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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 - 12/04/12

I am a 58-year-old caregiver for my 81- year-old mother. Neither she nor I have siblings. I have been single almost 30 years and have no children. Mom has cancer and cannot move her left shoulder or stand on her left leg.  She has always had a “The glass is not only half empty, but it’s dirty, too” kind of personality and she doesn’t care for holidays.  My grandmother and I were very close and always had a blast decorating, but she died when I was in elementary school. I’m feeling tired, empty and lonely. But I’m healthy, so somewhere in the mix I feel guilty. Aside from “work friends,” everyone I know who is still alive has moved out of state. Any ideas for an emotional B-12 shot?
 
Mary

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Name: JBT
Location: Ohio
Date: 12/11/2012
Time: 08:07 PM

Comments

Yep I work for Agency called Comfort Keepers. They can provide from Minimum of 2 hours to 24/7 care. You need to ask for assistance... Have Doctor prescribe Home Care Agency, Bath aide 3x week, Is She on Hospice? they have Volunteers you can ask to come in so you can leave the house for several hours for Respite, and I agree Have some Eggnog ;) Do You attend Church Activities?, Library Reading group? Art Classes at a Community Center, Zumba...! ! ! Anything to get you out in the Public.. Ask a Friend to come over for Coffee and some Coffee Cake, Play Cards, Listen to Music... Merry Christmas..


Name: Varda
Location: New York
Date: 12/11/2012
Time: 03:45 PM

Comments

In this day and age and with technology being what it is I would plan a 'skype' holiday, with your favorite friend or family out of town. decorate your room, and make up in advance to share a drink with someone online. webcams cost 25 dollars now in Walmart! Such a simple way to pick up your holiday, stay connected to happier people, and by the way you could keep up with that relationship on other days as well..


Name: Terrie
Location: Windsor Ont Canada
Date: 12/10/2012
Time: 11:43 AM

Comments

Mary, My heart goes out to you. I lost my mother suddenly April 2011 and it triggered my fathers dementia full blown. As a caretaker, I find it hard to deal with lifes simplest things. I have attended Daughters of Alzheimers group but on one particular night, the story read between us was of a mother lying in a hospital bed telling her daughter she had a daughter with the same name.. I totaly broke down. Grieving has not time limit and dealing with a man who I depended on and looked up to for 51 years find it hard to make the transition from that to now feeding him, making sure he is not soiled etc ... I am not looking forward to the holidays, can't even listen to a song without tears. So I can only go through the every day motions of life and hope something good is waiting for me at the end.


Name: Terrie
Location: Windsor Ont Canada
Date: 12/10/2012
Time: 11:43 AM

Comments

Mary, My heart goes out to you. I lost my mother suddenly April 2011 and it triggered my fathers dementia full blown. As a caretaker, I find it hard to deal with lifes simplest things. I have attended Daughters of Alzheimers group but on one particular night, the story read between us was of a mother lying in a hospital bed telling her daughter she had a daughter with the same name.. I totaly broke down. Grieving has not time limit and dealing with a man who I depended on and looked up to for 51 years find it hard to make the transition from that to now feeding him, making sure he is not soiled etc ... I am not looking forward to the holidays, can't even listen to a song without tears. So I can only go through the every day motions of life and hope something good is waiting for me at the end.


Name: Peggy
Location: Iowa
Date: 12/10/2012
Time: 07:20 AM

Comments

Understand. Am there. Doing that myself. And after 7 yrs I finally hired a 20 yr old neighbor gal with a CNA license to help my hubby with his shower 2x each week. I pay her $20. At first he was against it and kept saying that I could handle it. I told him "tough, I'm doing it anyway". Now, after 2 mths, he is liking it, and it relieves me a lot! Last year I also joined a water fitness class at our local campus. I believe I'm the youngest one there (53).The camaraderie of other women (and a few men) has been very good for my social needs and the water workout really loosens tension from my muscles. then I sit in the hot tub afterwards for 5-10 min just to relax. I have also taken up old hobbies like crocheting and quilting. This month I am making dress-up clothes for my little granddaughters. These are all great mood enhancers! Hope this gives you some ideas of your own. Best wishes for you!


Name: Randall Knowles
Location: Great Falls, MT
Date: 12/10/2012
Time: 07:20 AM

Comments

I am a member of several organizations which are predominately older individuals. I would ignor your mother. Put on some christmas music, wear a Santa hat and decorate the house. Fill it with the fresh smells of christmas. What I find is that others are tired, old, cranky, and lazy. Being grumpy about Christmas is not about Christmas as it is their attitude about anything that requires some effort and change. Now that my father has passed I realize more and more that his cranky attitude was notification of the fact that he cannot do "that" any more, so do not ask me. Dad should have said,"I like the lights but my shoulder will not allow me to put them up, would you put them up for us?" Everyone loves the spirit of Christmas we just have to find that story that opens their heart. So, sing, read, watch christmas stories, create an atmosphere of the spirit and you should discover the true meaning of Christmas for your mother.


Name:
Location:
Date: 12/10/2012
Time: 06:16 AM

Comments

I believe in the thinking that sometimes we need to seek acceptance that, at least "right now" we are going to feel miserable (sad, resentful, lonely, etc. etc.). For it is in that kind of acceptance that we face the reality our difficulty, lower our expectations of what "should" be (holidays, etc.), and can then begin to build back up to a new "normal". Perhaps you could view the service you provide your mother as a means of growing and demonstrating the values you hold dear. You never know how your goodness may be noticed or affect your mother in her own misery. It is not likely that your mother ever expected or was prepared to need care. As far as lifelines during these difficult times I totally agree with making a list of those in your support system, the people who "get it" about what you are going through. I believe we all need at least one person in our circle that we know we could call at 3 a.m., IF we needed to - not that we would necessarily do that, but that we know we COULD. That may even turn out to be someone you have not known for a long time. I'm so glad you have those happy memories of times with your grandmother. I hope you have pictures of those times and can enjoy moments of quiet reflection between the moments/hours of stress. About the guilt: those thoughts that creep in to your mind must be consciously cancelled out and replaced with self-reminders of all that you do for your mother, and that you are using whatever resources you have to do so. And if you need to supplement your care with outside help, it may be uncomfortable at first but necessary in helping you balance your emotional and physical and emotional well-being. Don't expect your mother to like the idea but present it as matter-of-factly as possible. It is after all a way to have her remain at home, continue to have you as the primary caregiver, and help you maintain your own life. If you do not already have a caregivers support group in your area, consider asking someone to help you start one.


Name: robysues
Location: florida
Date: 12/09/2012
Time: 09:21 PM

Comments

HI I SUGGEST SOME IDEAS THAT I MIGHT HAVE FOR YOU. 1 YOU NEED A TIME OUT FOR YOURSELF AT THIS TIME. I KNOW ITS HARD TO STEP BACK A BIT BUT YOU ALSO NEED TO TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF NOW. 2 YOU SHOULD SPLIT THE JOB WITH A HOME CARE AGIENCE. YOU DO THE AM SHIFT FOR THE 12 HOUR DAYS AND THEN LET THE PERSON DO THE NIGHT SHIFT FOR YOU SO YOU FEEL FRESH IN THE MORNING. MOST HEALTH INSURANCE CO WILL PAY FOR THIS AND SO WILL MEDICARE. START NOW THEY WILL ONLY START YOU WITH TWO HOURS AT A TIME AND WILL BUILD UP IN TIME. 3. B-12 IS GOOD BUT SLOWLY WEARS OFF LIKE ANY OTHER VITIAIAMAN. ALSO START WALKING FOR A BREATH OF FRESH AIR,CATCH UP ON DOCTORS FOR YOURSELF,AND TREAT YOURSELF FOR A HAIR CUT AND A DAY AT THE SPA IF YOU COULD,ALL THIS REALLY HELPS, I KNOW HOW IT IS TO SEE SOMEONE GO. ALL THIS EMOTIONAL STRESS LEAVES YOU IF YOU DO SOMETHING FOR YOURSELF AT THIS TIME. OTHERWISE, YOU START TO TAKE IT OUT ON YOURSELF AND NOT KNOW IT BY EATING AND LACK OF SOCIALIZING WITH FRIENDS. 4 DONT FEEL GUILTY SHE KNOWS YOUR THERE TO HELP HER AND SHE WILL REMEMBER THIS IN HER HEART.


Name:
Location:
Date: 12/09/2012
Time: 07:14 PM

Comments

It's me again. I reviewed the comments again and am in total agreement with TJ. You must take care of yourself and do some things that bring you joy and peace. Stay in touch with your friends. Write your mother's life story! I sat at my Dad's feet while my Mom had Alzheimers' and just let him talk all about their life, taking notes. His life before he met my Mom and began a family history. Not many of my family is interested in it, but when I showed a draft to my brother, I'll always remember him asking "How did you learn all this stuff?" My reply, "I listened." Perhaps, maybe, maybe, getting your Mom to open up about her hopes and dreams early on and writing them out will give her pleasure. Playing music from her era, etc. My Dad too great pleasure in talking about his life, which was quite interestng. Long before my Mom had Alzheimer's, she told me she wished she had been a hobo! Back during the Depression, that wasn't so far fetched, but I thought it was hysterical. Back when CB's were the 'in' thing, my 'handle' was 'The Happy Hobo' and every time I hear a train in the distance, it brings a smile to my heart. Fortunately, my Mother of 5 kids, was always a loving, caring mother. Never showing any favoritism. I was the one in the middle. My 2 older brothers were close, then I came along 8 years later, then another 8 years passed and my younger brother and sister came along; close in age. I always felt different, being in the middle, but my sweet Mother made us all feel special. I'm sorry you don't have siblings. I can't imagine what that would be like, but I urge you to forge some close friendships and outside interests such as TJ recommended. Please keep in touch with us. I care, and I know others do as well. You have a lot on your plate, being alone, but we are here for you...continue to reach out. Myself, I'm 62, divorced and childless; but I have many wonderful friends, belong to a Christian Womens' organization from Stonecroft Ministries and have met some wonderful women friends there. I urge you to look and see if there is a chapter in your area... www.stonecroft.org If there is one near you, you will meet some wonderful women and most likely women who are going thru the same thing you are. I did.


Name:
Location:
Date: 12/09/2012
Time: 06:46 PM

Comments

I always urge people who post on this page to tell us where they are..... Who knows? I could be just around the corner to come help you get away for a while! I live in Decatur, Alabama now. However, at the time my parents, mostly my mother who had Alzheimer's needed me, I lived in Houston. Thank God in Heaven I worked for Continental Airlines, was able to estable 'on call' Family Medical Leave and flew home every 'weekend' which for me was 3 days off. I did this for 4 years. I have siblings that lived nearby, but they simply didn't see things the way I did. They were too close to notice the subtle differences in speech, behavior, etc. My Mother used to always cook and the refrigerator was always overflowing with leftovers. When I would arrive starving at 10:30p.m., I slowly began to realize there was nothing to eat. My siblings, of course, didn't notice this.....It began to dawn upon me, slowly, that she had quit grocery shopping; just heating up a can of beans and making cornbread for my Dad. But sometimes there was absolutely nothing. My Dad never complained or mentioned any of this. I would always spend the next day grocery shopping and cooking... My siblings just simply were unaware! Over my Dad's objections, we found an angel straight from God to come in daily. When I would fly home, it gave her 2 days off. Fortunately, my Dad had always been a penny pincher and we had the funds to pay for this wonderful caregiver. We were LUCKY. Not many people are. Whenever my Mom was in the hospital, I was there 24/7. She had a stroke, a heart attack and an aoritic aneuyerism. Although we had a loving family, my 2 siblings that lived nearby just didn't have the commitment for some reason I'll never understand. It was exhausting for me, but I cherish every second I was there. Unexpectedly, my father had a stroke and died 4 weeks after my mother.That was in 2005 and I am still not over it. There's so much to tell/share..... But, again, where are you? There must be support groups around you that you aren't aware of. You must make the first step to reach out and ask for help. I love the idea from one of the other commentors to make your room cheerful and decorated for Christmas. It's such a wonderful idea, I'm going to do it for myself now. I'm currently a live-in caretaker for Mr.Scrooge! Ha ha. He is a 75-year-old naval retiree with a very negative outlook on life. It's hard to bring in cheer when the other person doesn't see the need for it. Regardless, I'm planning to decorate and especially love the idea of making my room special. I urge you to do that. But, please let us know where you are. Perhaps there's someone living near you that can help. I'm fortunate to have close friends I can call, way back in Texas(!), and I have continued to see a therapist and often talk with one of the Deacons at my Parish. You must reach out, search out for help. I'll keep you in my thoughts and prayers and hope you'll use at least some of this advice!


Name: Bonnie
Location: Sunrise, Florida
Date: 12/09/2012
Time: 03:41 PM

Comments

For 28 years I was the program director of an Alzheimer's and Adult Day Care Center. So many of the caregivers in my experience felt the same isolation that you are feeling. Please find a support group in your area. Connect with a Senior Center or Adult Day Care and even if your Mother is too ill to attend their program - you can benefit from the support of both professionals and other caregivers!


Name: Cary
Location: NY
Date: 12/09/2012
Time: 02:21 PM

Comments

hi Mary, dont let your Mom's "Bah Humbug" attitude affect your holiday spirit! Decorate if you wish, have an egg nog...get a festive red pedicure!!! And reach out to friends and family - local or not. Many "negative-minded" people want others to feel that way too. My Mom is 78, with dementia - so I understand the guilt of being a caretaker. But you have to take time for yourself - to do what YOU want. Especially since Christmas was such a happy time for you and your grandmother. You are not alone - you're in the Caregiver Community - who can relate to what you're going through and offer reassurance and understanding. So have a Merry Christmas....in whatever way you choose.


Name: Daniel Hayes
Location: Richmond Indiana
Date: 12/09/2012
Time: 12:13 PM

Comments

A Caregiver is an act of love and sacrifice! Step up to the plate-they say!? It is a calling of purpose, a person puts themselves in service for a someone they care about. Rather they be elderly, disabled, or a child. The more you build your awarness and knowledge of being a caregiver you'll enable oneself with tools, people and organizations to help in this way of life dedicated to serving some one eles. This can continue for some time, serving an indiviual. But be aware of careing for yourself also. Laws, services, orginzations are limted without the caregivers willingnes to intergrate/ultilize such systems. Which ever area is lacking gain knowledge of through internet, media, pamphlets and people. Its not easy at times. But when a elderly/disabled becomes worse in their conditions seek profeshional help. It will save the caregiver and person receiving care, legal troubles from violations of laws and state. It is a duty to take care of someone. One can only do so much. The double edged sword system can help or harm people; so envolve all the people and help you can get so you or the loved one taking care of is not done wrong; withen the system!..


Name: Joyce Aleshire/Cancer Caregiver Support Group facilitator
Location:
Date: 12/09/2012
Time: 12:09 PM

Comments

At our Cancer Caregiver Support Group mtgs. this is discussed frequently and I always have readily available the Caregivers Bill of Right from the National Cancer Institute. They are: Caregiver’s Bill of Rights I have the right to take care of myself. This is not an act of selfishness. It will give me the ability to take better care of my loved one. I have the right to seek help from others even though my loved one may object. I know the limits of my own endurance and strength. I have the right to maintain parts of my life that do not include the person I care for, just as I would if they were healthy. I know that I do everything that I reasonably can do for this person. I have the right to do something just for myself. I have the right to get angry, be depressed and express difficult feelings once in a while. I have the right to reject my attempt by my loved one to make me do things out of guilt or anger. (It doesn’t matter if they know they are doing it or not) I have the right to get consideration, affection, forgiveness and acceptance for what I do for my loved one, as I offer these in return. I have the right to take pride in what I am doing. And I have the right to applaud the courage it has taken to meet the needs of my loved one. I have the right to protect my individuality. I also have the right to a life that will sustain me in times when my loved one no longer needs my full time help. Published By: National Cancer Institute: When Someone You Love is Being Treated for Cancer


Name: LK
Location: OH
Date: 12/09/2012
Time: 11:31 AM

Comments

The Cancer Support Community will help you and your mother. I had cancer so I learned that the support I needed WAS ther,but I had to dig to find it.The cancer groups all say that"We want to be there from the moment of diagnosis".A patient navigator charges by the hour,and can help you navugate this uncharted territory.I couldn't afford one,and I was my own care manager.Being single and having a dysfunctional family left me "alone",but you can reach out for help and connection to others,and if you don't know how,then go get some therapy as an excellent place to start.


Name:
Location:
Date: 12/09/2012
Time: 10:46 AM

Comments

If you are able to leave her alone, find a church or place of worship and you will be surprice of the opportunities you will find and the support that people are willing to give, but you have to make that step and put your self out there is not easy ( I have been there so I know) it may not work the first time but don't give up also support groups are great. The best for you and your mom and Merry Christias


Name: Marianne
Location: Minneapolis
Date: 12/09/2012
Time: 09:49 AM

Comments

Not only are you caring for your Mom which is a stress in itself, but it sounds like your whole life support base has eroded leaving you high and dry. I would highly recommend a support group. If you can't find one for caregiving, look for grief support. I didn't realize that losing friends because our family moved was a grief to me (even though no one had died) and I think it is the same if it is the friend who has moved from you. It is loss that you are dealing with either way. Look to churches to offer this support or maybe your closest hospital. Join more than one while you are searching for the best fit. This will help neutralize feelings of isolation. Also, whatever it is you enjoy doing...music, physical activity, being in nature...make sure it is part of your weekly if not daily routine because it is your therapy!! Wishing you the best.


Name: Daisy
Location:
Date: 12/09/2012
Time: 09:21 AM

Comments

I am 46 and I cared for my 76 year old mother for three years after she suffered a stroke. I had the guilt and caregiver burnout and the self neglect just like most of us caregivers. I had to literally force myself to go out once in a while alone so that I can keep my sanity. I did this for both myself and her. I realised that when it was her time to pass on to heaven I would have to get used to being without her and if I did not mentaly pepare myself for that I think I would not have been as strong as I am today. She passed away March this year and I am now dealing with the holidays without her. Christmas was her favorate time of the year but I will enjoy it for her I know that is what she will want. Please do not feel guilty for taking care of yourself. You cannot save her if you run out of oxygen first. Put the mask on your face first and then on hers.


Name: Marihelen Pitts-Campbell
Location: Brookings, OR
Date: 12/09/2012
Time: 09:15 AM

Comments

When I started caring for my mom-in-law (b.1910) 24/7, it was something that I thought I was ready for, but I wasn't - - really had no idea what was ahead for myself. I agree with the other letters. We family caregivers MUST take care of ourselves. With very little experience, I started a Family Caregiver Support Group in my beautiful, little isolated town. After getting the word out on local churches, our radio station & bulletin boards, a few of us gathered for a help session - - NOT a gripe session. We do listen (for a SHORT time) to problems & give our opinions. However, we usually stay with the positive view . . . even having local pros (doctors, health educators, etc.) talk with us on occasion. For the last couple years we have been meeting at a place that provides yummy & healthy treats, which is nice for me & the caregivers. It is a relaxing time on a Monday when the senior center has 'Time Out', adult daycare. Find people for YOU to be with . . . decorate your room, then put small, meaningful holiday items in other rooms just for you to see & enjoy in a cupboard or some other special hidden place JUST FOR YOU. Remember the holiday times with your grandmother & think positive thoughts. Thank you for doing the best job for your mom . . . AND YOU.


Name: Renee
Location: Chicago
Date: 12/09/2012
Time: 07:35 AM

Comments

Like many other replies, I am a caregiver. I've been depressed and isolated too. I have no family and my husband's family ignores him. This holiday season I have made many efforts to attend "open-to-the-public" holiday events, such as concerts, etc or just driving around alone looking at holiday decorations. At the events I make every effort not to discuss my caregiver status or even talk about my husband. I talk about "good" current events (they do exisit), my past work and travel experiences. I've found that this helps me to have a sense of "me". Hope this helps.


Name: Maria
Location: Mystic ct
Date: 12/09/2012
Time: 06:28 AM

Comments

Mary, look for respite care, soon. Try to get away even for a day or an overnight, a weekend would be better. If you can't hire someone to come in, or have a friend or neighbors take shifts to be with mom, check your state Area Agency on Aging to see if they have a respite program to give you a short break, if you can work that out monthly, you can look forward to the break and it will be a way to balance emotionally and physically. When I cared for my family member, it was what got me through it all. All these comments are saying to Take Care of The Caregiver first, and it is so true. Wish you the best.


Name: www.robcares.com
Location: Florida
Date: 12/09/2012
Time: 05:38 AM

Comments

Caregiving for a loved one with cancer is a marathon, not a sprint. Caring for yourself first is even more important than caring for your care recipient. You need to keep your life enriched...physically, mentally and especially emotionally. To do so, please try to find a way to remove the word "martyr" from your vocabulary. I was a caregiver to my wie, who is a two-time cancer survivor, and I was a martyr. I learned how detrimental that can be. Make a list of those things you love to do, but miss being able to accomplish because your role as caregiver is so time consuming. Begin with the top three items. Determine how to incorporate them into your daily/weekly routine. If you loved putting up Christmas decorations with your grandmother, do so again. Your mom will complain anyway, so anticipate it and don't let it bother you. Make or buy Christmas cookies and invite a coworker you like to visit. It's a way to begin socializing again. Find online "friends" through support groups. Many people that read websites and other social media locations such as mine become fast friends and can advise each other. If you need to get away, contact a professional caregiving organization or even an adult sitter. There are many seniors that are interested in getting out of the house. Perhaps a senior or social organization can recommend some possible sitters to you. Going to a movie or just getting out of the house might be just the break you need. You're ONLY 58. I'm in your age bracket. You have much to live for. Make new friends, perhaps rekindle an old romance (high school friends are finding each other on the Internet all the time). Read a book, watch comedies. Change your environment slowly. You are doing a wonderful service for your mom. Don't allow it to destroy your life. You can incorporate both caring for your mom and caring for yourself into your daily activities. I wish you the very best.


Name: Helen
Location: Florida
Date: 12/09/2012
Time: 05:33 AM

Comments

No one, not even those who are ill, should be allowed to deprive another of joy. Decorate to your hearts content and Then Be still and know that God is right beside you.


Name: Gallo
Location: Illinois
Date: 12/09/2012
Time: 05:14 AM

Comments

Mary, If you are anywhere near me, I will come over with Christmas cookies and we will have a good time! Let me know! I do understand and care!


Name: cathy
Location: louisiana
Date: 12/08/2012
Time: 08:06 PM

Comments

I know, for sure, that having a negative person around can also bring you down. I have been my own Mom's alzheimer caregiver for almost 10 years now. After about 6 years,I got to the point of " burn out",and truly, could not continue to bear all of the burden of her care alone. I got help...in my case, we hired a sitter to help care for my Mom so I would no longer have the total care burden. My own sister died years ago in an auto accident, so I truly was the only child or only person in the position to tend to my Mom. We moved her from FL to LA and she is now almost 93..in fact, today is her birthday. I also know that depression can occur as a result of unrelenting caregiving. The emotional B12 shot would be to join either an online caregiver support group...such as some found on yahoo groups...go to caregiver support meetings in your town,and find and cherish your friendships with those of like mind and similar situations. This has helped me very much..for we get to " vent" to each other,and it is very helpful ! Just to know that you are not alone is a comfort. Holidays don't have to be spent with your Mom if she is not into the spirit of the season. For a day or two, please see if you can get a home health order from her doctor, or find someone to offer you some sort of respite. This is vitally important to your mental and physical well being. There are no guidebooks about how we need to spend every moment of each holiday with our parents...and especially if she is not in the mood to celebrate. I can't tell you what to do..but do look up a support group in your town....visit a good friend and have someone you trust who you can vent/ share the good times and the bad. Your health is just as important than that of your Mom...so please, take care of YOU...all through the holidays,and even afterwards..and be thankful that your grandmother really had the joy and enthusiasm and zest for life that she passed on to you. Lastly, our Mothers can be very manipulative and can make us happy or sad..depending on their mood. Be good to yourself and give yourself a well deserved break from your Mom..and try to not feel guilty about it. I am sure you love your Mom..she knows this....live your life too. Best wishes..and decorate whatever you want to....you only live once ! cathy hudgins arnett


Name: Kristin
Location: Minnesota
Date: 12/07/2012
Time: 10:23 AM

Comments

I work as a caregiver educator. At a recent family meeting, a caregiver was feeling isolated and depressed. A daughter suggested that the caregiver make a list of everyone that they could call on the phone or email who would help lift the caregiver's spirits. The caregiver did this. We met individually a couple months later and I asked how the list was working for the caregiver. The caregiver stated that just having the list and knowing that they were cared about by all those people and they could contact them at any time made them feel supported instead of isolated. They also set a schedule of daily support from the children. One calls on the way to work in the morning and the other stops in almost every afternoon. This helps both parents and keeps everyone more connected.


Name: Linda
Location: Utah
Date: 12/05/2012
Time: 06:38 AM

Comments

You might want to consider joining a church, or a community group. A lot of volunteering can be done from home. I send out a monthly newsletter on family history. Even though my own family doesn't come around, I can help other people with their families. I attend church on Sunday, and participate in their evening activities.


Name: Dawn
Location: Oregon
Date: 12/04/2012
Time: 07:58 AM

Comments

Caregiving is very difficult, and it's easy to become depressed, which includes fatigue, loneliness, guilt, depletion, indifference, etc. Sound familiar? You can either fix it, put up with it or walk away from it. No one said you have to like living with and caring for a person with such an attitude. If you choose to stay (which it sounds like you are), here are some things to try: 1. Do a brainstorming session with yourself and/or an online caregiver forum for things that nourish you: nature walks, church, meditation, reading, music, exercise, and so on. You might be surprised what you find. Then, find a way to include them into your life regularly. For me, I had to hire outside help to have the time to do these things. Don't assume you don't have the money to do this--find a way. 2. Join something that will bring new people into your life. I added some classes to my week, and keep on the lookout for other things that might interest me. 3. Explore finding another job that nourishes you better. 4. Find some people to share with--online forums, a professional counselor, a caregiver group in your area. It is so important to do this. We are social creatures. May you find success in these ventures, Mary, and re-post when you've tried some!


Name: tj
Location: wv
Date: 12/04/2012
Time: 07:16 AM

Comments

I am a caregiver as well so I know it can be stressful. As a caregiver you must care for yourself first...many times as a caregiver we do not. If you don't care for yourself you will be unable to care for anyone else. I'm going to assume you and your mother are living together. She doesn't like holidays, you can decorate simply in the living space (living room) or you can decorate the kitchen if that is less offensive to your mother-she won't have to see the decorations all of the time. Also decorate your bedroom, make sure you include lights; it's wonderful to fall asleep with christmas lights. I put lights in my room and turn them off in the morning. You can do small things to include your mother in christmas such as making cookies or someother special food item. This is great especially if it is something she really likes to eat. Contact your local Area Agency on Aging or Senior Center and ask for respite care; this will allow you to spend some time away from mom, take part in christmas activities in your community or you can simply go to the salon to get your hair and nails done. It doesn't cost much but it makes you feel wonderful. Remember the good times you had with your grandmother. Aging occurs naturally, sometimes with aging health issues arise, generally that is the natural progression of life. I don't know where you work, but trimming plants and making customers/clients sign in is an important; give the customer a big smile when they walk in, ask how they are doing today, make a comment about the weather-you may be the only person that customer has had to smile at them today or they may be in a bad mood but your cheerfulness rubs off a little on them. You can be the best plant trimmer and the best sign in clerk you can be. Sometimes it's the little gestures that brightens the day of someone else and before you know it, it rubs off on you. Look for a facebook or caregiver support group, it helps to know you are not alone in the caregiving world and whild you can't change your mom's attitude, you can make portions of your home cheerful for the holidays . Don't give up, caregiving is a tough job, I wish you all the best and happy holidays.


 







 

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