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Old 07-02-2010, 09:51 AM   #1
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tw2121 HB User
New caregiver for elderly person

I have become a full time caregiver for my husbands grandmother. She lives with us and I its basically like having another toddler. Things are gong okay but I would really like to talk to some others who are doing something similar. It can be really hard sometimes.

 
Old 07-10-2010, 06:03 AM   #2
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Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Australia
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coggles HB User
Re: New caregiver for elderly person

Hi TW, I'm a full-time carer to my mother, who is in a wheelchair, and have been for over 20 years. (I'm 61 now). Yes, it can get you down sometimes, I know how you feel, but what really helped me was going into a UK Carers message board (even though I'm in Australia) and discovering that there are so many people who are worse off than me. Sometimes I get really down because I haven't had a vacation in almost 30 years, haven't had a weekend away for 20 years, lost most of my friends because I don't get the chance to catch up with them - then I read about someone who is looking after their down syndrome / autistic child and can't leave them alone for a moment. I get down because I have no family to turn to (only child, and mother is an only child too, so no siblings, aunts, etc) but then I read about someone who is 24 and has been caring for an elderly parent for 3 years and is really missing out on their youth, while I only started full time caring at 40. I know this might not seem helpful at the moment, but we can really start feeling sorry for ourselves sometimes and when we look around, we realize how hard it must be for others and can count our blessings. Please feel free to talk to me any time, I would love to hear how you're getting on and some of the problems you're facing - maybe I can help, I've sure had experience, lol.

 
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Old 12-04-2010, 06:22 PM   #3
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Snoozerblue HB User
Wink Re: New caregiver for elderly person

Hi: My husband and I are taking care of his elderly parents. They are 84 and 86. It's a lot of work. I recently retired so that I could help more. So now, we basically live in their home and pay the mortgage on mine. Brad's Mom has COPD and is on oxygen. She can't walk because her feet are frozen in a pointed position. I have to lift her about 50 times a day (every time she goes to the bathroom or gets in or out of bed). It's a good thing she only weighs about 70 pounds. My back still hurts sometimes when I lift her more than usual. Brad's father is able to walk with a walker, but he has bad knees. He doesn't like to get up, so he currently has a bed sore. He had his foley catheter removed a couple of months ago, so now he wets himself and everything he is sitting on a couple of times a day, so I do a lot of laundry. I'm tired and running out of patience quite a bit lately. Brad has a sister who lives in Pennsylvania and a brother who lives in Georgia. So it falls on us.

Tonight I am quite upset with Hal (Brad's father). We wait on him hand and foot because he can't do anything for himself. Tonight Brad asked him to get up and take a short walk, which he really needs to do for exercise and to take the pressure off his bed sore. He gave Brad a hard time, and I almost went through the roof. Also, he won't check himself to see if he is wet. When I ask him if he is still dry, he says he doesn't know. Then I have to ask him to check. That angers me because I don't want the answer "I don't know." I refuse to stick my hand down his pants to find out if he is wet or dry. I do everything else for this man, and I am so angry that he won't help us one single bit. Brad says it's dementia. I don't know but I really feel he could help by walking when Brad asks him to and checking to see if he is wet and letting us know. I never had children and never wanted them. So this is quite a bit on me. I don't care for handling wet diapers and emptying commodes. But you do what you have to do, right?

Well, anyway, I just wanted to introduce myself. I hope we can trade stories and hopefully help each other through this. You can write me anytime.

I guess we are not supposed to give out our real names. Is that right? So I am going by Snoozerblue. I look forward to hearing from you.

 
Old 12-04-2010, 09:48 PM   #4
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Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Australia
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coggles HB User
Re: New caregiver for elderly person

Hi Snoozerblue, and welcome. I was surprised to receive an email alerting me there was a post, because I haven't been in here for months. I posted a reply to someone in early October, which was a reply to a post in July, so I figured people don't use this forum very often. But I'm very pleased to hear from you!
Yes, it's hard, isn't it? Very often when people get on in years (and I guess the same thing will happen to us) they don't act as logically as we'd like them to. I'm sure your father-in-law isn't being difficult on purpose, he just no longer has the capacity to think clearly or to respond like he used to.
I'm very concerned about you lifting your mother-in-law often though, even though she's a lightweight. I was doing that for mine when she was able to stand and shuffle a few steps, but not only did my back start to go, I also developed costochondritis (sp?), an inflammation of the muscles around the ribs. Then I got a mobile hoist, and life became SO much easier. You might want to look into that, maybe you could hire one, or contact nursing homes in your area as they might have one they could let you have second-hand. The one I have is electric and needs to be charged up every night, but you can also get cheaper manual ones, they'll make your life much easier.
Bed sores are a real problem, my Mum has one on your butt that I have to keep an eye on - she sits in a wheelchair all day so no chance of it getting fresh air to it. I find Manuka honey is very good, I put it on an adhesive padded patch and stick it over the bed sore and it protects it from further rubbing.
The most important thing for YOU to remember is to find time for YOU. It's too easy to lose ourselves in caring and become doormats, and that's not healthy. Make time to go out occasionally, arrange respite so you and your husband can spend time together, catch up with your friends for lunch now and then - you'll soon find out which ones are real friends, the fairweather friends disappear when you become a carer and lose your spontanaeity!
Please keep in touch, and good luck!
Cheers!

 
Old 12-06-2010, 02:05 PM   #5
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Snoozerblue HB User
Re: New caregiver for elderly person

Thank you for responding so quickly Coggles. You have a lot of good ideas and advice. We do have a hard time finding time for ourselves since there is no one here to help us. We have asked a good neighbor to come over for a couple hours at a time, but other than that, we don't get much help. I'm afraid I am feeling somewhat negative lately, since I have a very bad cold. I don't recall if I mentioned in my previous e-mail that we are all sick right now.

I am praying for patience and understanding for both parents.

We are having a very bad snow storm right now, and I have to go around the corner to the drug store to pick up a prescription. Not looking forward to it. It's lake effect snow, and they are predicting 3-7 more inches tonight. I believe we have at least two feet now. Do you get snow? If it were later in the year, we would be used to it, but the first two feet just fell over the last couple of days. We weren't prepared.

Well, thanks again for writing. Look forward to hearing from you again.

 
Old 02-19-2011, 11:48 AM   #6
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Sarahbells HB User
Re: New caregiver for elderly person

Hi TW
I also take care of my mother who is 82 years old, she fell a month ago and fractured her hip, she was in a rehab place for 20 days and hated it! It was hard on her and on me, going there everyday for 3 or 4 times a day, calling me constantly because she wanted to leave! She lives with my husband and I and two grown sons that still live at home. She wasn't walking to good before the fall, and now needs assistance to use the restroom, and walking with the walker, we don't want to leave her alone because we are afraid she might fall again. It's very hard being a caretaker, I feel like I have lost my independence to do what I want to do. I love her so much, she is a wonderful mom and grandmother, but it is so stressful and tiring. We did hire a lady to come and watch mom on Wednesdays for 4 or 5 hours, just so I can go do my grocery shopping and errands or just go to lunch with a friend. I'm thankful that I do not work, and am able to care for her, but it is very frustrating sometimes! I vow to never do this to my children, I would rather go to a facility then to burden my daughter or sons. Sometimes I feel anger and resentment towards her, but then I feel guilty to feel this way. Would love to talk to you via message we can vent to each other! Take care!

 
Old 02-20-2011, 09:08 AM   #7
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mpcsak HB User
Re: New caregiver for elderly person

Quote:
Originally Posted by tw2121 View Post
I have become a full time caregiver for my husbands grandmother. She lives with us and I its basically like having another toddler. Things are gong okay but I would really like to talk to some others who are doing something similar. It can be really hard sometimes.
Hi,
Yes it can be hard. I am my Mom's caregiver and have been for the past 2 and a half years. I am glad things are going ok for you, I know I just deal with it day by day. I guess one thing I have learned is the need to rely on others for help, but I have also learned be careful who you ask to help. I rely on my husband and some of her friends. My family, sisters mom is single, are no help at all. They tried in the beginning but just caused more harm than good, note one lives out of state. One sister made too big of a fuss and the other not big enough. Caused not only me but my mom alot of trouble.

Be careful of finances. I have kept good records but when it comes to money I can assure you people get out of control. Mom really does not have any money to speak of and her limited income is needed for her. I have had relatives wanting to see books, what was her income and how it was spent etc. If you are anything like me I know you would not take anything from your Husbands Grandmother, but others may not feel that way. It truely is a shame, but what can I say it is the truth. I would advise keep records and receipts. DO NOT FEEL GUILTY if she has to chip in for her care. I know there is no way my husband and I could afford everything she needs, including medical payments, mortgage payments, car payments (yes she will not give up her car even though she cannot drive). Just be prepared, and do not feel like you have to justify what you do. I have spent a lot of my money to care for her and no one ever feels like the need to help, that is the way it is.

I do not seem to sound like a downer, I think you and your family are doing a wonderful thing. It is just hard. Please feel free to contact me on any issue or if you need to vent we caregivers all need to. Hang in there.

 
Old 02-20-2011, 10:49 AM   #8
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Sarahbells HB User
Re: New caregiver for elderly person

thank you for responding back to me! Your right you have to be careful! I am the only child, so do not have to worry about siblings wanting to take over everything. My mom does have money and pays for everything she needs, and for a lady to come in a few days a week, just so I can do my shopping or get away for a few hours! Which does help alot!
Yes, let's keep in touch, especially to vent and talk to someone!

 
Old 02-26-2011, 10:36 AM   #9
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Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Denver, Colorado
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mpcsak HB User
Re: New caregiver for elderly person

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sarahbells View Post
thank you for responding back to me! Your right you have to be careful! I am the only child, so do not have to worry about siblings wanting to take over everything. My mom does have money and pays for everything she needs, and for a lady to come in a few days a week, just so I can do my shopping or get away for a few hours! Which does help alot!
Yes, let's keep in touch, especially to vent and talk to someone!

 
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