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Welcome to CareNotes. In this special section we will feature a reader's letter and provide an opportunity for an interactive exchange that will help find some answers and possible solutions to concerns. If you wish to respond to this letter, simple follow the link provided at the end of the letter and add your comments and thoughts to our CareNotes Board.

This Week's Carenote - 01/02/09
Two years ago I had a stroke and my wife is my primary caregiver.  I am more concerned about her than I am about me, as she has become increasingly depressed and nothing seems to help her out of that depression.  She has tried therapy but says it does her no good.  I feel so helpless as I am afraid that one day she is going to just break down.  I have told her to arrange for someone to be with me while she takes a break but she wants none of that.

What can I do to help her?

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Name: Shannon
Location: Michigan
Date: 01/02/2009
Time: 07:27 AM


Can you have anyone else get someone in the house for her so she can take a break. While you may not be able to make the arrangement for her and since she won't, you almost have to force it upon her. If she is depressed and maybe exhausted, she doesn't have the will or desire to even think about getting someone in and then get herself ready to go out. If a regular time is made for either a daily or weekly 'time out' for her, she will grow to appreciate it. She may not want to go out of the house every time, but someone there for you can alleviate for her some time and stress and she can nap and just take care of herself for a few hours. It is so great that you recognize her need and want to do something about it...God Bless You and your wife. Happy New Year!

Name: Regina
Location: Huntsville
Date: 01/02/2009
Time: 11:39 AM


Could you enlist the aid of one of her friends to invite her out to tea or to shop. Maybe her friends could set up an appointment for a facial or a massage, something that tells her she is special and needs to be pampered. Shannon is right. These are things she won't or can't do for herself because of depression. But it must be approached carefully or she may feel resentful. When I was in depression when caring for my mother, suggestions that I get out and away for a while seemed to say to me that I was not doing a good job. Of course that was not the case but my attitude was coming from a damaged perspective.

Name: Roxanna
Location: Champaign, IL
Date: 01/05/2009
Time: 09:17 AM


Talk to your wife's doctor. Depression is not just being sad it can be a chemical problem and medication could help her.

Location: OHIO
Date: 01/15/2009
Time: 12:00 PM


Invite one of your Male friends, or male relative to come in for a Guy's night for a TV movie, sports game, or card game etc. Maybe their wife could spend time with your wife for 1 or 2 hours- she could see to your needs before she left.. Ask her to fix your favorite cake or cookies and Thank her for letting you have time with the MEN. Encourage her to get out of the house for just a short time..even if its to go to the local Fast food Place for Coffee. Ask one of her Friends to take her to the Library to check out a couple New books that have just came in... This is a good place to have her just sit and look a magazines...Ask her to borrow a special movie from the library so you could have a Movie night with her.... Be creative and involve her with these special times, Have the Florist deliver a small bouquet of Flowers for the special occasion and she will be surprised... and pleased and there is not a Lady who doesn't love to have Flowers- ( doesn't have to be roses) Often a small bouquet of Cut flowers can be bought at the local Grocery Store..Maybe she thinks that SHE can't do for herself any more but thinks she must be the only one to do for you. If you need personal care there is Home Health Aides that you can have come to your home,( Doctor can do paper work for this ) If your wife needs help with the housework she or YOU could ask the Pastor at Church if one of the Ladies could come and help out- if they do that then SHE could Have more QUALITY TIME with you and tell her that this is something YOU WANT for HER. I hope these suggestions give you ideas...Now to just convince her of this,or else her Doctor will have to TELL her... If you are a Veteran there is a program that will help pay for help at Home.. Contact your local Veterans Service Commission... Best wishes...


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