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EDITORIAL RESPONSES  /Away TimeEditorial List

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Away Time Editorial Responses
These are just some of the many responses we received from our Editorial of 03/28/08 - Away Time

Dear Gary,

Thanks so much for your terrific resourse. You are wanting to hear from the readers what was the last thing I did when taking time for myself.  I am taking time for myself. I probably do not rest because I am reading quickly and deciding what applies to my situation, what to keep and what to let go. I have been greatly blessed by your articles.

Yesterday, I was preparing to attend a weekly Tai Chi class when I remembered that it was not being held because of a Memory Health Fair using the same location. At first I thought "Well, I'll just stay home," then I realized this was an opportunity to check on the latest resources available in my area and to chat with some new people. I am so glad that I attended the Memory Health Fair. I reconnected with a few folks and did find some new resources to assist me with caregiving my 88 year old father and 85 year old aunt (mother's sister). I even had an opportunity to minister some wisdom on developing a possible marital relationship to a student psychologist! So, I was richly blessed and refreshed because I chose to take some time for myself!!

Thanks again for your newsletter.


Thanks for asking what we do for our own respite (or get-aways) whether they be small or large.  Here are some of the things I do: My husband has MS and can no longer walk or dress himself, etc.  He spends his time either in his lift recliner or in his power wheelchair. Since he sleeps in his recliner until noon, I take a couple hours in the mornings and go to the library where I study Spanish.  I also will spend time in the basement doing Yoga or go to the mall to walk or windowshop a couple times a week. A month ago I spent a day at my son's house and played all day on the floor with my grandchildren. It was great!  The big thing I did for myself was to take a weeklong vacation and go to Honduras last September to visit my other son (and now daughter-in-law who is Honduran). My husband's mother stayed with him and took care of him so I could get away. It was great to me in another culture and see how they live.


I only found you a few months ago and immediately shared my findings with Crossroads and Carers. Two big organizations in the caring profession here in the UK.

The last week I took respite week was  about the middle of last year.

When I can and my piggy bank is healthy enough for me to take time out, getting  the moment right for all, takes a lot  of hard planning, preparation and cooperation. When it's all in place I take myself of to Cortijo Romero in Spain. Owned by two dear friends of mine and many others.

Alan & Anne Dale provide a wonderful place of paradise in a beautiful spot in the south amongst the mountains, with waterfalls, and a warm feeling that you are taken care of.


Although I'm not a caregiver any longer, I still look forward to your newsletter.  When my beloved was home with me, my respite from the pressure of caring for him and the house was to set at the sewing machine.  He was my cheerleader when I sewed 100 blankets for babies affected by Hurricane Katrina.  Shortly after doing that, I met a lady who sews blankets for Project Linus.  These blankets go to sick children.  Is there nothing sweeter than a happy child's smile? So, I became involved.  As my husband progressed to the nursing home, I carried blanket parts to the home with me to work on while I visited him.  It kept his interest up on what I was doing and I didn't feel like I needed to be elsewhere doing something.

Now, I live in a senior retirement complex.  We have a monthly newsletter and I had a piece put in asking if any ladies would like to come and tie blankets.  It started out with only 2 or 3 coming each week.  But this past winter we had as high as 16 one afternoon.  This group has tied over 70 blankets that were donated to Project Linus and everyone now has a cause to work for.  But the absolutely best part is all the socialization that goes on while we're working on the blankets and afterwards over a cup of coffee.

If one of us sees something on TV or reads an article about managing our own health, like exercise we discuss it.  If we walk the halls on each floor which is circular, almost, 6 trips around is 1 mile.  We are now all walking more and anxiously awaiting nice weather so we can walk outside.  Even the ones using walkers are exercising more.  Encouragement and praise goes a long ways in getting these bodies moving. Like you said, respite is what we make of it, IF we want to take care of ourselves.  Respite time is a necessary time to keep your own mental health and physical health.  Even a long bubble bath is respite if you have no one yelling at you for help while you soak your cares away.

Fondly, F.J.

I take a break, what you might consider respite, about once a month for a few hours, when I have an aide stay with my husband so I can meet a friend for lunch and do some shopping, or just visiting.  It never seems like enough time.  I don't know where I would go, or what I would do if I took a week, or even a few days of respite though.  I would feel like I was shirking my duties as a good wife and caregiver.  I don't think I could do that.  I also wouldn't feel right about putting my husband in a respite room at the nursing home just so I could have a break, unless I was sick and needed someone to care for him because I couldn't do it. 


After almost 7 years as a caregiver, I recently discovered day care.  There is a wonderful new facility in Coral Springs, FL called Sarah Adult Day care Center.  State of the art and of the heart. Wonderful people and two great dogs for pet therapy. It has given me some of the respite I have so badly needed.

I hope this will help other caregivers as well.

Best Regards
Corky Hochler
NW Medical Center Support Group

I am different than most for I will be 90 years old on July 8th and my best time is playing tennis four times per week.  At that time my head is perfectly clear and is only thinking of the next shot.  




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