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LET'S TALK ABOUT IT  / Let's Talk Archive /Discussion Forum / Carenotes

Let's Talk

Welcome to Let's Talk About It.  In this special section we will feature the question/topic of the month and provide an opportunity for an interactive exchange that will help find some answers and possible solutions to concerns. If you wish to participate, just follow the link provided at the end of the question/topic and add your comments and thoughts.

Question/Topic for September 2008

As a result of caregiving, have you discovered qualities within yourself that you never knew you had?

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Name: Sally
Location: Pa
Date: 09/14/2008
Time: 11:58 AM


I have discovered that I am stronger then I thought. I can do so many things that I thought I couldn't do like take care of the lawn and garden all the housework and shopping and still work a 40+ hour work week and get my husband to his Dr appointments and therapy sessions on time. I have a good support group with our families that help out at any given time and will come and get my husband so that I can have a few hours to myself. I had to learn to ask for help and take what help that I was given even if it was not done to my satisfaction. The house is not a spotless as it was before Don stroked but we are healthy and happy and doing alright, thanks in part to my new able to look the other way as dust and a few weeds in the yard. I have learn that life is sweet and to sit back and enjoy what you have and stop worrying about the future and regretting the past-we are here today and we will not get it back so make the best of the day and smile and be happy

Name: Rain
Location: Miami, FL
Date: 09/17/2008
Time: 01:30 PM


PATIENCE!! I never had any. In this busy, fast-moving society, I never developed patience - but now that I moved my Mom into our house since she was not able to take care of herself anymore, I have had to LEARN this quality - the hard way!! Mom's always right. And I will always be her child, there is no way around that. But now that she needs me, I handle the whining, complaining, and most of all the WORK involved with taking care of her with PATIENCE, slowly, and with kindness and understanding. And I always remind myself that aging is inevitable and soon I will be in my Mom's shoes and my children will be writing comments about ME!!

Date: 09/18/2008
Time: 07:56 AM


I have raised no children. I never wanted any and my husband has several from a former marriage. So it has been a revelation to me that I must do things I associate with child care now that his Alzheimer's disease has progressed. He attends an adult day care and recently, when he had a cold, I experienced what young mothers know about day care, being off work and hoping the fever subsides so we can all get back to normal! I am also learning about remaking beds in the night because of bed-wetting, getting stains out of clothing and about watching your loved one like a hawk to intervene before glass is spilt. These are not skills I ever intended to develop - and certainly not at the age of 60! There are other skills: not telling my husband the whole truth, being a little sneaky about taking time for myself, managing our finances without telling him what our situation is. What makes all this worthwhile is the occasional time when I see his old personality come through, when he tells me a joke like he did in the past or when he initiates a hug. I am also left to wonder about the new-found patience I have. For the first time in my life, I can rip out rows and rows of crochet to fix a mistake and think nothing of it! Where did that come from????!!!!

Name: Teresa
Location: Olympia, WA
Date: 09/22/2008
Time: 10:26 PM


I have discovered that I have insight in communicating with DD Adults and children with difficult behaviors. I have decided to start my own consulting business offering my services to assist with difficult behaviors. I hope that I will make a difference.

Name: LABorne
Location: N.J.
Date: 09/25/2008
Time: 04:44 PM


I married my husband knowing he had Parkinson's. I thought it was the right thing but 18 years later, he is sucking the life out of me. Dementia and anger and stubbornness have killed the fragile bond. He will not do anything to help himself or our situation. I want to leave because I cannot feel.

Date: 10/02/2008
Time: 05:51 AM


I've been a grief support facilitator for the last 23 years, my shoulders seem to grow as I work and listen to people's grief from the death of a loved one. I've think I listen, listen, listen, and have learned that everyone has a story and each story has to be told over and over again until the grieving person understands what has happened to themselves. I also think as caregivers we tend not to tell our story thinking we must be strong for everyone else and in the mean time when we have our own grief it goes untold. We must find a way to tell our own story.

Name: Nat Gross
Location: Leeza's Place , Pembroke Pines
Date: 10/02/2008
Time: 12:22 PM


I find that I can share my sadness and happiness with others. I share my poetry and experiences with all that I meet at Leeza's Place. I now dedicate my life to help caregivers to learn through experience, the greatest love that a caregiver has for their loved ones.

Name: AuntBlan
Location: Arkansas
Date: 10/02/2008
Time: 02:12 PM


Like some of the other writers, I am stronger than I ever thought I would be and I have learned patience. That's a work in progress, but I am so much more patient than I was. My husband was diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease at age 69. Now at age 73 the disease hasn't progressed a lot, so I still have my Bill to a certain extent. It's a day by day thing. Fortunately I have a wonderful support group, our daughter and son-in-law live right across the street from us, our church family is a great support group also. At the advice of my doctor I started taking an antidepressant and it has helped tremendously. We've been married for 54 years and the way I look at this situation is that for a lot of years, he took care of my needs so now it's my turn to take care of his.

Name: Ron
Location: Los Angeles
Date: 10/02/2008
Time: 09:27 PM


My wife has Dementia. We have no children. I have learned to be a more caring, very watchful and more patience. It has made me a better husband. When we are together, I focus all my energy on what my wife needs. This has made me more sensitive to the world around us. I try to enjoy what little time there is left. When my wife dies, my world will end.

Name: Mike
Location: Vancouver Island
Date: 10/03/2008
Time: 08:27 AM


Most certainly. Patience, understanding, and love. That we are all human and not one person will escape the end. Listening to clients, and I mean listening to them and what they have to say is a gift. Their message becomes really clear, that life is a limited duration. Loneliness has a huge impact on the elderly. North American culture has quickened the pace of life but at great cost. Just because things are done faster doesn't mean that they are done correct. Our greatest commodity is time. The time when the children were young blows by so quickly and before you realize they are out on their own, or in College/university. Parents seem to grow old faster when you are only able to visit a few times a year. Lose contact with friends because of being 'busy'. At the end of life, nobody says that they wished they would have worked longer, rather that they might have spent more time with family and friends or having new experiences. The materialistic view seems hollow and empty. Striving for a bigger this or that seems silly now because most of the 'stuff' we have accumulated in life ends up at the dump, garage sale, or donated. The elderly scale their whole life down at times to a single stark room with a few pictures and a bed. Most could care less and would prefer to have family visit or someone to talk with. For myself being an observer this became clearer each day that there are only so many hours in a day and in one's life. Being around seniors has provided patience that I lacked when younger, understanding that life is what you make it, and it is a choice to be happy or not. Seeing seniors struggle at the end of life because of unresolved issues or stuck in the past has given me the opportunity to take stock of my own existence. I say 'I love you' and mean it to my family at every chance. Nobody knows the hour that it is time to expire so seize the day and smile because it is a wonderful place. I am no longer fearful of death as it is full circle of life. Once accepted you live life fully.


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