? TGIF!

I spent 6 hours trying to arrange my mom's bank accounts so we can close the ones she left open in the town she used to live in. I was on hold for 40 min with social security because she couldn't remember her password and they locked her out. The I had to get the house she still owns insured again because she let it lapse on Oct 1. I got a quote and then she wanted to lower the coverage to try and save money. She has a cell phone that my mom set up and an emergency button. She knows nothing about either. I finally learned that her cell phone is a pay as you go, but they take money out of her debit card each month. Trying to change that account I ended up finally giving up. I told her we would try again next week. I had created file folders for each company. She chooses not to use them, but instead piles the paperwork up on the table. Oh yes, I also had to get a payment to her cable company to avoid it being shut off. Ugh! I am going out of town for a banquet for a club my husband and I belong to. She did schedule the next stents to be done in November. I was able to request the day off. My youngest sister is also coming up to be here.

Roz

Dream big and pursue those dreams as often as you can.


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10/7/17 3:23 P

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Just wonderin': We're supposed to have over a thousand members, and I know how much we caregivers need support, and a place to just be ourselves. I know how much this team has meant to me in the past. So. . .where is everyone?


"You can make clothes from the wool of your sheep. . .the goats will provide milk for you and your family" (Proverbs 27: 26, 27)


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10/5/17 10:52 A

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Wow, that is a lot on your plate to deal with, especially with everything coming on the burial day-- and it's hard when our loved ones make choices we wouldn't make, like in the untreated blockage. I understand it from both sides, I had to make hard choices for my mom when I cared for her, and I would probably make very different choices than my son, if it was me being cared for. I have a friend with vastly different choices than her family that is caring for her, but they eventually had to choose what they thought was best for everyone. It's so hard.

It is your mom's life, and I guess she's already living with the consequences of her choices. Bless you for doing what you can, and putting up with the difficulties.


"You can make clothes from the wool of your sheep. . .the goats will provide milk for you and your family" (Proverbs 27: 26, 27)


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10/5/17 7:33 A

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Thank you. It just kept raining with more issues. My mom called the ambulance for herself on Monday and they took her to ER with chest pains. She had taken a nitro and they were concerned about all the fluid in her legs. She was admitted to ICU and they checked her stents. She was released on Tuesday (the day of my dad's burial) and I had to have her call another resident from her apartment to take her home because I was out of town. Mom says she has a blockage on the right side, but she chose not to have it repaired on Tuesday. I need to call her doctor to get the full story.

Roz

Dream big and pursue those dreams as often as you can.


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10/4/17 8:42 P

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I'm so sorry to hear about your dad, my sincerest condolences. It's odd, even when you've been caregiving for a long time, and know your parent is going to pass, it still can be difficult. I cared for my mom full-time for seven years, and watched her steadily decline for that time. By the time she passed, she was only a shell of the bright, vibrant, kind mom that I grew up with. I grieved as she descended through the phases of dementia, and I thought when she entered the last stages that I would be done grieving. I was wrong. It hit me at the oddest moments, suddenly something would remind me of mom, and she was gone.

Now, dealing with your mom is on your mind as well, I'm so proud of you for doing what you can for your parents. Caregiving is definitely the most challenging thing I've ever done, but in the long run the most rewarding. Not because you get positive feedback from the ones you are caring for, it's often quite the opposite. They can be a challenging handful at times, frustrating and difficult. But doing what needs done, as best as we can (it's never perfect, just do what you can), brings a new level of insight into your life. You grow stronger from doing what needs done, even when it's hard. You learn to appreciate the little things in life that you took for granted before. I learned so much during my caregiving years, that I use now in my daily life.

Hang in there, I know this is hard. I pray you'll find sources of help and insight that will make this journey easier for you, and pray for comfort in your time of loss.



"You can make clothes from the wool of your sheep. . .the goats will provide milk for you and your family" (Proverbs 27: 26, 27)


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10/1/17 9:45 P

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Hi everyone,
Well, we just lost my dad last week. He was only 79 yrs old. COPD and diabetes along with high blood pressure. It was kind of sudden though. We had the funeral on Saturday and his burial is Tuesday. I miss him a lot.

That same day, I got a call from the adult day services my mom goes to. They wanted to tell me she needed new leg wraps, new pants that would go over the leg wraps and they think she needs more care. I talked to them on Friday and explained what I had been working on with my mom. I have already had her evaluated for nursing care again. I am confused as to why they said they would make recommendations, but then only told me what mom wanted to pay for...which isn't all the care she needs. I can't continue doing her leg wraps. She has her house for sale, but no one coming to look at it. We are having an open house in a couple of weeks. The hard part is that she doesn't qualify for services as long as she owns the house and she is too "tight" with her money to pay for the care. Well, I ordered the leg wraps and got her jogging pants. I just need to get the schedule for her cares and help her get her money situated to pay for it again.

Roz

Dream big and pursue those dreams as often as you can.


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9/2/17 12:29 A

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Quiet day, expecting rain. That's a good thing here (not elsewhere, I realize), as we're too dry.


"You can make clothes from the wool of your sheep. . .the goats will provide milk for you and your family" (Proverbs 27: 26, 27)


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8/31/17 5:03 A

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I wasn't prepared for the steps after caregiving, I guess I thought life would just bounce back to 'normal'. But so many things go undone when you are caregiving, and if you didn't take care of yourself along the way (which most of us don't), there are new issues to deal with. Don't get me wrong, caregiving was both the hardest, and at the same time, most rewarding thing I've ever done. It changed my life for the better, gave me a whole new outlook on life, let me see the miracle of each day that I'd never appreciated before. But, it leaves you with a lot of baggage to deal with later, and I'm thankful for this group being here, as we go through the next phase. Annie, you've always been such a blessing to me here, thank you, thank you.


"You can make clothes from the wool of your sheep. . .the goats will provide milk for you and your family" (Proverbs 27: 26, 27)


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8/25/17 10:50 A

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I can't tell you how much Judy and this team meant to me during the really hard years of caregiving. You guys are awesome. Someone to talk to who understood. So glad I found this team!

And yes, Judy, I am trying (without much success) to downsize. I dread to think of someone else inheriting generations of stuff in this house. I have given some family treasure to those who I think will enjoy them. I set things aside to sell but haven't done it yet. Limited mobility makes everything harder. Not complaining. Thanking God for every day I have and trying to live it well.

Edited by: ANNIESADVENTURE at: 8/25/2017 (10:53)



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8/20/17 1:20 P

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Hope you all have at least a little time to recoup today, and recharge your batteries. What is it that prepares you to take on another day?


"You can make clothes from the wool of your sheep. . .the goats will provide milk for you and your family" (Proverbs 27: 26, 27)


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8/19/17 3:45 P

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Silly Saturday, do something fun today. I think for my silly I'm going to go out and garden in the rain, like a kid playing in the puddles from days gone by.


"You can make clothes from the wool of your sheep. . .the goats will provide milk for you and your family" (Proverbs 27: 26, 27)


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8/17/17 2:07 P

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Thoughtful Thursday, I'm taking time to think about my blessings today. We have so many that we forget about them. I I have access to a computer, can see the computer screen, I know how to use it, and when my mind wants to move my hand, the hand moves and types real words (usually). I have a chair to sit on, I have a roof over my head. I have safe water to drink, and a cup to put it in. I have a fan to make a gentle breeze to keep me comfortable. I have electricity for it to run. . .blessings.

I never realized this, until I watched dementia steal these things from my mother. She couldn't remember how to do things she'd done her entire life. She couldn't figure out how to dress herself, or how to get a cup of water. Even games made for toddlers were too challenging. Those things I took as detriments to my life, having to play kids' games, to clean up messes, to wash interminable loads of laundry and endless dishes. . .they were all blessings, because I could still do them.

I knew where the games were found, I could get up and choose one, and set it up. I could read and understand the instructions, and follow them calmly. I could gather up soiled laundry, walk to the washing machine, another blessing, and put the laundry in, and set the timer and let it wash. No wringer to manage, no water to be hauled and heated, no washboard necessary. I've done all those things in my time, and I know that they, too, are blessings.

Isn't it amazing that hiding in the tedium of everyday life, are countless blessings we've been missing, things to be thankful for. Those we are caring for won't be here forever. Give them an extra hug today, they are also a blessing, and one that will pass from our grasp all too soon.


"You can make clothes from the wool of your sheep. . .the goats will provide milk for you and your family" (Proverbs 27: 26, 27)


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8/16/17 11:55 A

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I think of this as Wacky Wednesday, a day to do some small little thing just for fun, something silly, to counteract all the difficulty and drama that can fill our lives. What do you do to brighten the day?


"You can make clothes from the wool of your sheep. . .the goats will provide milk for you and your family" (Proverbs 27: 26, 27)


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8/13/17 8:07 P

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Welcome to spectacular, serene, Sunday. We all need a little time, even a few minutes, to recoup and recover. Stop in and let us know how you recharge your spirit.


"You can make clothes from the wool of your sheep. . .the goats will provide milk for you and your family" (Proverbs 27: 26, 27)


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8/8/17 1:23 P

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This team has been a lifeline, a place to unload the day's burdens, get help for the coming day, and join friends in our journey to wellness. How's your journey going?


"You can make clothes from the wool of your sheep. . .the goats will provide milk for you and your family" (Proverbs 27: 26, 27)


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8/6/17 12:39 A

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Time to hit the hay, but wanted to check in and wish all of you a super Sunday. Cool here today, just lovely for a summer day, more of the same predicted for the next day or so, woo hoo! How's the weather out your way?


"You can make clothes from the wool of your sheep. . .the goats will provide milk for you and your family" (Proverbs 27: 26, 27)


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8/4/17 12:37 A

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Hello! I did write another thread with my story, and some tips for those dealing with dementia patients. I took care of my mom full time in her home for her last seven years, then did the driving for my MIL's medical visits from the nursing home to the doctor/therapists, so I can appreciate the toll it can take physically. Fortunately, my mother-in-law was light enough to manage weight-wise, but it's hard to support them and get them safely in and out of the car. Both my mom and MIL are gone now, but I still appreciate this group and everyone's help in getting me through. I don't think non-caregivers can quite appreciate the changes that caregiving makes in your life, and this group has been so helpful.

There are so many adjustments to make after they pass, paperwork, estate taxes, final income tax forms, closing accounts, changing mail, notifying friends and relatives, downsizing, and all the emotional changes as well. And with the passing of the last parent, you may suddenly become the elder of the family, the keeper of the family lore, perhaps the one that now keeps the family get-togethers going at holidays. Now, when the family gathers at grandma's house, it may be your house they are talking about, and that's plain just beyond weird. I still feel like a teenager on the inside, how did I get to be the elder generation?

Now, we're trying to downsize as well, so the children won't have to go through all this stuff when we pass. Anyone else in downsizing mode?


"You can make clothes from the wool of your sheep. . .the goats will provide milk for you and your family" (Proverbs 27: 26, 27)


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ALATONA's Photo ALATONA Posts: 703
8/4/17 12:10 A

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Welcome back, Angora4. Memories are tough; my husband has been coping with them big time since his parents' birthdays just passed (July 11 & 12).

We have almost finished settling Mom's affairs. I need to talk to someone about whether even should file tax returns.... I'm hoping it will not be necessary.

Mom (my husband's mom, actually) died in March 2017. She was 84. We took care of her for over 7 years while she lived in a retirement home near our house (independent living), but she lost her Independence and entered an SNF in October 2016. Downsizing from the apartment to the SNF bed was a chore, as was driving 25 minutes each way to visit her or pick her up for medical appointments outside the facility. It was hard to deal with her being wheelchair-bound, and I overexerted my back and shoulders transporting her during the final weeks. I had surgery in June 2017 (almost 7 weeks ago), and my husband and I agree that I could not have done it while Mom was still living. Hubby will be having surgery this coming December. We're both trying to take better care of ourselves.

I'm not actively caregiving anymore, but I intend to stay active in this group. My own parents are aging well so far... they're in their early 60s and recently retired. My 3yo misses his Grandma and still talks about her frequently. She was a big part of his early life, and he was a great source of joy to her in her final days.

Who else wants to share??
~Amanda
ALATONA

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ANGORA4's Photo ANGORA4 SparkPoints: (28,830)
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8/3/17 4:51 P

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I've been AWOL a long time, I'd love for everyone to stop in and let me know how things are going for you. I'm in the process of going through mom's house and getting it ready for sale. Amazing how those memories keep popping up.


"You can make clothes from the wool of your sheep. . .the goats will provide milk for you and your family" (Proverbs 27: 26, 27)


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7/2/17 10:24 P

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Hello Roz! That is awesome that you were able to do some zumba! I love zumba myself, and I need to get back on the ball. I havent been around for a few weeks, due to caregiving and work. I'm still trying to figure out how to pencil in some me time! ;0)

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ROZIGNAL's Photo ROZIGNAL Posts: 1,087
6/27/17 11:29 A

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Here it is summer and our busy time of the year. My mom had an angiogram and then a stent put in two weeks ago. She starts cardiac rehab on Thursday. There was a mix up with the billing for the nursing service where mom lives so she gave that up the end of May. I was able to contact a young gal I knew and ask if she could help with mom's morning care. She gladly helps 2-4 days a week. I do the other days. We are both going out of town this weekend so I asked another friend to help out and she agreed. I have two months to figure out what to do when school starts again. It is challenging to leave my house 40 min early and drive to town to help mom. My husband feels mom should use her IRA money to pay for nursing services. We put mom's house up for sale after we cleaned it out this spring. The realtor finally had someone look at it this week. (Mom listed it about $50,000 more than the market analysis, but we convinced her to lower the price now.) I pray that we can get that sold before the winter heating season.

As you say, one day at a time.

I have been billed for Amazon Prime since my daughter used my card to buy something. I thought I would see if there were any Zumba videos I could try. I did one for 15 min today. It was great exercise. I will have to do it again tomorrow!

Have a great day!

Roz

Dream big and pursue those dreams as often as you can.


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6/8/17 1:24 P

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The last few months have been difficult, and caregiving really adds to my stress. But for the past 2 days, things have been ok, so I'm taking things one day at a time.

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ALATONA's Photo ALATONA Posts: 703
2/12/17 3:52 P

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We checked out all the funeral home stuff a few years ago, before my father-in-law died. He was a WW2. Veteran, so he had planned to be buried in the Florida National Cemetery. It's about a four-hour drive from our city to Ocala, where the funeral home is, then another 40 minutes to the cemetery. Mom and Dad did not want cremation.

To transfer the plan, we would have had to use a funeral home in a town about 3 hours north of us, and the nearest national cemetery would still be an hour away from our house. We kept the FL plan, and it worked out fine when Dad died. My husband and I both have extended family and friends in FL still, and it was not too hard to work out the details, even though a local funeral home had to handle the remains initially and transport the body to the FL funeral home.

With regard to your mom's money, if she wants to give some to kids & grandkids, do it now. There s a 7-year look-back period; Medicaid can determine that certain large sums of money should have been appropriated for care expenses when they might have been given to family members. In our case, Mom + Dad gave my husband and me about $16k, and we kept it in a separate bank account so it could grow a little and so it would be easy to account for if the unfortunate circumstance came about and we had to use the money for their care. We are well past the look-back period now, so that money is all ours and cannot be appropriated by the government.

Edited by: ALATONA at: 2/12/2017 (16:00)
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2/7/17 7:15 A

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Alatona, check and see if that prepaid package is transferable, a lot are. When I did my prepaid funeral the other day, I got a paper stating it was irrevocable so the nursing home could not claim it. Until she applies for Medicaid she can spend her money however she wants. I think we are looking at placement within the next couple of years depending on how she does at home.

She had been in a nursing home for rehab before I brought her home and I am pretty sure her doctor will help me with placement, but I will have to check on availability.

I wonder if assets retained vary from state to state. Here, she can have up to $2000 in assets but that is all. Her house is sold as well as her car so the only thing we have left are some CDs and her bank accounts. She is thinking about leaving money to the grandchildren now so she can enjoy seeing them get something. She had a small whole life insurance policy that she has paid in to equal the maximum benefit so she will probably cash that in also.

Such a shame they work all their lives and have to give everything up to pay for their care.

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ALATONA's Photo ALATONA Posts: 703
2/5/17 12:19 A

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Fatcat, you must be planning to apply for Medicaid. We are in the midst of that with my mother-in-law. Her application has been submitted, and she is"pending".

Mom has a prepaid funeral plan that she bought back in the 1990s. It is for a funeral home in FL, and now we have her living in GA. Oh well. We did our homework and know how to handle things when the time comes. Face value on it is about $2k, I think.

We are being allowed to keep some stock of Mom's that is worth about $4k; apparently she is allowed to reserve up to $10k of assets for burial expenses. I hope you found a prepaid plan that is under the threshold. The nursing home financial counselor was SUPER helpful with our Medicaid application process.

Have you visited any NH facilities in your area? Many actually have a wait list to get in.

Blessings to you all! Your loved ones are blessed to have you!

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2/3/17 8:21 A

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Meeting with the funeral home today for pre-arrangement planning. I know it is only a matter of time before I will have to place her in a nursing home as she is getting harder and harder to deal with in my home. When she goes there, it won't take long for all her assets to be gone in payment to them and I want to be sure we have enough money for her funeral. I can't believe life insurance is considered an asset but they take everything. She just cannot comprehend anything we try to explain to her on finances so it is difficult, as she thinks I am living high on her dime .....so not the case.

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WALKIN4JEANIE's Photo WALKIN4JEANIE Posts: 841
1/16/17 2:04 P

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Doctor's visit went very well. Her blood pressure went way down after they gave her a sedative which proved to the doctor that she suffers from "white coat" syndrome. (She is bipolar and has anxiety attacks as well.)

I am trying to get her to come here for a couple of weeks in February. She is 80 years old and has always wanted to visit the Biltmore. I have a season pass. I told her that I would take a day off and we would go just the two of us. I think I have her talked into it.

I really think that she needs to get out of that house. She is just so lonely. I live in a lively neighborhood that would welcome her with open arms.

I am sorry that your mother was disappointed. I know what you mean about the finances. I am not sure when to take a look at that, either.

If we couldn't laugh we would all go insane! - Jimmy Buffett


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ROZIGNAL's Photo ROZIGNAL Posts: 1,087
1/16/17 10:20 A

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How did the doctor visit go? I hope your mom's bp is better.
I am waiting for the repairman to come today to fix our water heater. We have in floor heat and the water heater quit yesterday when I was washing dishes. A repairman came yesterday but wasn't sure of the problem. We have a propane one so it is probably the igniter or something in the propane line.

After that gets fixed I am planning to get mom some sugar free Cherry Berry desert. My younger sister was at a friend's house only 1 1/2 hrs away and decided to go shopping instead of visiting my mom. My sister's life is pretty chaotic, so I don't blame her, but I feel bad that I got mom's hopes up when I told her she might come up. My other sister hasn't been up to see mom since we moved her here in July. We have been concentrating on getting mom's stuff sorted and her house ready to sell. Well, we may just have to speed up that process as mom's budget is eating through her savings. What did it was her gifts of money to grandchildren at Christmas. I really wish she had consulted me. I have power of attorney and I'm supposed to give her a financial update. She has also been changing renter's insurance and auto insurance on the vehicle we are trying to sell. I don't know when it will be necessary to take control of her checkbook and just pay the bills and give her spending money.
Well, have a good day everyone!

Roz

Dream big and pursue those dreams as often as you can.


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WALKIN4JEANIE's Photo WALKIN4JEANIE Posts: 841
12/22/16 7:07 A

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Good morning. Drove from NC to WV to take my mom to the doctor this morning. She keeps saying that I don't have to go with her. Fiddle Faddle!!

I am going to go at least to the office and help her fill out the paperwork. I want to make sure that her doctor can talk to me and my son about Mom's health. I should probably go back with her but I know that with my mom there must be baby steps. I am taking a book with me to read in the lobby.

However, I am totally prepared to have to take her over to the hospital today. Her blood pressure is pretty high. But, she didn't have her meds for three MONTHS....she has only been back on them for three days. I am not sure how fast those things work - or if she is even taking them like she is supposed to. She tends to cut them in half to make them last. (Great Depression thinking I suppose.

If we couldn't laugh we would all go insane! - Jimmy Buffett


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ROZIGNAL's Photo ROZIGNAL Posts: 1,087
12/4/16 10:51 A

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Sorry you are having a rough time. Yesterday was a pretty good day. We were supposed to go down and help my sister move to a new apt but hubby had to work so I stayed home too. I worked out on the Max trainer for 20 min. I went to Target and got my mom some blue and silver ornaments and blue lights for her 3 ft tree. After church, I went to mom's and helped her decorate the tree. I told her I would bring a small nativity set over when I unpack my Christmas stuff. Her eye glasses are ready to be picked up so I will try to get her there on Monday afternoon. Not sure why she doesn't take the bus there???
Have a better week!

Roz

Dream big and pursue those dreams as often as you can.


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12/3/16 2:53 P

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I apologize for responding so late, it's been a very stressful and hectic 10 days or so. I have a little bit of help with my caregiving, but I'm the "main person", so it's hard to get a break sometimes. I even feel a bit guilty about planning my much needed and overdue vacation! I hope that things get easier on your end. I managed to exercise on Sunday and today, I was able to workout "uninterrupted" for a whole hour! So I just try to find the silver lining wherever I can. ((Hugs for you and everybody that's caregiving during this holiday season!!!))

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ROZIGNAL's Photo ROZIGNAL Posts: 1,087
11/25/16 6:08 P

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I hope you get some help soon. Are there any services you can get to help with the care? I just spent part of my day off on Wednesday helping mom pick new eyewear. She wasn't feeling the best after that so I took her home and got the groceries on her list for her.

I felt like the pickle in the middle on Thanksgiving. DH got mad at one point and went to his garage until supper. I really dislike the guilt trip all the way around.
One sister is in TX on vacation and the other took my dad to visit his brother and then out for dinner. Sure would be great if her grandkids would come up to visit.

Good thing we have the Max Trainer for me to get on and exercise away some frustrations!

Roz

Dream big and pursue those dreams as often as you can.


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10/31/16 10:59 A

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Hmmm, Daily Check-In. It's been a rough week. In my caregiving, I don't really have any help, so I'm dealing with the physicality of it, as well as the emotional. Just wanted to semi-vent. ;0)

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ALATONA's Photo ALATONA Posts: 703
8/24/16 10:20 P

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Spent a good 4 hours of my day on MIL today - 1 hr at SSA office and 3 hrs accompanying her to a medical appt and getting her settled in at home afterward.

It has been a long day! Glad I was able to squeeze in some "me time" for exercise: a 45-min swim! Hooray!

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ALATONA's Photo ALATONA Posts: 703
8/13/16 8:35 P

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Our biggest struggle with caregiving right now is MONEY. Mom doesn't have quite enough of it. Her monthly income is $500-$1000 short of her expenses. We are taking steps to lessen the gap, but we're not sure how many of these will actually work. We are PRAYING for wisdom and for God's provision with all of this.

- We lowered her phone bill by installing a Straight Talk Wireless Home Phone. She can still use her "land line" phone, but the service costs $15/month instead of the $50-$60 she was paying to the actual land line provider.

- We had a sitter coming 5 nights/week to make sure she took her meds and tidy up her apartment. We cut it back to 2 nights/wk.

- We cashed in a life insurance policy; check for $2500 came today. That should help for a little while.

- We plan to adjust her Social Security benefits; she's currently receiving surviving-spouse benefit based on my father-in-law's SS account, but he was her second husband. Apparently, she was married to her first husband long enough to qualify for benefits based on HIS work record, and that benefit would be a little higher since he didn't retire early like Dad did.

- We are going to ask the retirement home for a small rent reduction. She has been living there and paying her rent (with periodic increases) for 7 years; we figure it doesn't hurt to ask!!

- We are inquiring with the VA to see if her aid and attendance benefit can be increased, and to find out how much her benefit would be IF she was in Assisted Living. The rent would cost more, but I understand that 75% of that rental amount would be considered medical expense by the VA, so the increase in benefit might actually be enough to help her come out closer to even every month instead of being in "independent living" and being in the hole.

Caregiving is NOT for wimps!!!
May God give all of us the strength we need for each day!
~Amanda

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ROZIGNAL's Photo ROZIGNAL Posts: 1,087
8/2/16 8:48 A

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It really isn't easy with a parent who tries to make their own rules for stuff. My mom is in the process of selling things to get ready to list her house. She has a friend meeting people to do the transactions. She even tried to sell a 20 ft trailer that she had given to my daughter. She told the person they could use it this weekend and then return it since I told her my daughter still wanted it. Hope she gets it back or my daughter will disown her.

I walked my daughter's dogs twice yesterday to ease my frustration. I know mom is trying but it just gets hard when it affects my daughter too.

Mom has type 2 diabetes, has had two strokes and has mobility issues from them. She has incontinence also. She sleeps in her electric recliner as she can't get out of her hospital bed in time to use the bathroom at night. We have a nurse come in and put her compression wraps on her legs each morning at her apartment.

Take care of yourself Amanda!

Edited by: ROZIGNAL at: 11/25/2016 (17:59)
Roz

Dream big and pursue those dreams as often as you can.


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ALATONA's Photo ALATONA Posts: 703
5/23/16 10:46 A

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I am new to this team but not new to caregiving. This month marks 7 years since I started caring for my mother-in-law (now 83) and her husband (he passed away in Oct 2014 at the age of 94). She has moderate Alzheimers, diabetes, congestive heart failure, a-fib and a pacemaker, and she underwent breast cancer surgery in June 2014. So far, she has remained cancer-free.

I struggle to find time to exercise, as I have issues with foot pain and I also have my 2 1/2 year old son at home. I have access to a gym at my husband's workplace, but there is not childcare provided, so this summer I will try to make time to go exercise there a few times a week after my hubby gets home from work.

It is sometimes hard to take care of myself when things are topsy-turvy with Mom, but we do our best don't we? I look forward to interacting with you all, my fellow sparkers and caregivers.
~Amanda

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JEANINE100's Photo JEANINE100 Posts: 3,685
2/22/16 2:45 P

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As many of you know I have been talking about my sister. Well last week Wednesday she passed away. I got the call from the hospital at 4:00 am to get there right away. She died at 6:26 a.m. Her son and his wife were with me. It was very sad but a blessing. She is free of her demon and at peace. Thank all of you for always helping me though my rough times with her. All in all I know she deep down loved us all. I hope I did enough for her.

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11/13/15 11:21 A

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Hi Jeanne!

Wow, you've been going through it! Sounds like having your sister in a nursing home IS best all the way around. I hope you can also meet with the social worker at the nursing home, your sister is going to need help for her drinking problem too. I take it that she is a senior as well? I've worked with seniors with drinking problems, and they can get and stay sober even with all the attendant health issues. Hang in there and don't kick yourself or take on any guilt! Be good to yourself!

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Carl, Co-Leader Lehigh Valley Sparkers (LVS)
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Whatever the Mind can Conceive and Believe it can ACHIEVE!


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JEANINE100's Photo JEANINE100 Posts: 3,685
11/2/15 2:25 P

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Well my sister will be going into assisted living. They have decided with everything that is wrong with her she is unable to take care of herself. It is some what of a relief, but now she thinks I'm her slave and will do what every she asks. Not so. I don't mind doing some things and helping, but I also have a lot to do here. Things are going well with going through things in the house. I still have a lot to do yet. I'm doing well other than that and decided I can only do what I can each day. So that is what I'm doing. Hope everyone is fine.

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JEANINE100's Photo JEANINE100 Posts: 3,685
9/28/15 3:19 P

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This day started out great until my sister's doctor called. They want a meeting to see what they should do with my sister. She finally had been drinking so hard that she caused herself a bleeding ulcer. Now they want to put her in a nursing home which I think would be the best thing. She wants to live with me. I can't do that because I would put my own health at risk and go crazy. I don't trust my sister and know she will find a way to drink. So I need to stay strong. I told the doctor today how I felt. I guess I'll know more tomorrow. Wish me luck.

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JEANINE100's Photo JEANINE100 Posts: 3,685
8/25/15 2:57 P

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Did not get a lot done last week. Our refrigerator went and I had to get a new one. Now that is taken care of so this week I'm doing all the other cleaning. A bit cool here today, but nice. Went grocery shopping and now I have the things we need. Hopefully, I'll get a lot done this week and all will go well. Take care all.

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8/13/15 9:36 A

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Today I would like my cleaning lady to come and give me a free extra visit. She usually comes only on Fridays, but I could use a little extra help right now, was sick this week and the place looks a little dilapidated.

"Look for the positive in each day, even if some days you have to look a little harder"

-Unknown.


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8/7/15 2:27 P

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Hi! GOLD ROSE. Where are you in your caregiving journey? How's the loved one you are taking care of doing today?

And a general question to everyone: What would you find most helpful to you, today?



"You can make clothes from the wool of your sheep. . .the goats will provide milk for you and your family" (Proverbs 27: 26, 27)


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8/5/15 3:48 A

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Appears that I'm checking in.

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7/31/15 4:06 P

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So good to hear from you, but so sorry that sis just isn't ready to be helped. You're right, only sis can really help sis, and that can be heartbreaking. I'm so proud of you for recognizing that you can only do so much, and sometimes 'fixing' the problem doesn't really help them in the long run, it simply enables them to continue on the same road. So painful, my heart goes out to you.

Life has been a zoo here. I'm driving to the college four days a week for son, took on another part time job, plus the usual chores. But, there's bills to pay, and you do what you have to do. Hopefully, son will pass his driving test this coming month.

How is everyone?


"You can make clothes from the wool of your sheep. . .the goats will provide milk for you and your family" (Proverbs 27: 26, 27)


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JEANINE100's Photo JEANINE100 Posts: 3,685
7/30/15 3:31 P

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ANGORA4 I agree with you about planning things out. After my mom passed away I decided I am doing just that. We never know what can happen. Took my sister home today. She was in a hurry to get home to drink again. I really have to let this go and not offer to help her as much. She is never going to change. She is suppose to go to out patient Therapy but I realized today she lied to them and is not going. I can't keep putting myself through this. I know it sounds mean but I'm tired of the stress with her.

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5/6/15 11:03 P

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Jeanine, so sorry to hear about your sister. What a blessing you are to her, despite her problems.

So sorry I've been AWOL again, MIL was sent to hospice, and recently passed. We're now trying to deal with the estate, so many legal hoops to jump through. Note to others who may be in this position, remember to get plenty of death certificates. Everyone and their brother needs one--banks, insurance companies, pension holder, attorney. . .

It's a reminder to me to not put my family through this. To do list:
1. Get one of those free estate planners (I think all the funeral homes have them, and they're free online as well.
2. Actually fill the thing out! List your assets, bank accounts (*and what bank the account is in), savings accounts, location of safety deposit box(es) and key(s), where your stocks are being held, annuities, life insurance policies, pension. . .

It's so hard trying to guess where all this stuff is, MIL had the planning book, and blissfully had filled out her funeral wishes, but left all the financial stuff blank. We had to go through the safe, and all the receipts for the last several years, hoping to find clues as to where things were. Some of the rabbit trails were long and winding, such as the insurance policy that was held by a company was bought out by another company. . .then the policy was transferred to yet another company when her employer changed ownership. . .you get the idea. Make it easy on your heirs, fill out all the info yourself, you know where all your stuff is.

Make sure to include things like organizations that provide insurance coverage for their members (usually very small policies, but still, everything counts up.) Assets that are joinly owned with right of survivorship or have beneficiaries do not go into probate in my state, so check that out for your state. Anything that makes life simpler for the heirs is a real blessing during this time of loss. It's a lot easier to plan ahead than for the heirs to try to puzzle together the pieces. A little pre-planning can save a lot of heartache later.

Anyway, enough of my soapbox, how is everyone doing? I need to catch up.


"You can make clothes from the wool of your sheep. . .the goats will provide milk for you and your family" (Proverbs 27: 26, 27)


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JEANINE100's Photo JEANINE100 Posts: 3,685
4/26/15 3:23 P

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Thanks Angora4. It depends on the person and how you feel. I'm doing this slow and easy. Taking my time doing the things I know I can get rid of and then going to the next step. I manage stress by doing meditation and relaxing. Sometimes, I'll take a ride down to the lake and just think things over. It helps to be somewhere where it is calm and beautiful. As you all know my sister has a drinking problem. Well she was drunk and fell and broke her ankle. It is the ankle she broke a few years ago and had a plate put in. She actually broke the plate. She is in the hospital and will probably go to rehab soon (I hope). She can not be on the foot for 3 months and then they don't know if she will be able to walk on it. I'm not sure that this will wake her up. I feel if she goes back home the drinking will start again. I'm doing a few things for her but not everything. I don't want to start that and spend every day doing everything for her. I did tell her she has to be honest with me to do anything for her. I don't think she will. I'm on her checking and I will make sure when she gets her money I'll make sure that the bills are paid and her rent is paid. I will not sign anything. I'm not sure what I want for her. Time will tell.

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3/28/15 11:16 A

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Jeanine, so good to hear from you. I agree, there is no timetable. Life has seasons, it's so much better to cope with each season as it comes, learn to find the blessings hidden there. The next season will arrive on its own schedule, with new delights, new challenges, and new paradigms. This Christmas will mark five years since my mom's passing, and I'm just now ready to deal with the disposal of her stuff. It's my late spring/early summer project.

I think it helps to have time to distance yourself from the stress of caregiving and the loss. Otherwise, you might tend to keep things to try to hang on to the memory, instead of letting the things go free to do good in other people's lives. Yes, I'll be keeping some things; and sharing others with other family members (I'll be dividing up her Christmas things, mostly handmade.) But I just wasn't ready until now to deal with the finality of the last link with mom, and that's okay.

Some people deal with the things immediately, and that's great. But there's not a set-in-stone timeline that we all need to follow. Each to our own schedule, we all grieve differently, we all deal with situations differently.

The hard part is trying to lose weight when everything is stressful. Even when you monitor eating, the cortisol stress hormone makes your body use those calories more efficiently, gaining weight on even less food. I know that forcing yourself to sleep as close to optimum hours is incredibly important, but it's hard when caregiving.

TEAM QUESTION: How do you manage the stress, in order to get optimum sleep and recharge your emotional batteries, while caregiving? Financial pressures often exacerbate the problem, as it's hard to hold down a job and still be available at all hours for caregiving duties. How do you manage that?


"You can make clothes from the wool of your sheep. . .the goats will provide milk for you and your family" (Proverbs 27: 26, 27)


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JEANINE100's Photo JEANINE100 Posts: 3,685
3/25/15 2:43 P

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Angora4 sorry that everything is like a zoo. Hope it calms down. I know how that is though and it is not fun. Things here are going well. I'm still going to the fitness center and also finally really going through the house and getting rid of things. I have packed up the china cabinet with things that we are giving away and now the next step. It feels good and I'm really ready for this. As I told my nephew there is no time frame on doing this. My great nephew will be 6 next month. Can't believe that. He is still very cute and we have so much fun together. I wish spring would get here. We have one nice day the next few are cold and dreary. I need spring. Take care all.

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3/21/15 3:13 P

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Life is a zoo here, hope everyone else is doing better now that spring is finally here (despite the snow we had yesterday.) MIL is not doing as well, more dr. visits, but sometimes there just isn't much that can be done. Looking forward to warmer weather and a chance to get out for walks again. Wish we could do that without the ticks, though. We never had them here before, but they've sure moved in. There's still snow on the ground and they're already active. Amazing. Wish I could feel that active in the cold.


"You can make clothes from the wool of your sheep. . .the goats will provide milk for you and your family" (Proverbs 27: 26, 27)


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HAUNTINGME's Photo HAUNTINGME Posts: 38
3/8/15 2:24 P

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How was the first week of March for everyone?

lyrics by beyonce: '...i know if i'm haunting you, you must be haunting me....'


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3/1/15 11:05 A

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I like that goal for March! It's a great idea. It's warming up for a few days this week, and then back to freezing on Thursday! Yikes! I can only imagine it being -8 degrees!

As far as caregiving, I make sure that my family member has enough layers on (bundle up)! I check often to make sure they're not too cold, hot, etc. :-)

lyrics by beyonce: '...i know if i'm haunting you, you must be haunting me....'


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2/28/15 10:01 A

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Perhaps we should make that a team goal for March, 'March in March', to get us moving again. It's been so cold, that I think a lot of us have just huddled to keep warm, instead of moving. We were -8 degrees F again here this morning, and that's totally killed my goal of walking each day. With all the snow and ice and frigid temps, it's pure misery being outside to do chores each day. I often have to come into the house and warm up again before going back out to finish the chores.

How do you cope with cold temps when caregiving? Do you have any special tricks to keep your loved ones warm when it's cold out?


"You can make clothes from the wool of your sheep. . .the goats will provide milk for you and your family" (Proverbs 27: 26, 27)


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HAUNTINGME's Photo HAUNTINGME Posts: 38
2/25/15 12:39 A

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For me, I'm still pretty busy dealing with work and family. I hope that in March, I can get back to working out regularly! I'm trying to set up a fitness plan for myself now! Hope you all have been doing ok this month. :^)

lyrics by beyonce: '...i know if i'm haunting you, you must be haunting me....'


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2/1/15 12:32 A

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How is everyone doing? Please help me catch up with everything I missed!


"You can make clothes from the wool of your sheep. . .the goats will provide milk for you and your family" (Proverbs 27: 26, 27)


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1/27/15 10:30 P

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I also went off and gained weight. Annie, it's so good to hear from you, thanks so much for posting. You've been such a blessing. I really need help getting back on track, and so appreciate everyone on this team. I hope that together we can build a better, healthier tomorrow.


"You can make clothes from the wool of your sheep. . .the goats will provide milk for you and your family" (Proverbs 27: 26, 27)


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ANNIESADVENTURE's Photo ANNIESADVENTURE Posts: 5,945
1/25/15 1:13 P

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Hello, Judy. Good to see you back. We missed you and wondered how you were doing. So glad that your MIL is pleasant. I remember those days you had with your sweet mother. We sure miss them, don't we?

I felt lost and so tired after Dad passed away. Really got off track and gained a lot of weight. I've started back on low carb and lost 17 this month. It comes off faster when I have so much to lose! Trying to take control of the rest of my life.




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1/23/15 11:05 A

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So sorry I've been AWOL, life has been crazy here. Haven't even had time to look in my email box in ages. Decided today I needed to take control back of my life, deal with the mail at least, pop in here and apologize. Please write in everyone, and let me know what I've missed. I'll need help getting back on track with Spark, and I'd sure appreciate your forgiveness and a chance to catch up.

MIL is still in the nursing home, confused but pleasant. Thank God for that, my mom became crabbier and crabbier as the dementia progressed.


"You can make clothes from the wool of your sheep. . .the goats will provide milk for you and your family" (Proverbs 27: 26, 27)


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JEANINE100's Photo JEANINE100 Posts: 3,685
12/17/14 2:40 P

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I hope everyone is doing well. Things here are good. I'm very busy between singing a different functions and getting ready for Christmas. I will be spending Christmas Day with my nephew and his family which will be very nice. My nephew wants to cook with me because he feels it is so much fun. I'm really looking forward to that. I do miss mom, I was sitting here the other day and watching her favorite movie and missing her. She really loved this time of year and I think I feel that way because of her. I've been doing a lot for other people this year which makes the holiday so nice. I even got my nephew and his family in on this to make sure all children get something for Christmas. It gives you a wonderful feeling. I hope everyone has a wonderful Holiday.

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11/26/14 7:20 A

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I had last weekend away from home, really the first whole weekend away since she had her stroke a year ago. I didn't realize how badly I needed it. I came back a better person for both of us. Note to self, it is okay (and necessary) to get away for a couple days.

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MOKAY54's Photo MOKAY54 Posts: 1,810
11/12/14 2:16 P

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Sometimes with certain things it is better to handle yourself. I always did mom's pills. I bought a weekly one and set it up for each day of week. Then I just gave her the pills from that. Otherwise with failing memory really easy to take wrong ones or to many. It is not easy but it is also not easy for them. I can remember many a day mom would get so mad at me, but I just remembered everything was for her to be safe and as healthy as possible. Also try to redirect her. But in a way she does not realize this is what you are doing. Like take a coloring book and start coloring, she might just get curious enough to want to try it.
Remember to breath and know you are doing the best for her.

Slow and steady will see me though to the end.


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11/12/14 8:42 A

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I still have not found anything mom WILL do to occupy her time. Great suggestions in your posts; I will look into this further and maybe something will spark. Coloring would actually be good for her, but she looks at me like I have 2 heads when I suggested it. At her last routine doctor visit, they actually told her that she needed to move around more so I'm glad they are on board with that also.

She is very impulsive. Going to have to remove her meds from the table. I bought her a pill box so she could take her pills correctly, but she seems to have trouble remembering if it is even a.m. or p.m. Last night she just grabbed a pill bottle and took the pill from there. It was the correct one luckily but this could have been a big problem. I asked her why she didn't just take her pill from the pill box set up and she said she couldn't remember what day. I think I will move a calendar to right beside her place at the table to mark off each day. WE wanted her to go to the wall and mark it off as a way to get her up, but she hasn't done it yet.

Was I ever this stubborn as a child?? Lol.

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JEANINE100's Photo JEANINE100 Posts: 3,685
11/10/14 2:34 P

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My great nephew loves coloring for me and all of his pictures are on my refrigerator. When he comes over he sees them all and is so proud. It is a great idea. Things with me are going well. I'm keeping busy and actually getting a lot done at the house with going through things from mom. It does feel good. I'm really enjoying myself and what I do. Take care all and remember we all need a bit of fun in our life.

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11/9/14 5:55 P

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Good idea, I didn't think of that one.


"You can make clothes from the wool of your sheep. . .the goats will provide milk for you and your family" (Proverbs 27: 26, 27)


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MOKAY54's Photo MOKAY54 Posts: 1,810
11/9/14 9:55 A

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Coloring book and the kids crayons that are bigger help when hands have hard time holding things. Hanging the picture they color makes them feel as though it is special, even if they color out of lines.

Edited by: MOKAY54 at: 11/11/2014 (10:58)
Slow and steady will see me though to the end.


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11/7/14 12:24 P

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Finding things to keep them busy is a worthwhile challenge. I like your idea of having them 'help', as it makes them feel useful as well as taking up time. If they're able to, knitting and crocheting can be very therapeutic. When my mom could no longer remember how to make the stitches, she enjoyed painting wooden ornaments, and when she didn't feel comfortable with that, she enjoyed paper cutting.

Eventually even the simplest of crafts and games were beyond her, that was the hardest time. She still wanted to do something, but couldn't remember how to do anything. We found a few activities that she could do even when her dementia was severe. We made a variation on bocce that we played from chairs. One person would throw out the white pellino ball, and we'd each try to throw our balls as close as possible to the white ball.

We also found darts worked well for the same reason, a simple indoor game of aim and throw, it didn't take a lot of thinking. Even bingo became too confusing, but these two games lasted the longest.

As to crafts, does anyone else have any ideas?






"You can make clothes from the wool of your sheep. . .the goats will provide milk for you and your family" (Proverbs 27: 26, 27)


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MOKAY54's Photo MOKAY54 Posts: 1,810
11/3/14 10:56 A

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Some times getting them to do anything can be very hard. Knitting, crochet, drawing(coloring in coloring book), anything like that can help. I sometimes would get my mom to think she was doing something I did not have time for or could not do and she was happy to do it for me. :) Good luck and it is very worth it. Someday you will look back and say it was hard and frustrating but so worth spending the time and helping mom.
emoticon emoticon

Slow and steady will see me though to the end.


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11/3/14 7:04 A

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Some days I think what have I gotten myself into. New day, new week, maybe this week will be better. Working on finding mom a craft to do during the day to occupy her time. Think it will keep her mind more sharp too. Lord knows she needs to use her left arm for something, I see it curling up more and more because she refuses to use it. emoticon

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7/27/14 6:04 P

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MOKAY, Great advice. How is everyone else doing?


"You can make clothes from the wool of your sheep. . .the goats will provide milk for you and your family" (Proverbs 27: 26, 27)


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MOKAY54's Photo MOKAY54 Posts: 1,810
7/23/14 8:56 A

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Hey everyone. Glad to see you are all doing better.
Babysitting is tiring me out and back really does not like me picking little one up. The older ones are really not much help unless I yell and I really do not like doing that. Sometimes I can bribe them with getting to play on xbox. LOL
A new caregiver:
1) Try to remember time for your self to breathe and relax.
2) Try to think about what it would be like if you were in the shoes of the one you are giving care too.
3) If they have memory issues, understand in most cases it is as frustrating to them as it is to you. They do not do things to up set you, they just do not remember..
4) LOVE, KINDNESS go a long way..
5) You are not alone. There are a lot of us out there.
6) Almost forgot: redirect!

Slow and steady will see me though to the end.


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7/20/14 11:28 P

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Annie, congratulations on being a free woman again. How's the hip doing?
Jeanine, how's the house sale coming?
MOKAY, how's the babysitting going?
Welcome to our new members!

Sorry for being AWOL again, this is our busy season at the farm and I'm driving son to college classes four days a week plus a weekend job. I'm looking forward to his getting his license, although definitely not looking forward to the driving lessons.

I have a question for everyone. If you were going to give advice to a new caregiver, what would you say?


"You can make clothes from the wool of your sheep. . .the goats will provide milk for you and your family" (Proverbs 27: 26, 27)


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ANNIESADVENTURE's Photo ANNIESADVENTURE Posts: 5,945
7/20/14 9:05 P

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Mokay, some of the great grandkids were here today...three under the age of three! We also have two six year old great grandchildren who visit regularly. They wear me out. When they visit, there are other adults here, like a parent or grandmother and my sister. I can imagine how tiring it must be for you. .Are the 13 year olds a help with the younger children?

Edited by: ANNIESADVENTURE at: 10/19/2014 (17:00)



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7/18/14 9:30 A

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I can imagine being on the other side of care giving is a strange feeling. I am glad you are mending well and hope soon you do not need the walker.
Myself, caring for 4 grandchildren 5 days a week and 4 of them for 6 days is just taking its toll on this old granny. Next friday and saturday will have 6, my granddaughters step sister is in need a of someone to baby sit her so this granny was volunteered, just wish my daughter had ask before she said I could do it. Ages will be from 1 yrs, 5 yrs, 10 yrs and twin 13 yr olds. From 7 am till around 6 or 7 pm. I am so worried it is going to take way to much out of me. But I will get though it with Gods help.

Slow and steady will see me though to the end.


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ANNIESADVENTURE's Photo ANNIESADVENTURE Posts: 5,945
7/18/14 8:55 A

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Checking in. It looks like a beautiful Summer day here in Michigan. We had a safe trip to the Upper Peninsula .I didn't fall this time, ha! This week I drove for the first time in a couple months. Home physical therapy and occupational therapy have discharged me. I expect that the nurse will also discharge me from her services when she comes today. I am a FREE woman again...albeit a little slow, using the walker. I am taking a few steps around the house without it. I'll miss the bath aide. She is very professional and so sweet. It's been a different experience to be the one needing caregivers.




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7/3/14 4:39 P

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I am making better progress, recuperating from a broken hip. Still can't drive. I haven't been out of the house in weeks. Therapy is helping me slowly transition off the walker. I'm working towards moving from the hospital bed to my own bed. At this point my shoulder hurts much more than my hip, and keeps me awake at night. I am so glad this didn't happen when I was taking care of my folks.




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JEANINE100's Photo JEANINE100 Posts: 3,685
7/2/14 2:39 P

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Sorry I haven't posted lately but things here are going wild. My nephew and his wife sold their house and now the people who were going to buy it but back out. The house they put an offer on those people accepted but might not go through. So they are stressed to the hilt and it has been crazy. I've been doing a lot but trying to help them and give them encouragement. So this week I decided to back off a bit and just call them on Friday and see how things are going. I'm not sure what to say or do. Hope everyone is doing well. I've actually been reading more and getting things ready to give away. Finally, making progress.

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