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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 - 6/03/10

My mother-in-law is 82 and is very intelligent, sharp and witty. She survived being on a ventilator for a week and seems to be on her way to recovery although she will be unable to live alone. My husband and I have made a decision to take care of her in her own home. I love K with all of my heart and will do everything within my power to see that she lives out her life with happiness and dignity. Any suggestions from experienced caregivers will be appreciated.

Thank you.


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Name: diane
Location: florida
Date: 06/04/2010
Time: 07:16 AM


If you want to continue loving your MIL, don't move her in with you and your husband. It will get old really quickly and you will resent her just for being there all the time.

Date: 06/03/2010
Time: 12:35 PM


Dear S, I applaud your spirit of genorosity! There are many things you can do to your home to make it safer and more accessible. I was a caregiver to my mother who had Alzheimer's and I created a multimedia home safety website,, for caregivers. You can learn a lot from it even if your loved one doesn't have dementia. It is a project of Weill Cornell Medical College. Best wishes, Rosemary Bakker, MS Director,

Name: Laura
Location: St Petersburg, FL
Date: 06/03/2010
Time: 10:38 AM


I'm happy to hear your mother-in-law is on the road to recovery. It's even nicer to hear that you are going to help her live the rest of her life happily. Please remember that being a family caregiver can become time consuming and stressful. One thing I might suggest is hiring a part-time caregiver to fill-in once in a while so you can re-energize yourself and avoid caregiver burnout. Best of luck to you and your mil.

Name: Sherry Rendel
Location: Sherman Oaks, California (Los Angeles County)
Date: 06/03/2010
Time: 08:56 AM


I think remaining in ones own home is such a wonderful plan. I would recommend you get caring/loving people to help care for her and you oversee the care. You may consider friends or family or anyone already in her life that cares about her. Make sure her home is safe! You don't want her to fall. Rails in the shower/tub, no loose area rugs, raised toilet seat..etc. Find the things that bring her joy and make sure she gets little doses of joy every day. My mother moved in with me about 8 months ago. I have help. She has alzhimer's and a lung mass. The things that bring her joy are cooking-but she is too weak to do it alone, so we help her; she also loves flowers so for mother's day we planted flowers in pots outside in the back yard where she likes to sit and she loves them. She also loves sitting in the sun in the back yard. And looking at old pictures together. Look into gadgets that may make her life easier and joyful. We were able to get a special phone for FREE that has pictures of the people she might want to call and all she has to do is push the button with their picture to call them. Since she could no longer use her e-mail due to her memmory problems we got her Presto Mailbox where she is able to get e-mails including pictures from family and friends. There is a small monthly fee. I commend you on your decision and your loving efforts.

Date: 06/03/2010
Time: 07:26 AM


Don't do it. I know from experience that she will resent anything you do for her. Remember she is not your mother, and never will be. I know because 4 years ago, my husband and I decided to move in with his mother because she was showing serious signs of dementia. I also loved this woman dearly, and we were always buddies sharing in many activities. Now she won't even speak to me, and I feel more and more trapped every day.



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