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From The Editor
What Do I Do Now?
lost my father who I had been the full time
caregiver for the past 8 years. Prior to that I had
been the primary caregiver for my mother for 11
years following a disabling stroke. Before that, I
had helped my parents care for my sister who had
many physical and emotional problems and for a
period of roughly 5 years I took care of an aunt who
suffered from dementia. All told I had been a
caregiver for almost 28 years.
Now that my
father is gone my caregiving days are over and it
very difficult to try to jump start my life. The job
situation in my home town is not good. Most jobs
seem to pay minimum wage which is almost impossible
to live on. I had graduated from both college and
law school but never had the opportunity to
practice. I have not had the time over the years to
keep up with computer skills which I now am
attempting to do.
caregivers also experienced this problem? Do you
have any suggestions that could help me? I
appreciate your time
This is a very
normal issue to be facing, so much of these past
years had been taken up your labors of love that now
they are over, you are left to figure out what to do
with the rest of your life. First thing you need to
do is to take a moment and realize that while you
were certainly being a supportive brother, nephew
and son as you cared for your loved ones, you were
also the head of an important health care
organization. You were the one literally making
life and death decisions for those that you love on
a daily basis, juggling finances, interacting with
healthcare professionals and making sure that those
in your organization (your sister, aunt and parents)
got the best available care.
In fact, many of the greatest healthcare
professionals I have met, started down the path
towards their careers as caregiver for members of
their family. I am not just talking about doctors
and nurses, but social workers, nurse assistants,
administrators and marketing and sales
professionals. You may want to figure out if there
was any part of caregiving that you enjoyed doing
which would be an interesting career choice for you.
Your future course may not best be found in your
home town. Are there any funds available for you to
try and start a new life elsewhere? Your legal
background may be of great service to a local legal
aid organization or you may want to start anew with
a paralegal license. I know that it seems as if
things are upside down right now, but this may be an
opportunity to do something that many caregivers
find hard to do, during and after their caregiving
days and that is to think about what you really want
With your permission, Iím going
to present this to the true caregiving experts, and
see what advice they may have to offer.
My advice for Ted
Let loved ones remain independent with
telemonitoring for only $2.65 a day. Try
Quietcare Home Health Security System.
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Don't miss this opportunity!
By Frances Maguire Paist, Staff
It has all the elements of a riveting read: politics, money, illness
and conscience. Questions abound that encourage the reader to proceed
with caution.. ....Continued
By Catherine Murphy, RN
As a child I always wanted a dog. Any pet
actually, something of my own to love and play
Just Do It and You Get Through It - My Personal
By Lois A. Troutman
The title of this article exemplifies
a motto I adopted early on in my life as a
The Who Am I?
By Lynn Lancaster Gorges
We know all about our loved ones we
care for, but how can we help their other
caregivers know them in a similar way?.
Tips and Techniques for Dealing with Stress
By Dr. Rita Nachen Gugel
Change is an
expected part of our daily lives today. Dealing
with it so that YOU control IT rather than vice
versa is an important and positive force in
controlling your life. Try a few of these tips...Continued
F r o m O u r R e a d e r s
I'm new to this whole thing. It
never really occurred to me that
there are caregivers out there
who share similar experiences.
Anyway, my mom has been a cancer
survivor ever since I was 9 yrs
old. However, about 4 years
ago,(I'm 24 now) she had a
relapse. There were small
growths of cancer on her brain
which caused her to be
semi-paralyzed (her right side
of her body was and is
completely immobile). She went
to therapy (PT, OT, etc) after
the doc's provided her some type
of cancer therapy ,but she never
regained any kind of strength.
Since I was in college at that
time, my family decided to put
her in a nursing home/rehab
facility so that she'll receive
constant care. Every weekend I
visited her and stayed with her.
In my senior year in college, my
mom became very depressed since
she was the only 40something in
the nursing home. So my dad
decided to bring her home. My
dad, sister, and I would take
turns taking care of her which
wasn't so bad compared to what
we're experiencing now.
Getting to the point, lately, my
mother constantly screams, yells
during the day and night and
every time I would go to her and
ask her what she wants, she
would give me an attitude and
tell me I'm a no good daughter.
I'm really tired of feeling
angry all the time. I feel like
I lack sleep and on top of that,
that I have uncontrolled rage.
My dad, sister and I have a
consensus that we don't get
enough rest as a normal human
being should get. My mom does
have an HHA who would take care
of her during the times when my
dad, sister and I are working or
are in school (my sister and I
take classes PT). However, when
I come home, the HHA would
always ask to help her feed my
mom since my mom is getting
stubborn to eat. Also, when the
HHA leaves the house, her
screams and yells and complaints
would start. I'm really tired
and I'm feeling as if she's
manipulating everyone who is
taking care of her.
It seems like I have to
accommodate everything to be a
good daughter. Is there any way
to deal with this? Any take on
this will be greatly
Also, sometimes I would think
and wish that she will pass on
because it has been many years
taking care of her. I know this
is absurd! I know that this is
really insane to think this. I
did love my mom but recently,
I'm becoming bitter of what's
going on. I know it's not her
fault that she's sick.. but
sometimes I feel that she's
really manipulating me.
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