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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 - 05/24/11
Are a lot of you sad a lot...lonely, even though you may have a spouse or someone helping you take care of an elderly parent? I have a spouse who helps (it is his mom), but during the day he works and I am the sole caregiver. She is 88 and must be assisted. She cannot hear very well at all, so conversations do not really exist. I love her, but this is such a big adjustment for me. We never had children to care for, now we have her. I cry sometimes just to release the stress. (I do not let her see.) And then I feel guilty. I just get so tired, sad, and lonely that I just want to run away and let someone else take over. Is this a normal feeling? We have decided to wait until she is totally dependent before we bring in help, which is okay. I have friends who would sit with her if I needed or wanted them to. I hate watching her go downhill. Her other sons take her on the weekends, but bring her back at night, so we do get a little relief from the constant care. She has only been here going on four weeks and I feel trapped already.  Am I awful to feel this way? Will I get better?


 

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Name:
Location:
Date: 05/24/2011
Time: 12:17 PM

Comments

Yes we are sad a lot whether we admit it or not. I am caring for my mother {three strokes one heart attack same day} I have 2 brothers and 2 sisters and none are helping so you do at least get a little down time for three months. I have been the only one. I have to beg someone to buy groceries,supplies and pick up meds. My marriage is falling apart because he is jealous of the time she takes. Did I mention that she has alzheimer's and there is Never a good day. I keep willing myself to get up everyday and do what I have to do. I am a heart patient{bypass x 2} diabetic and arthritis. I haven't taken my medicine in three months because it makes me sleepy, soIi know what you are feeling and I have to believe that these are natural thoughts of anyone in this situation. I will pray for you and hope things get easier.


Name: Barb
Location: CO
Date: 05/24/2011
Time: 11:31 AM

Comments

You have to take care of yourself first! Check with your local Area Agency on Aging for help with some respite care or help with homemaking services. These services can give you help with some much needed time off and someone will be with your mother-in-law. Good luck!


Name: gail
Location: illinois
Date: 05/24/2011
Time: 08:45 AM

Comments

IT WILL NOT GET BETTER UNTIL YOUR ATTITUDE IS BETTER. ESCORTING SOMEONE TO THEIR END IS A PRIVILEGE.IT MAY NOT BE EASY, BUT BE THANKFUL THAT YOU ARE NOT DOING IT ALONE. CALL IN HELP RIGHT NOW. STAY CONNECTED TO OTHERS BY PHONE, INTERNET, OR VISITS. GET OUT AND WALK. FREE YOUR MIND AT EVERY TURN. AND GET THE LATEST EDITION OF THE 36 HOUR DAY BY MACE AND RABINS. IF YOU FEEL SAD AND LONELY, IMAGINE HOW YOUR MOTHER IN LAW FEELS. AND HOW GRATEFUL YOUR HUSBAND MUST BE TO HAVE A WIFE WHO LOVES HIM ENOUGH TO HELP CARE FOR HIS MOTHER. A PERFECT EXAMPLE OF THE "IN GOOD TIMES AND IN BAD" OF THE MARRIAGE VOWS. NOT EASY SOMETIMES. BUT THIS TOO SHALL PASS. HANG IN THERE. AND DO CALL FOR THAT ADDITIONAL HELP AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.


Name: A. M.
Location: Florida
Date: 05/24/2011
Time: 08:44 AM

Comments

Yes, you are helping someone live out the rest of their life. So, it can be sad. Try to flip it around and see the good. Can she get hearing aids? You can scrapbook her past with her. A pet, or two, makes good company. Are there some things she would enjoy, walks in a park, a zoo trip, a garden trip? Things that are on her level and ability, where you can both get out are great. Plus it will tire her out, she will take a long nap afterwards, and you can take some time for yourself (with your own hobbies or just calling a friend). She is not the same person she was so sometimes it is difficult to know just what to do. Make time for yourself and try to see the good and the positive in everything. Ask for help when you need it. You have a hard job, don't be hard on yourself. God Bless.


Name: Debbie
Location: Santa Rosa, CA
Date: 05/24/2011
Time: 08:10 AM

Comments

Totally understand your feelings. I too am the caregiver for my mom and yesterday celebrated 6 months of her living at our home! Just like you, a big adjustment for me, not only for her to be with my husband and I, but for me to be at home after working outside the home for 5+ years full time. We do have 3 grown children, so this perhaps is a little more natural for me, but still an adjustment. Honestly, if it wasn't for my sis-in-law who helped me through so much of the 1st and 2nd months (she's an RN too), I always tell her, I couldn't have made it. I cried so much those first months (and in front of mom). It's HUGE what you are doing and I commend you for caring for your Mom-in-law. Not every daughter-in-law would do this. I too get tired, very sad, and lonely. That's why I found this website too. I don't go to a support group, because I don't have the time (or don't make the time), but I do have alot of support from others. I have found 5 women who are my extra caregivers. My mom is bedridden, had a stroke and demetia, so she is always in her room. It's great that your mom can get out on the weekends to give you and your husband time alone. Couple of suggestions, I make it a priority for me to call those women and schedule in times for errands, grocery store, walking with girlfriends, a monthly massage, church. Here's a sample of this week: Sunday, 2 hours out while my husband and I go to church, Monday, 2 hours while I went to a Memorial Service; Tuesday, 3 hours to go to Walmart and Costco; Wednesday home all day; Thursday, 2 hours of walking with girlfriends in morning, evening 3 hours dinner with friends; Friday and Saturday home all day. So I make it a point on my "mom" calendar to mark in times just for "me". Also my husband initiated a "Debbie's Day Out" which is once a month just the two of us do something special - like go to a SF Giants ball game, or go overnight (did so for the first time 2 weeks ago), or go out to a nice dinner and movie, etc. You have to-otherwise you won't make it. You have to take care of yourself, your husband-- otherwise you won't be able to continue. The other thing I felt was important was for me to find a hobby or do something I really like to do around the house. Again, since I was gone working full time I had tons of projects just waiting...my photo albums that I had put aside for years are almost done, sewing for my granddaughter is a terrific way to spend my day when I'm not doing something for my mom, or gardening - exercising, reading and sometimes computer stuff. You will feel trapped unless you find something else to do. Do not feel awful and honestly, it will get better. If you ever want to "chat" further with me, please email me at debbielawson@pacbell.net. I know not everyone understands what we are going through. I always felt like I am a good listener and would be happy to "listen". I think everyone should have the opportunity to be a caregiver, to know how hard it is, but realizing too it is only for a season of your life...it won't last forever. You are a great daughter-in-law to give your time for her. You should be commended for your sacrifice.


Name:
Location: Ohio
Date: 05/24/2011
Time: 08:05 AM

Comments

Why are you waiting until she is totally dependent? Now is the time to get her used to others like a Bath aide, Have you had her hearing tested? She might have wax plugs.. use a white board or notebook paper and pen or markers for communication. Ask her questions and let her write or speak her answers... take her on short car trips with you to the grocery store, let her feel like she is a contributing part of the family, Can she still dry the dishes..? can she fold laundry..? Can she help you plan or do food prep for meals...? If she can't hear there are devices that can be used like the reading screen on telephones and closed Captions on TV. Does she still Knit or crochet..? Sew? Books on tape used with headsets if her eyesight is poor... Invite a couple lady friends her age from the local community Center or Church to come in 1 time a week and fix a light lunch or play cards or board games with his MOM and the ladies... there are ways to make your life easier, What do You mean by Assist her..? does she need help with toileting.? Walking, does she use Walker or Wheelchair..? Does she need help with bathing.? Shower Chair or Bench... Best wishes and God Bless


Name: Roxanna
Location: Champaign, IL
Date: 05/24/2011
Time: 07:00 AM

Comments

Stop beating yourself up. Not everyone is meant to be a caregiver. Have you thought of Adult day care? Does she have hearing aids? If she can't hear it is lonely for her also. Call your local Area Agency on Aging and find out from them who the Caregiver Support person is in your area. They can help you.


 







 

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