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ADAMST3's Photo ADAMST3 SparkPoints: (20,859)
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7/22/14 11:42 A

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Good morning. As I opened the door here for selfish reasons, I've spent the better part of my morning praising God for each of your stories...your spirits...your journeys.

I realize that if I'm truly going to transform my body and life...It's got to be from the inside out.



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STPMOM's Photo STPMOM SparkPoints: (4,307)
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3/23/14 4:38 P

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Hello. I am the primary caregiver for my 87 yr old Step father. My mom passed away 10 years ago. He has sever aortic stenosis and lives alone. temporarily my son is staying with him. My step father is uneducated in every way imaginable. He was born and raised out in the backwoods and if you really knew him you would think he was still living in the 40's. He has no concept of "germs" . His cleanliness is an issue. picking up after himself, throwing out ruined food, bowel issues, refuses to use walker, will not stay with food he's cooking(burns it), doesn't take meds properly, etc.....I have 3 other siblings all live out of town. It's me. He has 4 living daughters. 3 live within 25 miles. It's all me...I find myself worn to a frazzle trying to work, go to school, take care of my own household and see after him...I have to do his banking, pay his bills and everything else. It is so good to have someone to listen to me that actually understands where I'm coming from.

Smile God Loves You!!!


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EBEAMS's Photo EBEAMS SparkPoints: (40,635)
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8/11/12 9:16 P

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Message redacted.

Edited by: EBEAMS at: 8/13/2012 (21:14)
~ No matter how slow you run, you are lapping everyone still sitting on the couch!


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COOKIEBAKERCAT's Photo COOKIEBAKERCAT Posts: 3,839
5/21/12 6:29 P

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Edited by: COOKIEBAKERCAT at: 9/9/2012 (21:32)
“Being happy doesn't mean that everything is perfect. It means that you've decided to look beyond the imperfections.”

"See You "Lighter"........Cat =^..^=
SANDYKMAC's Photo SANDYKMAC SparkPoints: (44,148)
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5/20/12 11:33 P

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Hello all. I am just joining the group, hoping to get back on track. I moved in with my parents in 2000, along with my youngest son. By 2009, my father would only eat intermittently and he had a pacemaker. I think he gave up on life when he realized he could no longer do the things he used to be able to do. It was really hard on my mother and I and he passed away the day before their 59th anniversary, which was also 5 days before my son's high school graduation.

Now I am taking care of my mother. Her mobility deteriorated immensely before she finally went back to her orthopedic surgeon. She had knee replacement surgery on December 8 and she is having a tough time recovering. She has hardly any upper body strength and she doesn't like the pain so she isn't improving like she should. My sister and I found out she had been taking Ambien daily for 5 years. After reading the side effects, I think that has contributed to some of her problems.

I had lost 30 pounds with Sparkpeople and in the past 4 years I have gained them back. I really need some support and hopefully, I'll follow through and get some here.

Sandy from Texas(Dallas)
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COOKIEBAKERCAT's Photo COOKIEBAKERCAT Posts: 3,839
2/16/12 7:43 A

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Edited by: COOKIEBAKERCAT at: 9/9/2012 (21:32)
“Being happy doesn't mean that everything is perfect. It means that you've decided to look beyond the imperfections.”

"See You "Lighter"........Cat =^..^=
LESLIE_2B_LESS's Photo LESLIE_2B_LESS SparkPoints: (117,975)
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2/16/12 1:43 A

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Hi all! I am new to this team, not Spark.

My Dad was diagnosed with esophageal cancer 12/26/10 - and then my Mom with alzheimers 1/2011. I am the daughter who lives in town, so most of the responsibility has been on me, but thankfully my sister & brother have stepped up quite a bit! But I have to go over to my parents house every day... Dad was diagnosed with a blood clot 5 months ago and I have to give him a shot every day and walk their dog. Plus deal with household decisions, medicines, etc... We did hire a lady to come in 3 days a week, 5 hours a day to clean/cook/run errands for them. that has worked out wonderfully.
I work 8-5 Monday - Friday , go over to their house until 6-7 pm and then have to go home to my family every day.

Any tips on making this easier would be appreciated. My parents really appreciate everything I do and are always protesting on what I have to do for them, but they are my parents and I just do it! Because I love them. But I do have those stressors in my life because of all this.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Leslie MO
Central Time Zone

CL - Determined Daisies Summer 2014

Helen Keller explained the purpose of community best, when she said, "Alone we can do so little. Together we can do so much."

SparkGuy says:
Your daily actions and words impact more people than you realize! Who will you impact today?


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SUNSHINEC54's Photo SUNSHINEC54 SparkPoints: (2,675)
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1/22/12 1:23 P

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Hi Cat

I am very sorry for not replying sooner.. the roller coaster of life has started to speed up after the lull of Christmas holidays. I cannot believe we are 2/3rds of the way through January already.. like how did that happen?

I am also sorry for the loss of your mother and empathise with you regarding that, I lost my Dad over 18 years ago and that was awful but I know that the loss of a mother is felt more distinctly for most, afterall they carried us and nurtured us, kissed us better and sang us to sleep..

The other day I saw something written somewhere maybe here, I can't recall and it said "Caring for another is saying thank you" That really hit home to me and of course we take on these caring roles at the time sometimes as a duty, mostly because we love someone and that is correct .. it is a way of saying thank you for all that person has done for you in their lives as I said in my earlier message.. payback time!

It is good that you are able to still recognise the need for others to have someone understand and support them and I know that this is something that I will be involved in when my mother leaves this world too. It will help to heal the pain of the loss and also to fill a huge void that naturally occurs when we find ourselves alone after such roles of caregiving.

My mother's anger seemed to dissipate and she settled down after a few days and has been much more amenable with me and I too have worked at exercising more patience with her and the results are a changed mood of mutual respect I sense. Sometimes she says the odd thing and I am working at walking away and ignoring the comment because I realise that she is venting.. she has nowhere else to do that.. I can do that here and with my friends, she sees no one now other than family or my friends who when visiting me go and say hi to her too. People tire of having to shout to be heard though and the realisation that conversation is difficult as a result. It is sad that she sees no one now of her own age and has not done so for 5 years. She has not seen her sisters either due to their advancing years and that is sad. Her brother is in Wales (We live in England now) and he can't travel to see her here and vice versa. She must miss them though as they were a very close knit Welsh/Irish family.

Perhaps I will just take the bull by the horns (she is a Taurean so this fits..lol) and bundle her in the car amidst angry protests about travelling and take her around to see them all. Don't hold your breath on that one though!!! It would take some planning!!!

Thank you for writing to me and welcoming me to the group and for sharing your story.

Blessings
Sunshine

PS a friend of mine has just recently had her mother move in with her and I had to smile to myself when she relayed some of the teething problems they are having.. it was so funny though, we are both single .. divorced with children and normally we talk of our latest dating disasters but this time we talked of nothing else for 3 hours but our mothers!!! That tickled me ....how things have changed! ha ha

What lies behind you and what lies in front of you, pales in comparison to what lies inside of you.
Ralph Waldo Emerson


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COOKIEBAKERCAT's Photo COOKIEBAKERCAT Posts: 3,839
1/8/12 6:03 P

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Edited by: COOKIEBAKERCAT at: 9/9/2012 (21:33)
“Being happy doesn't mean that everything is perfect. It means that you've decided to look beyond the imperfections.”

"See You "Lighter"........Cat =^..^=
SUNSHINEC54's Photo SUNSHINEC54 SparkPoints: (2,675)
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1/8/12 5:12 P

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Hi there everyone

I have read some of your posts and recognised myself in many. I am a full time carer for my 88 year old blind and very hard of hearing mother. She is now due to her own loss of sensory abilities, more confused. She has been registered blind for about 10 years now and came to live with me in August 2006. When she first came she was able to manage some self care aspects around meals as long as I left the microwave ready for her and the meal in the fridge on a plate ready. She has is unable to even make herself a cup of tea now and her hearing which was tolerable, now means I am having to literally shout to be heard. So even the most basic of tasks which I want her to do or to ask her what she would like for lunch for instance is an ordeal for me. I am an asthmatic and shouting aggravates my chest and often results in me having a coughing fit. I did think the other day about buying one of those megaphones sports coaches use!

I do have 2 grown up children and they both left home within about 3 months of each other, 2005 and 2006.. I had one year of 'freedom' of doing what I wanted and when I wanted and although was maintaining a child at university, the money situation improved a bit. Now its dire!

I work from home as a therapist around Mum's care but this has become more problematic too as she has become more confused. I normally send her up to have a lie down in the afternoon if a client is here but she is forgetting the basic instruction to stay put until I come and get her and wandering around upstairs and calling out to me. Not at all conducive for me to work.

As someone here said, the change of roles is a very challenging one, I have lost my role model, my safe haven as one of you has said.. yes that is exactly how it feels.. instead of going to my mother for advice, I now have no one. I am divorced and not in a relationship.... most men when they realise that I have an elderly disabled mother to care for, are less interested. I am not free to go out at a drop of a hat as I have to arrange a sitter and only my son can do this as my daughter has a small child. They did cover me for nearly 3 weeks last summer for me to visit friends in the USA.

It was a much needed break I can tell you and I really thought how lovely it would be if I could do that again this summer with my airmiles... as its very much a case of use them or lose them. We will have to see as I wouldl still need spending money for my trip even though the flight is taken care of.

Today I am tired and frustrated as its been a very demanding day with her. She has been in one of her 'angry' moods and uses me as her verbal punch bag to exercise her sadness and grief at being so unable to do anything. She has to be led now from room to room not even able to find her way to the kitchen or the bathroom or her way back again to her living room. She is counting the steps upstairs at the moment and remembering this but what happens when she can no longer remember that? I will cross that bridge when I come to it!

I looked tonight at the website of a care home and sat and cried my eyes out when I realised that I cannot make that choice and hope to God I never have to. I have no brothers and sisters to share the responsibility of that decision when it comes. Plus I can't afford it more than anything else. The government will have to step in and help but then you don't get to choose where they go. Luckily the house is not in her name nor has she any financial interest in it otherwise they would force the sale of that and I would be homeless. I keep hoping that our numbers will come up on the lottery so that I could move to a bungalow and she would be on one level for everything she needs and that I would have enough money to get care in for her... hmmm dream on girl!

I mostly keep a positive outlook on life and do truly believe in my glass being half full at the very least. I look for humour in all this to keep a sensible approach to it and when I am impatient with her I immediately apologise and remember that she is my mother even though our roles have reversed. I try and let her maintain as much dignity as possible and for me as much sanity as possible. I use reading and the internet and tv/music as my distractions and escapism when I need it! Working as a therapist is therapeutic as becoming involved in other's lives helps in sustaining rationality about most things.

I am 57 and I do wonder who will take car of her if anything happens to me if she outlives me.. god forbid that my children would have to do this.. so I will have to look into a care home and contact social services to at least have something in place should this happen.

I know that some of you with siblings are not getting the help and support you need, I know this as my own mother took care of her father when I was little and she was one of 6 yet she barely got a break, that is until we emigrated with my dad's job and then they had to help. She also looked after my dad's mum for 10 years until it all became too much on their shoulders when his sister would not do her bit very often, saying she could not cope!! So I figured this was kinda payback time .. the thing is when you take in a parent at one stage of their lives, you don't see them as being anything but immortal and that their care needs won't change significantly .. or maybe I was just burying my head in the sand and living in cloud cuckoo land of fairy tales.

Ha ha...speaking of which are there are any Prince Charmings left in the world? You see the sense of humour is still intact.. or could that be with the help of the glass of wine I had tonight within my calorie allowance?

Yes the weight is an issue too.. My mother had a bit of a weight problem prior to about 8 years ago and since then she has been slim and can eat anything and rarely puts on weight now .. she has developed a very sweet tooth and I think why should she not have these things if this is all the pleasure in the world she now has.. she can no longer read, or sew or knit or listen to music or watch her favourite tv programmes..but these things are in the house to cause temptations for me too! I try and buy things I am not that fussed about and thankfully she prefers dark chocolate which I don't so that is at least less of an issue as I don't buy milk chocolate very often. Many of the foods I enjoy though she does not like curries and soups or salads so most days I am cooking different foods. She used to be far more adventurous and a very good cook but now she just wants plain cooked food, very little meat and a few vegetables and a bit of gravy. She eats smaller meals than my 3 year old granddaughter some days.

I hope that I can offer any of you support and a shoulder to 'cry' on or vent your frustrations with or to.. I am sure I too will get lots of support here. I am so grateful for this wonderful site.. I just need to crack on with the reason I joined and lose the weight! I set myself a target and did not keep it up over the holidays and now I am back at square one. I have a wedding to go to in about 5 weeks and my dress is too tight! So I must stay on track this time.. perhaps if I hang the dress outside my wardrobe on daily view it will remind me no cheating and up the exercise. I have been ill for past month though with a respiratory bug so easing back into swimming and walking.

We are all doing a grand job I know but its nice when someone reminds you of that and I think that the people here are good at that. emoticon

What lies behind you and what lies in front of you, pales in comparison to what lies inside of you.
Ralph Waldo Emerson


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4/26/11 11:15 A

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Welcome! So glad you've joined us. You've really got a lot to deal with all at once, and we're really happy to have you here. This is a big part of the team, a place to vent when needed, to find help, and hope, encouragement, laughter, and a virtual shoulder for tears.

Having lots of medical bills and no insurance can't be easy for mom, or for you trying to keep the household finances in order. Sounds like there's lot of issues, and I'm so glad you shared some of them. This isn't 'dumping', this is something I've found we need. A place to explain what's going on, to people who understand. I find that the process of putting it down on paper, helps me clarify things in my own mind. By the time I'm done writing the post, I better understand why I'm feeling/reacting the way I do. So it's very therapeutic.

The biggest help I found here, was to discover that I was not alone in the frustration, difficulties, and joys. Others were travelling the same road, and had helpful tips at times, and companionship always.

"Daily Check-In' is our daily chat thread, stop in anytime. We'll leave a seat open for you!

Judy
"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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OLLIESLALA's Photo OLLIESLALA SparkPoints: (461)
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4/25/11 9:54 P

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Thank You Cat ! :) I am sure I will be here often with you all !

Make Every Day a Happy One !
Kathie Faivre

Favorite Quote:
Save the Earth it is the only Planet with Chocolate !


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COOKIEBAKERCAT's Photo COOKIEBAKERCAT Posts: 3,839
4/25/11 9:41 P

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Edited by: COOKIEBAKERCAT at: 9/9/2012 (21:33)
“Being happy doesn't mean that everything is perfect. It means that you've decided to look beyond the imperfections.”

"See You "Lighter"........Cat =^..^=
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4/25/11 9:32 P

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Hello All,
my name is Kathie, In my home I have my mother, my father and my grandfather. Each of which have medical issues. My mother is an insulin dependent diabetic that refuses to pay attention to her nutrition and suffers from gout. She is 63 years old has been forced to take her retirement early because of the economy and getting laid off from her job so she has no medical insurance. You have to be 65 to be eligible for Medicare and she and my dad make too much money on SS to be eligible for medicaide. She does tend to keep things running during the day while my husband and I work. My Father is legally blind and ha not yet come to terms with that fact, My Grandfather had a stroke about a year ago, has the beginning of Macular degeneration and is an insulin dependent diabetic. It is difficult to say the least at my house, but with the economy and my husband losing his job a year ago and having to take a lower paying job it takes everything we make to keep the roof over all of our heads. I know I sound like a sob story queen , but I am just looking for a place to be able to unburden a little so I don't do what I always do and turn to food in order to make myself feel better

Make Every Day a Happy One !
Kathie Faivre

Favorite Quote:
Save the Earth it is the only Planet with Chocolate !


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ANGORA4's Photo ANGORA4 SparkPoints: (28,124)
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4/5/11 9:51 P

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Delighted we could help. It takes such a load of your shoulders when you realize that we are not alone on this journey, and can help each other on the way. Together, we can do this.

Judy
"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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CHRISTURTLE's Photo CHRISTURTLE SparkPoints: (17,654)
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4/5/11 4:07 P

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Thank you all for making me feel so welcome and letting me know I arrived at the exact place I was meant to, at the right time. Somehow I lost sight of the fact that there are many more carers out there, doing even more than I do, and just that fact made yesterday, my first day of not visiting Dad in the nursing home, much easier.


Chris - Stawell, Victoria, Australia.

Leader - Sparkling Knitters team.
Co-leader - Finding & Loving Your Inner Tigger team.

Only by giving up do we lose a battle.


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4/5/11 12:02 P

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Welcome! This team was such a blessing to me. I'd been a full time caregiver for my mother for about a year and a half, in her home, and I thought I was going to lose my mind. It was so hard. Mom was used to walking in the 'boss' role. I'd long ago moved out and started my own life, ran my own home, made my own choices. Then I came back to take care of mom, and it was so difficult. I had to change roles, from daughter to caregiver, parent if you will.

It's so hard when you have to parent your parent, and they of course, are trying to retain as much autonomy and authority as they can. It is hard to see your rock, your safe haven as a child, become frail. It's like losing your foundations, one stone at a time.

So, there are authority issues, coping issues, just plain medical issues, grieving issues, time issues, financial issues. . .we are going through the normal process of becoming a caregiver, we just don't realize it because we are doing this all alone, often without a support system, and we don't have a clue that the turmoil in our lives is just a normal process, and it does have help, and hope!

We have a Daily Check-In thread, where we discuss the events of the day--a place to download, get help, share joys and tears. I found it to be such a blessing, that in the process of downloading my day into words, I was able to sort things out in my mind. By the time I was done posting, I already had a better handle on what had happened.

I'm so glad you've joined the team, and look forward to chatting with you on the Daily Check--In.

By the way, I see you're on the knitting team. Have you had time to knit something just for fun for you? No pressure, just for fun?

Judy
"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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4/4/11 10:14 P

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Welcome to the team. You are ahead of the game realizing you need to consider your needs as well. Hope this team can be of help and good idea to see the counsellor. emoticon

¸.•´¸.•*´¨) ¸.•*¨)
(¸.•´ (¸.•`✶ ✶Courti - Florida
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4/4/11 6:43 P

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Edited by: COOKIEBAKERCAT at: 9/9/2012 (21:41)
“Being happy doesn't mean that everything is perfect. It means that you've decided to look beyond the imperfections.”

"See You "Lighter"........Cat =^..^=
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4/4/11 6:05 P

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I found this team by accident earlier this morning, and it is like the answer to my prayers - suddenly I understand there are people out there coping with way more than I am, and just by writing my introduction - turned into a novel-length one, sorry, in the new to the team section, I came to the realization that I have been neglecting myself for way too long, that I need to make an appointment to see my doctor and to speak with a counsellor, get all these emotions out of my system at last. My health is deteriorating, depression has hit once more like a freight train, and I am trying to pretend to the world that everything is fine.
Thank you so much for what you have already done to make me see how desperately I need to start considering myself as well as Dad. Don't know whether to laugh or cry, so am doing both at the same time, lol.

Chris - Stawell, Victoria, Australia.

Leader - Sparkling Knitters team.
Co-leader - Finding & Loving Your Inner Tigger team.

Only by giving up do we lose a battle.


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9/22/10 7:20 P

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Wow! Am I impressed! Welcome, welcome.
What can you do? Listen patiently and let mom download her day. Let her know you care.

I know how much the calls from mom's grandchildren mean to her. Call, even better, send a card with a short note. The older members can read it over and over again, and have it be new to them each time. Mom treasures her calls and cards. They don't need to be long, just enough to say 'I love you' and let them know you care.

Can you give your mom a break maybe once a year? A few days would do wonders. Especially if she doesn't have to do a lot of extra work for the visit. My brother comes once a year, and I get a few days to do things with my family, it means more than I could say.

Any other ideas out there?

(I've lived full time with mom for the past 6 years, I start year seven next month. She turns 100 this fall.)

Judy
"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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YOUNGNSMYLIE's Photo YOUNGNSMYLIE SparkPoints: (8,574)
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9/19/10 7:45 P

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Hi everyone, I am new here. I am the only person under age 50 in my family, and I am truly blessed for each family member in my life. While none of my relatives live with me, I try to provide long distance support for my mom (a baby boomer) as she assists our older family members. I am very close to my entire family, and while I try my best to give support long distance (mainly in the form of check-ins and keeping in touch), I find myself feeling upset that I cannot do more and at a loss on how to provide better support.

I am worried for my mom, who doesn't have near enough time to take care of herself. I am hoping to find ideas on how I can make everyone's life a bit better from a good distance away, and also learn how to cope with the difficulties of seeing your parents and relatives age. I usually try to be as positive as can be when talking on the phone to family, but lately, I find myself choking back tears when I hear about their problems and know that there is not more I, or anyone, can do for them.

Just as a closing note, I want to give a great big e-hug to all the primary caregivers out there. I don't know what it is like, but I know it is no easy task. Stay healthy and well!

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9/1/10 6:07 A

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Welcome, Lillie! So wonderful to meet you. My mom will be a 100 this fall, guess I started taking care of mom around twenty years ago. She got lost while driving the same 8 miles from her weekly bridge club she'd driven every week for thirty years, and it took her hours to get home. She gave up the car that day.

I started by going down a few times a week to bring fresh groceries that the milkman didn't bring (we still have a milkman that delivers here, he brings fresh milk, bread, even laundry detergent! So even when you can't get out, you still have fresh goodies!) I'd mow the lawn, mom was still weeding her own garden. Entertain her a bit by playing cards with her, etc.

As time went on, she needed more and more done, I took over the laundry, and dishes and running the vacuum. Started doing some pruning and such in the yard when I mowed. Eventually, the gardens went back to woods, and I was coming down every day to cook a hot meal and do all the yardwork and housework and entertain her.

And eventually the day came she didn't feel capable to be alone, and asked me to stay with her. That will be 7 years ago at the end of this month. I figured it would be for a few months, boy was I wrong!

My son was only 6 when we came here, he doesn't remember living on the farm anymore. Doesn't remember milk fresh every 12 hours, homemade ice cream, or sheep shearing day. Doesn't remember the cattle or horses, goats or turkeys or geese. (I sold them all, so I could come here to mom's.)

So, I understand being a longterm caregiver. And I understand about being a sandwich generation. My oldest (just back from a tour in Afghanistan), grew up spending every evening at mom's. And my youngest has lived more of his life with mom than he did at home on the farm.

Funny thing is, they are still turning out okay. It isn't the life I had planned, yet I think it did them good. They've learned compassion, learned to care about the needs of others, learned that helping others is not what you do when it is 'convenient', when you have 'spare' time and money. It's a lifestyle, it's a different way of looking at the world. And despite the difficulites and sacrifices, I think that alone is worth more than anything I could have taught them back on the farm.

Besides, how else can we teach the next generation that caring for your elders is a privilege as well as a duty--if we don't live it? What happens when we get old, when our children get old? This is homeschooling at its best--learning at home what being a family is really all about!

Judy
"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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8/23/10 10:56 A

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Thank you for the warm welcome. I look forward to getting to know everyone!

It's an attitude thing. Attitude is everything.



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8/23/10 10:36 A

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Edited by: COOKIEBAKERCAT at: 9/9/2012 (21:41)
“Being happy doesn't mean that everything is perfect. It means that you've decided to look beyond the imperfections.”

"See You "Lighter"........Cat =^..^=
TIEGRRLIL's Photo TIEGRRLIL Posts: 412
8/22/10 10:32 P

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Hello

My name is Lillie. Today is my first day here, I am sort of lost. Just wanted to introduce myself. I am almost 52 y/o stay at home mother and daughter. I have been caring for my mother for 11 years. I am alone on that journey. I have two siblings who offer no support. I have two boys, ages 16 and 20, who are my help. My mom is 83 y/o multiple stroke victim. She is able to do most things for herself still but has choking problems. Prior to caring for my mom I took care of my dad who suffered from Parkinson's and dementia, mostly sundowners. I look forward to getting to know you all.

It's an attitude thing. Attitude is everything.



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COOKIEBAKERCAT's Photo COOKIEBAKERCAT Posts: 3,839
12/30/09 8:52 A

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Edited by: COOKIEBAKERCAT at: 9/9/2012 (21:42)
“Being happy doesn't mean that everything is perfect. It means that you've decided to look beyond the imperfections.”

"See You "Lighter"........Cat =^..^=
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12/29/09 10:19 P

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Hi all - my name is Jennifer, & I help take care of my Dad, who is 93. I feel like kind of a cop-out here, as he is staying in a residential care home at the moment, soon to move to an assisted living place. So - I miss out on alot of the work you guys(girls) are going through. But in scanning the posts, I find that there still IS alot I can relate to, & find the rest very interesting. I feel my Dad is going to live for quite some time actually, & the adventure could get even more involved. In the meantime, I'm kind of caregiving vicariously through a couple of you, imagining if my Dad was here. He doesn't seem to have dementia or anything - thanks be to God for that - he is more weak physically & is pretty darn deaf.

Hope to be friends with you all & fit in & you not be mad 'cause I don't have my Dad here at my house - ok - he specifically did not WANT to live with us, ok. And since he was financially able, he's where he is & I do all the running around & fixing stuff. lol Right now we're in the middle of the move & I am BONE-TIRED. Seems like I keep shopping for things that don't exist... Can't find a SQUARE old fashioned TV for instance - like as in CHEAPER.

*** Hubby is trying to talk me into buying his friends LIFT CHAIR. (yes, its a good deal probably, BUT) My Dad is getting up & down ok for now, & I'm afraid if he starts using one of those, he'll get weaker from not using his muscles. When he stops moving, I've seen him lose strength FAST. Would love to hear any opinions on that please.

Bye for now - Jenn

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11/9/09 7:21 P

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Lisa, welcome! Sure sounds like you're busy, with three to care for! So glad you and your husband can get away once in a while, you're right, you just plain need it sometimes!

I'm a full time caregiver my mother, who turned 99 this week. She has dementia, and is slow moving around, but is otherwise healthy. My MIL has been diagnosed with ALZ, but SIL lives beside her in a duplex and is taking care of her needs right now.

We're so glad to have you here! 'Daily Check-In' is our daily chat thread. The Support Forum is where we can ask caregiving questions and share useful information we have found.

And you're welcome anywhere here! Stop in anytime and anywhere, we're always here to help.

Judy
"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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COOKIEBAKERCAT's Photo COOKIEBAKERCAT Posts: 3,839
11/9/09 7:02 P

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Edited by: COOKIEBAKERCAT at: 9/9/2012 (21:43)
“Being happy doesn't mean that everything is perfect. It means that you've decided to look beyond the imperfections.”

"See You "Lighter"........Cat =^..^=
GODLYMOM_5's Photo GODLYMOM_5 Posts: 605
11/9/09 1:08 A

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Hi everyone, my name is Lisa. I take care of both of my parents and help with my mother-in-law. My father is 83 soon to be 84 and he is a surviver of bladder cancer. He quit working about 6 months ago because of my mothers health. She is 79 and will be turning 80 right after his birthday. She uses a walker and is on oxygen 24/7. My mother was diagnosed with Lung Cancer about a year ago but because of her other health conditions they can not do anything for her and she has also refused anything that they can do. My mom will also sneak outside to smoke but tells us that she is not smoking anymore. My sister calls me complaining about moms smoking but I can not see where it will do her any good now. I mean I just can not see fighting with her about it. But my sister thinks that sense I am a nurse that my mom will listen to me, but I am the baby and that is all there is to it. My mom will just say I know sweetie but it is alright and then change the subject. Then my brothers tell us that our parents care is up to us girls. My sister does a lot for my parents because she lives closer but I go to see them at least once a week and check on meds and anything else that they might need. I also see if she has been checking her blood sugar like she has been instructed to do. And I help her fill her pill box.
Most of my time is caring for my mother-in-law because she lives just down the road from me. She also walks with a walker and right now is doing very well. She often has seizures which have to be monitored. So I try to go to see her at least every other day and if my father-in-law is going to be out for very long one of us (one of my kids or me) go and sit with her.
I feel like I am always watching someone and never have time for anything else. But my husband and I are able to get away every now and then. We have to take time for us.


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11/2/09 9:34 P

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Welcome to our newest members! For those of you with private SparkPages, we'll just have to say welcome to you here.

Stop on in and introduce yourselves!

Judy
"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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10/23/09 3:52 A

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It was a wonderful introduction! Welcome!

As to the situation, sounds to me like you are doing an excellent job. You're concerned, you're keeping up with the caregivers, you're keeping the household finances afloat, you're planning a trip out to visit. . .sounds like you are doing all you can. Very impressive!

Many people value their independence above all else. And so, they fight tooth and nail to keep it, fearing loss of their identity, and the ability to control their lives. And they hang on, long after it would be 'better' for them to let go. At least, better in our eyes, if not theirs.

We all struggle with this issue. The desire to keep them safe and alive as long as possible, vs. their desire to maintain control as long as possible--so they feel like they have something to live for.

On one hand, we want to coddle them, and keep them healthy and safe. On the other hand, the daily struggle to be independent does add quality to their lives, that isn't found once we 'confine' them to a life without control.

My mother will be 100 next year. Six years ago, despite my daily trips down to provide a hot meal, entertainment, cleaning and errand services, etc., she realized she couldn't live alone anymore. She was just too confused mentally. And she asked if I would please move in with her and help her.

That is unusual, that a parent would recognize they need help, and ask for it. Of course, some of our teammembers have VERY dependent parents, that COULD quite nicely live on their own, but they prefer to be pampered. That's a whole 'nother issue! Most of the time, control has to be slowly wrested away, and is usually isn't easy or pretty.

We totally understand your difficulty, you are not the only one in this boat. You are not alone. A number of our team members are in the same boat, including those whose parents live in another country!

We are here to help in any way we can. The team members are a wonderful source of helpful information, it's great to have been-there-done-that friends surrounding you that can share ideas. We're also a handy shoulder to lean on, when you're really having a tough time coping. We've all been there.

We laugh, we encourage, we share. 'Daily Check-In' is our daily chat thread. Pop on in, sit down, grab your favorite hot or iced beverage, put your feet up, and sit a spell and visit. We're looking forward to spending time with you. We're family here. Welcome to the family!

(BTW, this is the toughest job you'll ever love. You'll have the inner peace that you know you've done what you could, you'll have the frustration wondering if it'll ever be enough. You'll be glad to help, and yet feel boxed in and trapped at the same time. This job will mold you, shape you, transform you. It is a hard journey, but you will reap benefits far beyond the assistance you provide. You will be stretched beyond your present limits, you will grow in totally unexpected ways, you will find a depth of existence you never knew.

There is much good to be found in this journey, but it hides itself well, and you have to practice the fine art of looking for it. It's a whole new mindset, a whole new way of looking at things. . .and it will serve you well the rest of your life.

As you've discovered, this journey is full of difficulty, frequent detours, change of goals, frustration, learning about things you never even heard of before, becoming stronger through trials. The good news is, you are not alone on this journey, we all work together here. We are all still learning, as this job takes constant twists and turns, no matter how long you have been at it.

We are all still learning, but we have each other for help, and support. Welcome to the family!)





Edited by: ANGORA4 at: 10/23/2009 (03:54)
Judy
"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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COOKIEBAKERCAT's Photo COOKIEBAKERCAT Posts: 3,839
10/21/09 7:47 P

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Edited by: COOKIEBAKERCAT at: 9/9/2012 (21:44)
“Being happy doesn't mean that everything is perfect. It means that you've decided to look beyond the imperfections.”

"See You "Lighter"........Cat =^..^=
BITFLINGER's Photo BITFLINGER Posts: 322
10/21/09 10:59 A

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Hi, all. I'm new here, dealing with elderly parents who are 2000 miles away. My mom went in for emergency surgery about ten days ago; she's in weak shape, but insisted on going home rather than to post-hospital care. I can't blame her; the last time she went to post-care, she ended up with MRSA that took months to shake. The situation at home is not good, though. I am trying to work with the visiting nurse and a social worker long distance, with a trip planned home in two weeks, but it's overwhelming. I need to get my parents out of their home and into assisted living but they're the biggest obstacle. Mom just wants to be "left alone" and Dad, who's seven years older than she is and has his own significant health problems, wants to help her and stay independent. None of my siblings are close by, either, and two out of the three of them have their own health issues (disabling). Right now, Mom's not eating, she won't get on the scale, she's too weak to get herself off the toilet, she's got an open wound, she refuses any of the help that the visiting nurse is trying to arrange, Dad has an eye infection but is still driving . . . it goes on and on. And I don't yet have a power of attorney set up, so I can't force their hand on anything - and I'm not sure when I'm there that they'll even grant me one.

I keep trying to tell myself I can only do what I can do but I am utterly terrified. I work full time and am the sole provider for my family, so leaving work to deal with this is not an option. I know a lot of other people deal with just as much and more than this but I'm just so lost right now - I feel like this is never going to be right and no one can help me.

I guess this isn't much of a way to introduce myself to a new team, but I figured if anybody could understand, this would be the group. Thanks for letting me carry on . . .

Good Dogma to All!


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10/12/09 10:33 P

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Same here. Mom was really getting sick, and we didn't know why. Turned out to be aspirin poisoning! She would take an aspirin, and in two minutes forget she did so, and take another, and another. . .Needless to say, we removed all meds!

You just do what you need to, to keep them safe.

Judy
"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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COOKIEBAKERCAT's Photo COOKIEBAKERCAT Posts: 3,839
10/12/09 10:05 P

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Edited by: COOKIEBAKERCAT at: 9/9/2012 (21:44)
“Being happy doesn't mean that everything is perfect. It means that you've decided to look beyond the imperfections.”

"See You "Lighter"........Cat =^..^=
CAREYKATE's Photo CAREYKATE Posts: 34
10/12/09 9:47 P

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I've had to hide her vitamins. Her meds are already hidden. I found out today she is popping vitamins in like candy. She thinks they will make her feel better. Oh my! Sometimes I feel bad when I laugh at the silly, rediculous things she does... but it keeps things lighter for me.

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10/12/09 9:04 P

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Edited by: COOKIEBAKERCAT at: 9/9/2012 (21:19)
“Being happy doesn't mean that everything is perfect. It means that you've decided to look beyond the imperfections.”

"See You "Lighter"........Cat =^..^=
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10/12/09 8:53 P

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CAREYKATE, sounds like you're doing a fabulous job! You've got your planning done, and are thinking ahead about how to best stretch her finances. Good for you!

We're in the same boat here, even if I decided I wanted to send mom into assisted living, I couldn't. She's too good for nursing care, and she can't afford assisted living by a longshot. So, we muddle on!

It is small comfort knowing that many members here have no one to help them. It is so sad when family members can't work together to care for the parents, but it happens all the time. I am so proud of you for stepping up and taking care of your stepmother, makes the gift you are giving all the more special.

DH is in the same boat. He would love to retire, but since I am here, it isn't an option. The extra money keeps things together.

I love your 'one day at a time' philosophy. Truly one day at a time is enough!

And yup, ten minutes with your feet up is paradise!

So glad to have you with us, thanks for being part of our online family here.

Judy
"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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CAREYKATE's Photo CAREYKATE Posts: 34
10/12/09 7:45 A

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Thanks for the kind listening ear and suggestions. I do have power of attorney for medical and financial. I have been taking care of those things for two years. There is no family member that wants her. I am a step child. She was married to my dad just 2 years longer than my husband and I have been married. I get cranky that her family won't help... they seldom contact her. I had looked at assisted care, but she won't have money for nursing home care if I do that, and her money will run out quickly. I have been thinking of increasing the respite care. It always seems to come down to money.I don't plan to retire for 3 years, so early retirement is out of the question. I am to the point that I just take things a day at a time and try to catch a nap every once in awhile. You know how precious ten minutes of quiet with your feet up can be. Have a good day. I need to be off.

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10/11/09 11:29 P

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CAREYKATE, welcome! 12 hours a day job plus dementia plus oxygen plus accidents! Yikes! My heart goes out to you.

I understand about the accidents. Was up until 6am this morning with mom, who was up and down all night. Desperately needed a nap this afternoon, but mom had one of those 'accidents'. The kind that takes forever to clean up. By the time we were done washing everything down, it was far too late to think of napping again.

Dementia is exhausting, all by itself. Sounds like you are coming to a crossroads. Where you can't work the full time 12 hour a day job, and do a full time job of caregiving (which is why you're so exhausted, you're working TWO full time jobs!)

This is one of the difficult things about caregiving, trying to make a decision where there is no good decision to be had. And so we keep on doing the same things, trying to keep all the irons in the fire, all the balls in the air, until we get so exhausted that we crash and burn.

My heart goes out to you, because I understand the frustration of bathroom accidents, and exhaustion, and dealing with dementia (my mom will be 100 next year, and we deal with all of these issues here.) They repeat themselves endlessly, they get confused--which makes them frustrated. When they get frustrated--they get cranky. And when they get cranky--they take it out on us. They don't mean to, it's just part of the disease. But it still hurts.

Is it possible to get more respite care, or are there any other family members that can help?

Other thoughts, since you're new to the group, things that have been suggested to us, and I'm passing along:

1. Do you have medical power of attorney, since she has health issues?

2. Is the will/power of attorney/finances all set, so that someone can take over as the dementia progresses? (My mom went from being the bookkeeper, to forgetting how to sign her name. Sad, but dementia does that.)

3. Have you picked out emergency care (in case something should happen and you can't take care of her for whatever reason?)

4. Have you considered what comes next? Aging is a process, that progresses in stages. Each stage needs a higher level of care. Have you started researching what might come next, and what types of care of available? Doesn't mean you are 'dumping' her, means that you are preparing for the future, when you may not be able to care for her at home anymore.

It takes a lot of time to research what needs done for payment, available places, facilities, etc.

(Oops, gotta go, mom needs help, see you later at Daily Check-In. . .

Judy
"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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10/10/09 10:19 P

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I just found out that there is a caregiver team. Since my dad died a year and a half ago, we have had my stepmom living with us. I teach full time at a middle school. I often put 10-12 hours in. Then come home and clean up after my stepmom. She has 'accidents' which need to be taken care of. She is on oxygen full time... tied to a 50 ft. concentrator. I take care of her meds too. Her dementia seems to be getting worse with each passing month. I am weary. I have someone come in twice a week for 2 hours each day, but when I get home from work, I just want to put my feet up and rest... not work until I go to bed. Any suggestions?

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8/15/09 4:14 P

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Edited by: COOKIEBAKERCAT at: 9/9/2012 (21:19)
“Being happy doesn't mean that everything is perfect. It means that you've decided to look beyond the imperfections.”

"See You "Lighter"........Cat =^..^=
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8/15/09 3:07 P

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I agree, Cat. Unless there is a diabetes issue, if they made it into their 90's, what they're doing must be working for them. Seems to me that allowing it isn't a big problem. I just try to add as much good stuff as I can to the diet.

My mom eats junk all the time, hates homemade food. But she weighs the same as she did when she won diving medals 85 years ago! She just eats small portions.

I, on the other hand, have a huge issue with food, I look at it, I gain weight. So I watch more, eat more whole grains and unprocessed food.

Always bugs me a bit, she eats junk and stays thin, I eat organic and gain weight. One big thing is the portion sizes. She eats a 1/2 portion and is satisfied usually. I eat 2 portions and am starved!



Judy
"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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8/15/09 2:06 P

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Edited by: COOKIEBAKERCAT at: 9/9/2012 (21:18)
“Being happy doesn't mean that everything is perfect. It means that you've decided to look beyond the imperfections.”

"See You "Lighter"........Cat =^..^=
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8/15/09 1:55 P

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thanks for your support right now i am stressed out about it since she bought more sweets once again


Jenny or Jennifer in Peshtigo, WI
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It is not about me it's all about God and his desires for my life

Phil 4:13 I can do all things through him who strengthens me


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8/15/09 11:52 A

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Welcome! My mom is 98, she'll be 99 this fall, also with dementia. So I understand. My mom lived on cookies and doughnuts. I've found bananas to be a real lifesaver. She'll eat those as a snack, instead of cookies.

Peas have been good for us, soups, and of course, ice cream when she's really fussy. Amazing how her mood improves when she gets ice cream.

I think it's because you don't buy ice cream when money is tight, and so if we have ice cream in the house, all is well. Plus research has shown that the texture of ice cream on the tongue has a special satisfying and calming effect.

So glad you've joined us! Looking forward to talking with you on the team boards. "Daily Check In" is our daily chat thread.

Judy

Judy
"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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8/15/09 2:20 A

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I am a caregiver of my grandma I take care of her pills and make her meals now in charge of her sweet reduction which ain't going to well she is 93 but has dementia and don't always want to listen to the doctor's orders on what she is to do

Jenny or Jennifer in Peshtigo, WI
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It is not about me it's all about God and his desires for my life

Phil 4:13 I can do all things through him who strengthens me


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8/11/09 11:29 P

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Welcome to our new members! MARYB doesn't have a Spark Page set up, so I can't welcome her there. So, I'll just send a virtual welcome from here.

We care. Come on in and visit, sit a spell, put your feet up! We're here to listen, encourage, laugh, and understand. "Daily Check In" is our daily chat thread. We have a Support Forum where you can post questions and find answers about caregiving. And "Camp Accountability" helps keep us personally on track.

Judy
"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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PATRICIA703's Photo PATRICIA703 Posts: 882
7/8/09 10:00 P

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Welcome newcomers!!
This site has been a blessing to me to have people that understand what is going on.
Patricia

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7/7/09 10:55 P

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MOKAY, hope you have a good rest, it is a rare treat! 'Me' time around here is either my computer time, the few minutes I spend doing a puzzle before bed, or when I run errands. And I treasure them all! On a good day, I can get a short nap (with a lot of interruptions!)

I would like to get in more walking, but there isn't a good place to walk here, and I don't usually have time for a drive away somewhere to walk. Still trying to work that out. Tried the Leslie Sansone (is that name right?) Walking programs that you do in your living room, but Mom was not amused. (You're wearing out the floor!)

I am blessed to do this job, I've learned a lot, still have a long way to go! But I'm glad to be on the journey. Gotta go, mom needs me!

Judy
"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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COOKIEBAKERCAT's Photo COOKIEBAKERCAT Posts: 3,839
7/7/09 10:31 P

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Edited by: COOKIEBAKERCAT at: 9/9/2012 (21:39)
“Being happy doesn't mean that everything is perfect. It means that you've decided to look beyond the imperfections.”

"See You "Lighter"........Cat =^..^=
MOKAY54's Photo MOKAY54 Posts: 1,407
7/7/09 10:02 P

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Thanks for the welcome. Just getting home from hospital. She is now having some problems with her heart rhythm. So they are watching and testing. They is only one out come for her conditions, not what you want. Mom loves the kids but as with yours, hates everything that's goes with 3 great grandsons. I do not get any me time, but do get away for a few days in summer. Going away end of this month. Anyway just got home and am tired. Night..

Slow and steady will see me though to the end.


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7/7/09 12:18 P

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Welcome! I see you are a wise caregiver, you take naps!

You really do have a full plate! Do you have help with your mom? Are you able to get away for a few hours to run errands, take a walk, or visit a friend?

It is challenging with little ones, does your mom accept their noise and activity level? I have my DS, now 12 with me. We've lived with mom for the last five years, soon to start year six. While mom loves children, she hate having things out of her control, so she doesn't like any noise, reading aloud, discussing events, or anything she calls 'rowdy' behavior (which is about anything that moves!) Does make things challenging some days!

What's your mother's prognosis?

Judy
"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: 1,407
7/7/09 10:46 A

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Well I am new to this group, but not to caring for parent. I have been caring for my Mom about 7yrs now. She had a stroke then caused from sleep apnea, wears a by_pap now. She is also now in end stage renal and has dialysis 3 times a week. I also watch my 3 grandsons during the day while daughter and her husband work. They are twin 8yr old and a 5 yr old. Mom is in hospital again for pneumonia this time but usually it is UTI. Moms memory is going, she has dementia and Alzheimers, a double whammy for her. Guess I am looking to finds others that understand the pressure of dealing with this 24/7. Some days just not sure how I am still functioning. I myself have a lot of health issues but still need to function like I do not. Have sleep apnea also, so wear by_pap like my mom. Anyways guess this is a good introduction to the group. Hope to get to know some of you and maybe just feel like there is hope.
I do have power of attorney for health and finical stuff. So I have all that taken care of. Can not think of anything else to say, so will pop back again some time. Gonna take a nap and then head to hospital.

Slow and steady will see me though to the end.


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7/3/09 6:31 P

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I'll put up some of the lists I've found on the Support Forum, so they'll be easily found when you need them.

Judy
"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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KENNESAWGIRL733's Photo KENNESAWGIRL733 Posts: 2,165
7/3/09 5:52 P

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I need to talk to them about powers of attorney and also whether they want a DNR- I know their wants regarding burial and the funerals - but haven't had the courage or desire to bring up the other... It is so emotional for me to confront losing them.

do you know of a list or book that might help me deal with assuming their legal responsibilities.

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7/3/09 5:36 P

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Sydney, welcome! Love your Spark page, and congratulations on your progress!

You have such good questions, ones we all wrestle with. I have a few thoughts:

1. I find that it can't hurt to keep the rest of the family updated. I'd suggest sending out a friendly weekly email, with little anecdotes from the week's events. The rest of the family won't truly understand. If you're not living with it, you don't get it. And if your parents are like most of our parents, they probably do great on the phone, even though they'll lose it as soon as they hang up. But, at least you've done what you can.

2. Do you have the power of attorney, medical power of attorney and wills taken care of? Do you know where they are? Better to deal with it while they are still capable and lucid, if you can.

3. The senior center sounds like a great idea, and I like the fact that you are looking ahead to possible scenarios like Adult Day Care. Good for you!

4. I think asking for help is a good plan. It needs to be part of our planning. Most of us tend to go it alone, we can do whatever it takes. . .we can do this. . .I don't know how long I can do this. . .arrrgh! How much easier it would be to include others in our plan from the beginning! I know this is hard, because help is hard to find. So when you can find it. . .enjoy it!

5. If you scroll down the main team page, you'll come to the Support Forum. Click on the name, and past threads will all pop up. You'll find more info here on caregiving, and links to other sources.

6. Stop in to the team anytime. We have a daily chat thread called 'Daily Check-In'. We laugh, we support each other, we share the events of our day.

Welcome! Sounds like you have your hands full! You'll find this the toughest job you'll ever be blessed to do.

Judy
"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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7/3/09 5:35 P

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I just want to pop in and welcome all the new commers. I am a cargiver of my mom in a home and now helping my son and wife with new twins. I do alot of night shift and day shift the day after to help out. Glad we have so many new members in different situations to share with us how they handle it all. This is a good place to share advice and relive stress.
Linda

my goal is consistency


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KENNESAWGIRL733's Photo KENNESAWGIRL733 Posts: 2,165
7/3/09 3:24 P

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hi

I;m here to OFFER support & advice and to GET support & advice.

24/7 caretaker for both parents - they are former pastors and still do volunteer work two days a week. it's two miles away and daddy drives them there and back.

thankfully, I work from home - but it's becoming more difficult with constant interupptions.
both parents losing memory, becoming more child like - Daddy's memory slips more frequently than mom's.

Mom has alays exaggerated - and it seems to be more so now - so not sure how much to believe of what she tells me

both parents are bored & depressed from age related losses - strength, vision, hearing, loss of freinds, health - and with mom fear of cancer returning

Niece lives with me free of charge while she goes to nursing school - I had hoped she would be a help, but instead she is an additional burden... I'm glad I can help her, but it's still extra work. She does clean for me once a week and I pay her a small amount to do that.

no help from siblings who live in other cities and haven't fully experienced the changes in our parents

daddy's still driving but probably shouldn't be

so far mom is taking charge of ensuring both she & daddy get their medecine on time - but this may have to change soon.

I'm afraid to leave them alone for more than an hour or two. nothing bad HAS happened - I'm just afraid it will - like one of them falling or setting something on fire

mom still cooks every day which is good because it forces her to use her mind. and daddy reads politics and news related articles on the internet which give him something to talk about. also they both love to watch college football.
they function extremely well given the circumstances and I will not let them be put in a nursing home - that would do both of them in - and I simply won't allow that to happen.

I guess I'm rambling - at this point I'm mainly "keeping an eye" on them to make sure nothing bad happens. They are about 85% self-sufficient. I guess mostly my concerns have to do with their loss of control and how I will know - daddy still pays their bills - mom says she watches what he pays to make sure it's right -

they need help with making major decisions, driving at night, getting the groceries purchased and put away, and trips to the hospital. they can still handle doctor & dental visits, and trips to the drug store as they are close by.

How do I know when I need to ask for help? should I try to get them involved in senior center activities - thinking that might be a good idea so they'll be prepared if I have to put them in adult day care...
I know my Mom would enjoy it and it might actually be a way for them to continue to minister.

just not sure how much to "interfere" or help... and not sure what to tell my sisters who don't see the everyday stuff...

any advice will be appreciated. thanks!

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7/2/09 8:14 P

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By the way, you mentioned elsewhere that you have a garden. I forgot to include the link on how to use fennel: www.ehow.com/how_2098985_use-fennel.
ht
ml
If it is tall, it is perennial fennel, and you use seeds for licorice flavor, or young leaves.

The sweet fennel is grown as an annual, and it produces those anise flavored celery like stem bases. And it is much shorter.

By the way, the colonists used to chew on fennel seeds during long church services, to keep them from being hungry. Might be worth trying when yours goes to seed, a hunger suppressant would be a bonus for weight loss!



Judy
"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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7/2/09 11:32 A

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Well, that will certainly count up on your Spark Fitness minutes tracker! Bless dad for saving your back on the third one!

Judy
"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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FUN50146's Photo FUN50146 Posts: 17
7/2/09 11:28 A

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Yep, 3 households - when it snows - shovel my driveway, then shovel Mom's, then check on Dad who thankfully pays a neighborhood kid to shovel his!

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7/2/09 11:20 A

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Welcome! So glad you've joined us! Yup, you're definitely a caregiver all right! This team has been such a help to me, dealing with the challenges of caregiving, and preparing for the future stages.

The Support Forum archives has links to more caregiving info. Just scroll down the main team page to the heading 'Support Forum', and click on it.

I am delighted to hear you have the blessing of both parents being close by, and understand that as with all blessings, it has another side. We are here for you, when you have 'one of those days' trying to keep everyone taken care of. It must be difficult having two different households to take care of, besides your own!

Looking forward to taking with you here at the team! Take care of yourself!

Judy
"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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COOKIEBAKERCAT's Photo COOKIEBAKERCAT Posts: 3,839
7/2/09 10:59 A

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Edited by: COOKIEBAKERCAT at: 9/9/2012 (21:39)
“Being happy doesn't mean that everything is perfect. It means that you've decided to look beyond the imperfections.”

"See You "Lighter"........Cat =^..^=
FUN50146's Photo FUN50146 Posts: 17
7/2/09 10:42 A

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Hello all. I'm thrilled to have found this Spark Team. I'm 50 and live within 4 miles of both parents (parents divorced years ago). So, I'm fortunate to have both parents nearby, but also challenged by keeping up with the needs of both. Dad is very healthy and independent. Mom doesn't drive and has some health challenges. Things are going well at the moment but it has been challenging in the recent past. As I'm sure you all know, things can change in a second and you're running here and there to medical providers etc. Anyway, I'm new to Spark and looking for buddies. Trying to lose pounds and get more energy.

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5/17/09 9:51 P

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Well put, Judy. Thanks for the welcome.

As for the UTIs...here goes. I had to learn to be a nurse and catheterize my Mom several times a day. that has now dwindled down to twice. I was also taught how to test the urine and then get a prescription filled. It seemed that we were on one antibiotic after the other. One of the last times we went to the urologist's office for a visit and Mom had an infection but was feeling OK and there was no fever the dr. suggested that we stay off antibiotics unless she was really feeling awful and running a fever. I can say that since July 2008 she's only been on antibiotics once. That is a MIRACLE!!!!!!! I think it is helping to rebuild her immune system. I'm not a medical person, but that is my opinion. We were very sad when we found out that our urologist was moving.

Now, to clear up something else that you mentioned Judy. I am only in my 4th year of doing this full time. My sister was with me the other years (until she married)

It is hard to see Mom's abilities decrease. She used to LOVE to cook and have people over. Now, she can't stand long enough to do any work in the kitchen. I try to find things that she can do to help me, but I'm not always successful.

I also try and get her out as often as possible. Even it's for no more than sitting on the patio outside.

Again, thanks for the welcome.

Carol


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5/17/09 9:40 P

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Welcome, Carol! First, we're so happy to meet you! Second, what did the new doctor do differently to ward off the UTIs? It is a common problem here, so any suggestions are welcome!

Thirdly, we do understand how you feel. This is your ninth year doing this full time! Congratulations on doing such a good job that she is still able to be cared for at home!

I start my 6th year full time in just a little while. I did part time care (every evening) for about ten years or so before that. It is harder as time goes on, and their abilities decrease.

And I do think that most of us really do have a desperate need to be pampered ourselves, even just a little. That someone would see this is a difficult job, appreciate how much we give, and delight in giving us a break as a special gift. So we would feel appreciated and treasured.

Wonderful desire, but for most of us, totally unrealistic. Unless you live with this, you don't realize how difficult this is. And most people are too busy living their own lives to even begin to think about other people's needs.

We've had this subject come up often, as I think it is a secret desire for most of us. Doesn't usually happen. . . but . . .

Welcome!

Judy
"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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PATRICIA703's Photo PATRICIA703 Posts: 882
5/17/09 8:55 P

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Welcome Carol to the team!
Patrica

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COOKIEBAKERCAT's Photo COOKIEBAKERCAT Posts: 3,839
5/17/09 6:24 P

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Edited by: COOKIEBAKERCAT at: 9/9/2012 (21:38)
“Being happy doesn't mean that everything is perfect. It means that you've decided to look beyond the imperfections.”

"See You "Lighter"........Cat =^..^=
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5/17/09 6:03 P

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Hi there. My name is Carol and I am a caregiver for my mom. She is 85 and has Parkinson's Disease. I have been caring for her since 2000. My dad passed away in 1998 and one of my sisters was living with her and Dad. (I have 2 sisters and 1 brother) I was living in Singapore. When the doctor said she shouldn't be left alone for long periods of time, I came home to help with the care giving. When I first came home, Mom was still able to do pretty much for herself. That is not the case anymore. On top of the Parkinson's, she has a rebuilt bladder that does not empty as it should. That causes many trips to the hospital with UTIs. For awhile it seemed like we were in the hospital more than we were out. However, we were blessed to find a wonderful urologist who has helped in this matter tremendously. She is doing much better this past year and has not had a stay in the hospital since Feb. 2008. We are praising the Lord for that. Oh, another thing has happened since I returned to the US. My sister that was living with Mom and helping got married. Now she lives about 50 miles away. she still comes over when she can to sit with Mom while I work. (I do private tutoring and work at a learning center in the afternoons and evenings....only 2 to 4 hours a day) I do have support from my family, but there are days when the task seems overwhelming and I wonder when I will get my life back. I read what someone else said in this thread, and it made me stop and get my perspectives right. This is their loss and my gain. Most of the time they will help when I ask them, but I sometimes want them to see the need before I have to ask. Does that make sense? Anyway, just wanted to take this time to introduce myself.

I have been with SP for a while now and love this site.

Carol


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5/5/09 11:24 P

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Welcome to our newest members! JGMK55 is also on my spinning team (that's with yarn, not bikes!) She's had quite a time with her mom (I believe some of you visited her blog a while ago), and I'm delighted she's joining us here!

So, JGMK55, introduce yourself to the rest of the group if you get a chance!

Our other new member is NMMAYES, welcome! Pop in and introduce yourself when you can!



Judy
"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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4/11/09 6:44 P

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Welcome! So glad you've joined us! Sounds like you're in the same boat most of us are in, one person does the caregiving, and the rest of the family stays pretty much out of it. (Or complains!)

But we really do have the best gift of all. When it is done, we will know we have done all we could do. And in the meantime, we learn patience, we learn to appreciate small things, we get to see a possible preview of our own future while there is still time to prepare, and we get to enjoy what is left of our parents time on this earth.

These things cannot be bought for any amount of money (good thing, they couldn't pay me enough to do this job!). And we are blessed.

This is a hard job, demanding, frustrating, exhausting at times, but worth it. So glad you are here to keep us company on the voyage!

Judy
"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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SILVER1369's Photo SILVER1369 Posts: 13,521
4/11/09 3:15 P

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It is so nice to know that there really are others around that do understand. I never thought about it but you are correct others would just resign from the position and most likely before the end of the first day.

Helen
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Leader An Yorkie's Love is Forever
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No matter how devastating an event, I truly believe that for every door that closes...a new one opens. You just have to be willing to see it and open it.


When friends tell you how awesome you look, drop the "I still have more to go" crap. You worked hard and you deserve the compliment! ~Jillian Michaels


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4/11/09 2:09 P

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Edited by: COOKIEBAKERCAT at: 9/9/2012 (21:37)
“Being happy doesn't mean that everything is perfect. It means that you've decided to look beyond the imperfections.”

"See You "Lighter"........Cat =^..^=
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4/11/09 1:40 P

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Hi! I am so happy to have found this team. I take care of my mother who will be 83 on Wednesday the 15th. I have 2 sisters and 1 brother all of which do not live in the same city as we do. They seldom come to visit and call once in awhile. None of them seem to understand or care to understand what I go thru on a daily basis. But that is ok. They are the ones that are losing out. When Mom is gone I will have the memories to keep me going. What will they have? I hope that everyone will have a very Happy Easter! emoticon emoticon emoticon

Helen
Leader An Angel's Touch is Unstoppable
teams.sparkpeople.com/UAT
Leader An Yorkie's Love is Forever
teams.sparkpeople.com/AYLF
No matter how devastating an event, I truly believe that for every door that closes...a new one opens. You just have to be willing to see it and open it.


When friends tell you how awesome you look, drop the "I still have more to go" crap. You worked hard and you deserve the compliment! ~Jillian Michaels


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1/6/09 6:27 P

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So glad to hear that your mom still has things she enjoys. Sorry to say, my mom is past that stage, and everything (even things she used to like), just confuses her.

I miss those days now. My mom's thing used to be cards, gin rummy in particular. She was unbeatable.

Glad your mom can entertain herself when she's alone. That's a blessing.

Judy
"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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PATRICIA703's Photo PATRICIA703 Posts: 882
1/6/09 4:07 P

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My mother does like to put puzzles together. She has a card table up and works on one daily. Usually in the evening while watching tv. They have to be the EZ 300 pc. puzzles. She just had cataract surgery on her left eye and is waiting for her new glasses. But that didn't stop her from working on the puzzles. She likes to listen to her cds. She likes country and western. And she still is able to read the newspaper. Which I am glad that she is able to do all these things because she is alone a lot of the time. Except for my running in and out.


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1/6/09 8:47 A

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Edited by: COOKIEBAKERCAT at: 9/9/2012 (21:37)
“Being happy doesn't mean that everything is perfect. It means that you've decided to look beyond the imperfections.”

"See You "Lighter"........Cat =^..^=
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1/6/09 12:54 A

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Oh yeah, can we relate! My brother lives on the opposite coast, so day to day care is up to me. And living with a negative person is SO draining! I know when mom's first words when she wakes up in the morning is "no, no, no no no", (yes, it is a regular sing song almost pattern, and I hear it more than I'd like!), to take a deep breath, because it's going to be one of "those" days.

Does you mom have any hobbies? Mine loved all things crafty, but she gave that all up quite a few years ago, when her mind couldn't carry how to do things anymore. She used to knit and crochet and sew and make things. And do anything outside, hike, garden, collect rocks. Anything but be inside and watch TV and read. She still doesn't read, but now all she CAN do is sit, and she can't follow the TV anyway!

Judy
"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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PATRICIA703's Photo PATRICIA703 Posts: 882
1/5/09 7:54 P

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Hello again. My mother is doing pretty good for being 88. She has perpheral vascular disease. She has had surgeries on both legs and on her neck besides having the heart attack 6 yrs ago. My mother is sort of a negative person. Refuses to hire any outside help. So I am the help.
I have to say right now her mood is a lot better than when we brought her home from the heart attack.
I think she suffered from depression. She was very hard to handle for quite some time. Seemed angry at me all the time. I have a brother but he doesn't live in the same town and just doesn't help with anything.
I have been reading the posts. I guess I just needed to feel like there is someone that I can relate too.


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COOKIEBAKERCAT's Photo COOKIEBAKERCAT Posts: 3,839
1/5/09 8:50 A

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Edited by: COOKIEBAKERCAT at: 9/9/2012 (21:37)
“Being happy doesn't mean that everything is perfect. It means that you've decided to look beyond the imperfections.”

"See You "Lighter"........Cat =^..^=
JBURKE8991's Photo JBURKE8991 SparkPoints: (74,239)
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1/5/09 7:53 A

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Welcom Patricia. So glad at that age your mom is doing so well.
Linda

my goal is consistency


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ANGORA4's Photo ANGORA4 SparkPoints: (28,124)
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1/4/09 9:05 P

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Welcome! I'm glad you are able to have mom close by. How is she doing now?

Judy
"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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PATRICIA703's Photo PATRICIA703 Posts: 882
1/4/09 8:51 P

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Hello! I am a newbie here. I am so glad I found this thread. I help my mother out. We own the house next door and she is living there. We moved her there when she had her heart atack 6 years ago. She is 88 now. For the most part so far she just needs some assistance. I am my mothers' only caregiver.

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ANGORA4's Photo ANGORA4 SparkPoints: (28,124)
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12/31/08 4:42 P

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Welcome to our newest member! You haven't set up your SparkPage yet, so we can't visit your page, send you SparkGoodies, or send SparkMail to you yet. So, I'll just have to welcome you here!

We're glad you've joined us, and hope you'll stop in and introduce yourself. We are all caregivers, so we understand what you're going through. We all have different circumstances, yet many of the same difficulties.

Let us know how you're doing!

Judy
"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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ANGORA4's Photo ANGORA4 SparkPoints: (28,124)
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12/10/08 10:08 A

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Welcome! So glad you stopped in. Just saw a friend yesterday, and her father is in the same condition. They use a damp swab in his mouth, but it just isn't the same! He was scheduled to have a trach done, so they could deal with fluid accumulations better, as he aspirates easily. (Which means things go down his windpipe that shouldn't, instead of being swallowed and into the digestive system.)

Do I gather you are bringing father home to live, and not just for a visit?

We will sure appreciate hearing any tips you learn about dealing with his health issues. This is a step that many of us still have waiting for us in the future, and so any information that we can use to guide us will be very valuable.

How mobile is your father? Will he be confined to bed?

Many of us (me included)have dementia to deal with as well. Is your father able to comprehend things, or will the move be confusing for him?

I ended up taking care of my mother, now 98, in her own home, due to the dementia issues. She got so confused when she was out of familiar surroundings, that it was just easier for me to come here to her house where she's lived for the last 50 some years.

The huddles are a place where
1. You earn an extra Spark point for each team you huddle with, and
2. Those who don't feel comfortable posting can still give a quick canned message with the click of a button.
3. Gives you a chance to encourage others, or just make a quick comment. Especially convenient when you don't plan to post on that team that day, it lets them know you're still around!

Doesn't take the place of posting of course. Chatting with the others, especially on this team, is too important to miss. It's great to be able to share here with others that understand. There is so much involved in caregiving, that having the support from the great people here is worth more than gold to me. Really helps me work through the difficult days.

Anyway, welcome! "Daily Check-In" is our daily chat thread, so come on in and pull up a chair! Looking forward to chatting with you.

Judy
"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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JBURKE8991's Photo JBURKE8991 SparkPoints: (74,239)
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12/10/08 8:29 A

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Welcome Janis. I am glad to hear you can bring dad home for Christmas. This is becoming an issue for us. I did bring my mom home for thanksgiving but we had decided that the crowds are to much for her now so we will take her by herself for Christmas. I dreaded when this day would come that she could not be included. Hope you find all the help you need here. We have some great people that have answers to almost every issue.
Linda

my goal is consistency


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