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EDITORIAL RESPONSES  /What Do I Do Now?Editorial List

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What Do I Do Now Editorial Responses
 
These are just some of the many responses we received from our Editorial of 06/28/06 - What Do I Do Now?
 

It is amazing how we get ourselves so engrossed in caregiving we do not have, or take, the time to think of ourselves, especially to plan ahead for ourselves.  I was a caregiver for about eight years but that is enough to under stand the feeling of "what do I do now?" 

Do you have Adult Continuing Education Classes anywhere nearby?  In our area we have a great variety of classes to "brush up", and for learning new things.  Here, the classes are quite inexpensive and they are short time.  Also, one of the best things that I have discovered to do is simply to plainly tell people what my needs are.  Being from the "Old School", that was hard for me to learn to do.  But, I've found that it works.  It is unbelievable how many helping hands and minds there are who will share both assistance and information.

Fortunately,  I have been able to take free classes thru the Area Agency on Aging and several presented by the Alzheimer's Association on caregiving.  Those classes certainly added to what I had already learned as a full time caregiver.  The best thing of all, it gave me the confidence to teach other caregivers ways to make their life and the life of their loved ones much easier and happier.  

Since before retiring, I had taught at the local community college for several years, I went to them and offered to teach a class on caregiving.  I've been teaching the class now for a couple of years.  Also, through the classes at the Alzheimer's Association,  I am now a certified support group facilitator. and have a support group going for family members of patients at a local senior care facility.  The meeting are open to the public so it also makes good public relations for the facility.

Neither of these things give me much  income, but both have given me connections to persons who have the ability to assist  me should I decide to go back to work.  (That may not be too likely, since I am 72 and really enjoying what I am doing!!!!)  Occasionally, I teach a craft, or food arts, or play a game or sing with the patients at a care facility. These things are in addition to their regular activities.  Now that I am not stressed from at-home caregiving,  and have learned to handle the upsets that some of the patients have, I love to spend time with them, even those with alzheimer's disease. 

Ted, this may not help you very much, but it sure has certainly helped me to share my thoughts and to let you know that I am concerned and care.  Blessings to you.

Special to Gary:  Thanks for all the help you and your readers have been to me when I was still struggling with caregiving.      

Jo


I am not a professional.. rather currently in a caregiving role and wish you the best in the next chapter of your life.  If you think back of what you might have wanted to do (not professionally aligned to do with the original career) during the time that was consumed by caregiving - what would it have been?  If you surface those activities or career elements that you thought about along the way your direction may surface as well.

When two or three days are now focused on travel and caregiving I think of what I might have otherwise been doing or at least would have "wanted" to do.  Those are what I want to keep in mind after reading about your situation.  I think it would be normal to feel immobilized for a time and even healthy to replenish yourself before placing yourself into something just to fill a void or to "catch up" for lost time.

Best to you

Lynda 


HI Ted,

I'm very sorry for your loss...I know how it is to be a caregiver. I take care of my mom who is 84 and my hubby who is mentally disabled.  I did want to wish you the best of luck.  I think like Gary if you did like the caregiving part; you might consider going into that field and the legal field together.  There are many retirement homes and assisted living homes that could use your expertise.  Since you do know about being patient and waiting on someone who has lost lots of their independence, I'm sure they would love to have you on board.   I also want to say, you were a great son and nephew.  There are not many men out there who would do what you did. I am very sure your parents and aunt were very appreciative of what you did to help them.

Take Care and the Best of Luck to you,

Willene.


I don't necessarily believe that pursuing a career in one of the fields of caregiving is in your best interest. However, I could see how you might slip into one of those positions because it's familiar and you are experienced in the field.

My advise is to spend some time vacationing, relaxing and getting to know yourself. When you go out into the world notice what catches your eye, what excites you? Be willing to sit with the nothingness, the time on your hands and see what comes up. I think seeking help from a professional counselor would be helpful at this time in your life.

I'd really like to see you pursue something you love and take a break from the world of caregiving.

Best of luck

Sincerely,

Mary


           

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