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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 Jan/Feb 2011

What help do you wish you could get from your friends and families in 2011?

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Name: Jennie
Location: Baltimore, Maryland
Date: 02/22/2011
Time: 01:51 PM


I would like there to be 'real' services available to my 88yr old mother. She is a recent amputee and I have moved in with her (in my old room and bed). She has no way of getting out of her house because she has no ramp (fire hazard). Because I work, she is in the house alone until I get there. Because of her independent nature, some things get missed like info that some agencies need from her. Her once-a-month doctor is hard to get in touch with, and after two yrs, my mom now has a care worker. I am tired of pretty websites. I need them to be true to their word.

Name: Linda
Location: Palm Beach Gardens
Date: 02/11/2011
Time: 09:09 AM


In 2011 I wish i could get my older sister to take care of herself. She helps my 87 year old Mom with her finances food shopping laundry and other errands. She lives two blocks away and I am in another state. Most of the time my Mom calls me to tell me how angry and depressed my sister is when she comes to visit with her. My Mom is still supporting herself but my sister manages her money. Mom also has sundowners syndrome which has her very confused and many times she calls to ask if we are plotting to put her in a nursing home. My sister cannot cope with her confusion so she repeatedly asks her why she cannot remember. It is more complicated than this which i am sure you all know and my main concerns are my sisters' health (she is overweight and stressed out and angry at everyone) and my mother's quality of life.

Name: sue
Location: portland, oregon
Date: 02/10/2011
Time: 04:06 PM


I am an unlicensed caregiver for my mother who is turning 80 this year. She for the most part can still get around okay, there are days due to her arthritis which make it difficult to get around and she will use her cane. I mainly take care of the household chores, help with meals and drive her everywhere she wants to go as she gave up driving about a year ago. Her needs are minimal but it is good that I am here for her to help out around the house, take her to the grocery store and doctors appointments. My frustration is that I have two older sibilings and one younger whom don't offer to call mom and see how she is doing and mom misses talking to her children. I have even mentioned this and yet still no contact from them. Also, my eldest brother is the executor of her estate since dad passed in 03 from cancer and he is requiring that I sign a contract to pay him for living at moms each month and if that is not done each month by the 2nd then he and the other sibilings will evict me. At this point if I could find a unlicensed caregiver contract I would type it up and present it to them for my services to mom. I don't want to be this way but they have pushed me so far. Any suggestions or advise is very welcomed. Thanks

Name: Melissa
Date: 02/09/2011
Time: 04:34 AM


I am a caregiver of my mother. She just turned 70 in December. She has several physical illnesses. Those are not so bad to handle. It's the mental illness that is the hardest on me. She had a TIA in Novemeber and we were tld to watch for signs of it happening again and if anything concerned me to get her to the ER or doctor ASAP. In early Febuary she did show signs of something going bad. I called for a 1st responder to evaluate her an he said "YES". She did need to go get checked out. So because she was combative with me, I decide to let him dispatch an ambulance to take her. They checked her an said they found no stroke, but they did find pnuemonia in one of her lungs and admitted her in the hospital. She was combative and agumentive with the staff at the hospital also. They got her clear of the pnuemonia and sent her home. But while she was in the hospital me and my sister was able to talk to her doctor(in her presence) and explain to him what had been happening at home. We explained that she had been just in her bed most of the time complaining of one or more of many illnesses. It seemed to us that she was just looking for a reasoon to take another pill, and she would. After she would take the pill she wanted, she would just be in a "stooper". Now take note that while in this "stooper" she was still on the phone with relatives,friends, businesses and who knows who else, atttempting to take care of finacial affairs and such. Many times we would get phone callsfrom her telling us that her phones would not work. Well dah? How would she be calling us if her phones would not work? I accidently ran across her trouble with her phones one day when I noticed her sitting in her chair reciting a friends number and attempting to dial it on her TV remote control. You have to find humor in situations like this even when they are very serious. We didn't know if the doctor paided much attention to what WE were saying or not because the whole time she was steadily denying everything. He did seem to listen to the part about her medication. That's when he told us that the solution may be to monitor or administer her medication to her. She was ok with this idea. My sister and I (along with ither family members)decided it was time to clean out our mother's home of ALL prescription medication and take them to a safe place where she could not have access to them. We felt that the best time to do this was before she was discharged from the hospital. It took us days to remove a 13 gallon trash bag full of bottles from the house(not including her current meds). These drugs dated all the way back to 2005. They were not disposed of just moved to a new location. She didn't seem to mind it at all when she came home and I showed her what we had done. Along with that I spent the next week and a half going through stacks of mail that had been piled on all the tabletops and rearanged her bedroom to suit safety concerns. I delivered her morning meds and got her out of the bed and made sure she had eaten breakfast every morning. She was a changed person from what I had known for the last year or more. BUT then would come time for her to take her medicine and oh how I hated it because I knew with in 30 minutes my mother woulod be reduced back into the "medicated stooper" she had lived in before. But knowing I had to give her the meds the doctor prescribed for her I had to go forth. And from there on I had to make sure my mother was safely moving about the house, not stumbling to the floor and hurting herself in any way. During this time I would continue sorting and cleaning the house. By the time she decided to maybe lay down and rest a while I was exhausted, not having an appetite, deprived of sleep and missing my own home(which is within 75 feet from hers)my pulse never ran under 100. I was praised by her and ALL that had seen the job(s) I had done. But that is not what I was looking for. I just wanted my mother to have a better quality of life. Well, on to the story. She had her first doctor's appt yesturday since she was in the hospital. But 1st things 1st I had to go about the morning getting her breakfast and meds taken care of. Well, yesturday morning was different from all before. She was on my case like a duck on a junebug from the words Good Morning. I was accused of taking money and her meds. And was told that I had never been worth $#*% all my life. WELL! I tried to assure her there was no money missing and all her drugs were safe and secure and no one had taken as much as 1cent or 1 pill that she didn't know about. I ended up having to leave my mother's house and waiting until my sister arrived to return. We asked her was she sure she wanted me to still go to the doctor with her and she said "sure". Well, I guess the only reason she still wanted me to go was to have me there when she made false accusations toward me to the doctor. Before we returned home she informed me that she does not want me in her home and she does not need me anymore. She also has ordered me and my husband to move rom where we have lived next door to her or many years. It is her land we live on, so what to do? My sister lives 40 miles away and has a full time job and one of my sons(23)lives in the house with her , nut is worried about fun and sleep more than anything, and just started a job yesturday. My oldest son(25) lives on his own and has a stressful job with a long commute to work.He has very little extra time. SO WHAT TO DO NOW? My heart and prayer go out to ALL that are caregivers. Thanks for being here and there.

Name: William Thompson
Location: Spokane, WA
Date: 02/06/2011
Time: 01:44 PM


Understanding that all 85 year olds are not decrepit, just forgetful at times. I have been tested twice for Alzheimers and did better the 2nd time. You figure it out. I still play tennis doubles twice aweek. Do not ever! Give up.

Name: Jeanne
Location: VA
Date: 02/05/2011
Time: 06:49 PM


I am the sole caregiver for my husband who is suffering from cancer, COPD, A-fib and renal failure. There is no one helping me at all. I am 69 and he will be 83 in March. Sometimes I get overwhelmed when I realize there is not much more I can do for him. I cry a lot. I'm quite depressed. I am so busy taking him to doctor's offices and treatment centers that I don't have time to take care of my own health issues, let alone the money. I have a daughter who lives 75 miles away, but she is busy with her own family. She visits maybe once every other month, but doesn't do anything.... just visits. She calls a lot but that doesn't help. When she calls she just gives me her excuses for not being here for me. I am a christian and I pray a lot to my Father in heaven. But because of my husband's illnesses, I am unable to attend church services and I really miss that.

Name: JoAnn
Date: 02/05/2011
Time: 08:29 AM


I am the primary caretaker for my Mom with little to no help from my family. They contribute what I call their "duty booty" and call her. They never ask what help is needed for me to have just a little time for myself. It gets very frustrating and I feel like I am going to lose it. I pray for God's peace to shower me and continually say that love is patient and kind. Sometimes I get the bear but today the bear is getting me.

Name: susan
Location: cincinnati,ohio
Date: 01/30/2011
Time: 01:56 PM


This is for Lyn Jupiter Fla. I have cared for my parents for the last year. My father had a stroke 11 years ago,resulted in limited mobility and he lost his speech. He needs assistance 24 hrs a day. Then my mother got ill and dementia set in. She cared for him on her own for 10 years. Until you actually care for a loved one day in day out, especially someone cannot communicate, you have no idea how stessful and monotonous your life becomes. My mother never told any of her children how hard it was. She always acted like everything was fine. She never wanted to worry anyone, everyone is busy with their own lives. Tell your children you need HELP with their FATHER. If you kids spent a 24 hour period with their dad and saw how diificult it can be maybe they would offer to help even if it's a few hours a month. You need that time, you need a sanity break,an escape from a harsh reality. When they come to visit they should be waiting on you hand and foot. Be honest with them reach out to them. You gave them alot growing up and now it's time for them to give back.

Name: Eneida
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Date: 01/27/2011
Time: 10:02 AM


I'm the caregiver of my mom, whom I must say is 88 yrs old and still hanging-on. She is Dementia, however, still alert in her own way. I have three other brothers, sister-in-laws, nieces and nephews and I think a mere phone call to say "Hi Mom" it's so and are you," will definitely make her day. Most of the time it's the home-health aide, nurse, sometime a drop by from a son and myself (everyday) is who she sees and hears. The say way they find the time to call their friends and other acquaintances, pick-up the's a local call and let her hear your voice and you'll be surprised of the conversation at times.

Date: 01/21/2011
Time: 07:32 AM


I do not understand why people stop communicating with you when they find out that your love has cancer? Please help me understand this. I though people would reach out more.

Name: Lyn
Location: Jupiter, Fl.
Date: 01/18/2011
Time: 07:10 AM


I just want to say up front, that I have a wonderful family ! My husband, has Parkinsonism, PD and Dementia, and I am the sole caregiver. My 4 children live 2 hrs. and one of them visits at least once a month which is wonderful but I cook entertain, and try to make everything comfortable for them. This is what I do 24/7, for my husband, so nothing changes when they come up. Don't get me wrong, I love seeing them but now I have more people to take care of for the day. I just wish they would do something with my husband for the day , mind you I have 3 healthy men and one daughter. The guys could really have a day out for him. I don't care if I do anything but sit at home but me to have a couple of days for myself would be wonderful. It's just to take that anxiety , that I have with caregiving would be wonderful. They are still in their 30's, don't think they really understand what life is like caring for a loved one, worry never leaves you . Are you doing all the right things for his care.

Name: Leisa
Location: Arkansas
Date: 01/10/2011
Time: 09:07 PM


I wish friends would offer to run an errand or come by and sit with my Mom for a little while so that I don't always have to hire a sitter. I wish my sister would come by more.

Name: Liz
Location: New Jersey
Date: 01/04/2011
Time: 07:24 PM


On occasion to run my 90 year old parent to a doctor's visit or stop by to check. Maybe give me a week's respite from picking up grandkids from school after I finish work, babysitting then cooking and visiting elderly parent.

Name: Eva
Location: TX
Date: 01/04/2011
Time: 07:06 PM


I am my husband's caregiver 24/7. He had a stroke, is confined to the bed, can't talk because of a trach, but he is very alert and mentally stable and sharp. He has several sisters who live in the same city, but they never offer to come and relieve me for even a few hours. I don't question their love for their brother. They call from time to time or text message inquiring about him. He would love for them to spend time with him and I would love to step away to refresh and refuel. How can I encourage them to visit and offer assistance?

Name: Dorothy
Location: mi
Date: 01/03/2011
Time: 11:52 AM


Mom has to go to nursing home for therapy, my Father is heart broken and I feel guility but I know its for the best. I have been there caretaker for years. I don't know what is more sad, watching mother or seeing Father



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