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CARENOTES | Past Carenotes | Let's Talk

Carenotes

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 - 05/08/12

 I need help. Are there any support groups that deal with caring for a grandparent after they have lost their spouse? I am 39 years old and have been my 82-year-old grandmother's primary caretaker for three years. I also am a stay-at-home mom to my three children, one who is 16 and has Asperger's syndrome, my 14-year-old who has traumatic brain injury, and my 12-year-old. My family has distanced themselves from my grandmother and aren't an option for helping. My mom does what she can, but works full time. I am so overwhelmed and need a place to vent. I can't seem to find a support group for overwhelmed burned-out caregivers in my area. Please help if you can. Thanks.
 
Erin in NC

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Name: Becky Putnam
Location: Lincolnton, NC
Date: 06/14/2012
Time: 05:54 AM

Comments

I am a Caregiver Support Specialist at Senior Services and resources that may be able to assist you are Family Caregiver Support Program which provides respite for you and also check with your local Dept. of Social Services for in-home aide programs.If her husband or herself was in the armed services it's a possiblility that she qualifies for respite there as well.If you would like to correspond with me I would be more than happy to assist anyway I can to get the resources you need or just a lending ear.I have a support group here in my town and deal with alot of streesed caregivers and would like to emotionally support you all I can.Becky.bputnam@lincolncounty.org


Name: Deborah Gregson
Location: Greensboro NC
Date: 05/08/2012
Time: 04:54 PM

Comments

Erin, You've really been dumped on with a ton of caregiving responsibilities. I don't know what part of NC you live in, but we have a caregiver support group in Greensboro that you could come to. If you're too far away feel free to email me - zuzer@rr.com. I have a long page of NC state and local help that I'd like to share if you email me, and would especially like to see if your grandmother qualifies for any VA benefits. In NC there isn't a lot of help with in home care, as I guess you already know. BUT in some counties there are special grant programs that do offer some respite. They are mostly in the Eastern and Mountain areas. Get in touch with the Senior Resources agency of your county, or call 211, they should be able to direct you to the right agencies. There is a "no closed door" policy in our state, so any governmental agency you contact for help should be able to direct you to people that can at least listen and let you know if there are services to assist you. There are a few online caregiver sites where you can at least "talk" to people on the internet. Two good ones are the Leeza Gibbons and Maria Shriver websites. Also as Jeanne noted, The National Family Caregiver Support Program is a good source of help. I hope you at least find others to correspond with so you understand YOU ARE NOT ALONE IN THIS. There are many people who face the same situation each day and many are willing to share their ideas with you. You shouldn't have to do caregiving alone for the rest of your life. Don't stop looking for help.


Name: tj
Location: wv
Date: 05/08/2012
Time: 10:10 AM

Comments

Call your local Area Agency on Aging, Senior Center or health department, ask for support groups, you can also access support groups online, just type in supports in you area.


Name:
Location:
Date: 05/08/2012
Time: 08:32 AM

Comments

Hello, My mom is 82, I have a son with TBI and his 8yr. old daughter that all live in the same household. It is very trying and is the ultimate test of my "mettle". Our daily battles are difficult to endure. But we are sustained through our faith and have super online support system, Like this very site. There are free groups that you could join. The caregiving has caused me to be quite isolated, friends stop coming by... I belong to a Yahoogroup named Abinews2U.It is an Anoxic Brain Injury group (survivor and caregivers wellcome)discussing anything about Brain Injury, caregiving, the brain, government issues, current treatments, social, or even recipies, and emotional issues. (not so much about religious matters) Go to yahoogroups and list the topic of the groups you are interested in a join a group. There are free site that you can develope your own page...go to www.carepages.com. It is a closed site that only those that you invite are able to access. If you would like to visit our page it is ... makaelasdaddyd. They will send me your request to visit and I will ok it. There are pages that are open to all, such as ZaksPrayerWarriors, CarepageforPrayer, are a few I visit regularly. The page topics are endless. There is also www.caringbridge.com.


Name:
Location:
Date: 05/08/2012
Time: 08:14 AM

Comments

Erin, please contact my friend Linda Burhans at Harmony Home Health at (727)723-7532. She has experiences that she can share. dan


Name: GAIL
Location: MIDWEST
Date: 05/08/2012
Time: 06:49 AM

Comments

IT'S NOT EASY TO UNDERSTAND WHY SOME FAMILIES TODAY ARE NOT ABLE TO BE COUNTED ON. I APPLAUD YOU FOR BEING THERE FOR YOURS. I AM ALSO A CAREGIVER WHO'S FAMILY DOES NOT HELP. WHILE I HAVE BEEN TO SOME SUPPORT GROUPS, IT DIDN'T OFFER ME MUCH SOLICE OR HELP. I FOUND THAT FRIENDS DO MORE THAN FAMILY. I STAY IN TOUCH WITH NEIGHBORS AND FRIENDS AND KEEP A RUNNING DIALOGUE WITH THEM. I LEARNED TO ASK FOR THEIR HELP. AND TO BE SPECIFIC IN WHAT I NEED HERE. BEING ABLE TO TALK TO THEM IN DEPTH HELPS EASE THE ISOLATION. IN YOUR CASE, WITH THE ADDED CHALLENGES OF CHILDREN WHO NEED CARE TOO, I SEE YOU HAVE A MULTIFACETED SET OF CHALLENGES. PERHAPS REACHING OUT TO THE OTHER PARENTS OF THEIR SCHOOL COULD BE AN OPTION. BUT, DO STAY CONNECTED WITH THE OUTSIDE WORLD. SOMETIMES HELP IS VERY NEAR, BUT YOU WON'T KNOW UNTIL YOU LOOK AROUND AND LISTEN AND ASK. I HAD A NEIGHBOR WHO WAS READY WILLING AND ABLE TO HELP, BUT DIDN'T KNOW HOW TO APPROACH ME. WE FINALLY CONNECTED AND THE CHORES HERE BECAME LIGHTER WITH HER HELP. REACH OUT. DECIDE WHAT EXACTLY WOULD HELP YOUR SITUATION, AND BE ABLE TO ASK FOR THAT WHEN THE OPPORTUNITY ARRIVES. I WOULD ALSO GET YOUR GRANDMOTHER IMMEDIATELY INTO HOSPICE. HAVE HER PRIMARY CARE PHYSICIAN SIGN OFF ON THAT. MANY PEOPLE WAIT TOO LONG TO GET INTO HOSPICE. THEY PROVIDE HELP IN THE HOME WITH NURSES, RESPITE HELP FOR SHORT BREAKS FOR YOU, AND AIDES TO COME AND BATHE YOUR GRANDMOTHER, SOCIAL WORKERS, AND A CHAPLAIN. ALL COVERED BY MEDICARE.


Name: Cristina Pudwell
Location: Plantation, FL
Date: 05/08/2012
Time: 06:34 AM

Comments

Dear Erin, Please feel free to contact me and feel free to vent I understand the importance of letting out your feeling what ever they are at the moment without feeling judge or being told you will get through it. I'll be praying for you. God Bless


Name: marykaywesterhof
Location: mason, mich
Date: 05/08/2012
Time: 06:08 AM

Comments

my dear friend, im so sorry for youre lose. im lucky i still have my husband,, butmy older sister had a brain turmor when i was only 13. iwould love to be an emtional support for u, my husband at52 has retacal cancer, i to need emtional support,i was a handy cap child but luckyly grew out of it,, please feeel free to email me at anytime,,marykay78@aol.com, my thoughts n prayers are with u


Name: Jeanne
Location: Iowa
Date: 05/07/2012
Time: 01:26 PM

Comments

The National Family Caregiver Support Program can offer you individual counseling, support, information, education and referrals to services she may need. Call your local Area Agency on Aging and ask to speak to the Caregiver Specialist. You aren't alone, and this program can help you sort through options that are available. Good luck to you.



 







 

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