Wednesday, June 28,  2006, Issue #281

 

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From The Editor

 

What Do I Do Now?
 

Gary

I recently 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.

Have other caregivers also experienced this problem? Do you have any suggestions that could help me? I appreciate your time

Yours truly,

Ted
**********************************************************************************************

Ted,

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 for yourself.

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

   

Take care
Gary Barg

Editor-in-Chief
gary@caregiver.com


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Feature Article

Prescribing Off-Label:
Cutting-Edge Awareness

By Frances Maguire Paist, Staff Writer

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


Additional Articles:

Pet Therapy 
By Catherine Murphy, RN 

As a child I always wanted a dog. Any pet actually, something of my own to love and play with. ...Continued


Just Do It and You Get Through It - My Personal Story
By Lois A. Troutman

The title of this article exemplifies a motto I adopted early on in my life as a caregiver.  .....Continued

 

Guest Column

The Who Am I? Scrapbook
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?...Continued


Caretips

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

Carenotes

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 appreciated.

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.
 

Answer This Week's CareNote:
carenotes/2006/index.htm

 

 


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Inside This Issue:

From the Editor
What Do I Do Now?Feature Article
Prescribing Off-Label...
 
Guest Column
The Who Am I? Scrapbook
CareTips
Carenotes



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