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Alzheimer's Support: Featured Caregiver Conversations
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In-Home Care: Explaining the Caregiver to Dad so He Doesn't Forget
How do I write a simple reminder letter to my dad reminding him on his most forgetful days that he has agreed to have a caretaker,babysitter ?......don't know best term .... Be in house w.him for a couple hrs. So my mom can get groceries etc and not have to worry.
Welcome Adilyn! You have just joined the best support group in the world. Members here (One-Winged Angels - OWA) are literally around the globe. There is almost always someone here to talk to. If there isn't, there will be soon. I'm not really sure the best way to answer your question as I never tried reminding my Mother about having a temporary caregiver stand in for me. She didn't agree to it and doesn't really like it. She "doesn;t need a babysitter!" in her words. Others will be along shortly who will, no doubt, have suggestions and welcomes for you.
Adilyn, When I have problems getting my mother in law (MIL) to listen or go along with what we need her to do. I pull the Dr. card. I tell her the Dr. says she has to do this or do that. I have a letter from our Dr. that he used a huge font on so she could read it that says she cannot be left alone anymore. Her Dr's nurse even spoke to her on the phone once because I couldn't get her to eat.
Sorry, Hi Adilyn and welcome, I have been coming to this group for 3 months now and wouldn't know how to get through my day without them. I care for my MIL 24/7 and the people on her keep me sane!! As close to that as I get anyway. Post often and you will find lots of support, information, sympathy and even laughter. Lauraâ™¥
I started by telling Mom the caregiver was my personal assistant and was helping me. I used to leave her notes. Then she started eating them, guess she was low on fiber. Welcome and godspeed on your adventure with the Own Winged Angels (OWAs). CM
Adilyn, These are all good ways to approch dad. Her's one more. Tell him he would be helping this caregiver(student) earn credits,and learn towards a degree and at the same time it would be a gift of time for your mom to do some errands without having to bring him to stores he hates to go to. Play him as being the one who is doing the helping!! they like to feel usefull.Tell him it is a free service!!!! Good Luck, Hugs Millie
all good ideas! â™¥ good luck!
Hi Adilyn, One more welcome! My only advice is what worked for me...though it wasn't intientional...if the caregiver is willing to do a little light "housework"...you can just tell him it is a housekeeper to help Mom! DH still doesn't know he is being looked after...so he is OK with it. This happened for me as my "Housekeeper" was willing to commit to the exgtra time to be the caregiver...and he was sort of familiar with her that way...and never complained. Also, he doesn't need companionship...he is good with peace and quiet. Good luck on your road...you will find help and friends here.
Adding my welcome to the others. Can't help on this one as my Mom is in a nuirsing ho,e, but you are getting some good answers. My MIL had Lou Gehirgs and the only one who could get her to do things was my husband. We made many calls to him during the day to get MIL to do something. It is hard enough taking care of them much less to have to deal with this.
Hi Adilyn, Thanks for posing this question, and thanks to all who offered such practical and helpful suggestions! Here's more information and resources on Caring.com that may likewise be helpful to you...
A Caregiver's Guide to Elder Companions -- it includes a link to the in-home care directory to help you find this type of professional in your community (and read ratings and reviews from other caregivers, seniors and consumers of their services): http://www.caring.com/local/in-home-care
Here are some tips for discussing this option with your parents: http://www.caring.com/articles/how-to-get-your-loved-one-to-accept-an-elder-companion
Here are ideas for memory enhancers for loved ones with Alzheimer's and other sources of dementia: http://www.caring.com/articles/memory-enhancers-for-alzheimers
I hope this helps! Please do let us know if you need more ideas or guidance. Thanks!
Respite Care: Mom's Spending September at Nursing Home
I dropped Mom off at the nursing home where she will be staying for the month of Sept. She did so much better then I ever expected. She was happy & smiling. I gave her a kiss goodbye & told her I loved her & would be back soon. I feel quilty, but releaved at the same time. I know she will be well taken care of.
Good for you. Now go about getting some of that badly needed rest, relaxation and recreation. You not only deserve it. You need it. Have a great weedend.
Grannmurf Thank you very much. I intent to do just that. What a strange feeling it is not having Mom here though. Gale
Gale - Enjoy this month. Get your health back into good shape. Go, do, all of what you want. I will be thinking of you. Let us know how everything is going. Charlene
My mom was soo happy in nursing home. It was such a blessing
Charlene Thank you so much. It'a amazing how much better I feel already & all those pains that were going through my body are gone. I will keep in touch. Gale
Gale, rest an enjoy. Mom go's next week for 5 days, love her .. But counting the days! I am exhausted , now that she is so hard to transfer my body needs the break too! Keep in touch. Hugs kim
Gale. Get your strength physically. And mentally back after your. Much needed rest. Pauline
Thank you Pauline.
Kim Enjoy your 5 days of rest. I know exactly how you feel & that's why I had to make this very hard decision. Gale
Yay for you, I will be in envy for a month lol. Snag me of that self TLC while your at it. It takes a wise person to take time ffor themselves. I am proud of you!
Me too. And you don't have persmission to spend time feeling guilty. You have too much else to do--like sleeping, relaxing, maybe having dinner with friends, family or your husband? Maybe just going shopping, walking the dog, playing with grandchildren or whatever. Just do enjoy this snapshot of freedom. It will be over before you know it.
Here here! For granny! Took me 6 months to have hospice talk me into respite, WHAT was I thinking! I had given myself a very bad ulser that almost Killed me! ( just got the call that it is all healed!) guilt is not a option... You need to recoup you mind an body! This is the hardest job anyone can face, weither your loved one is at home or in a care facility. An god bless those of you caring for a spouse! Don't know how you do it! Relax even if it's redoing the house or walking the dog, reading a good book without 20 interruptions, or just staying in the shower 5 extra minutes , we are the glue that holds our family's together and we must stand together on this , thank the lord for this site that brought us together! (David if your reading this I hope you get it) cause we need each other . We need to draw strength from each other , even in our differences , sooooo, rest, rest, rest! Hugs kim
Thank you all for your support & encouraging words. Slept well last night. Sending you all some of my TLC. Enjoy the Labor Day Weekend. Hope you all can find a little time for yourselves. Gale
Kim - So happy that your ulcer is healed. That is great news. David, I miss your unique blend of kindness and comedy! Please return if you are still out there. Charlene
Good for you Gale!!!! So happy for you and PROUD :))))) you are possibly an inspiration to some very tired friends and fellow caregivers. Taking time for you. I know that was the biggest mistake I made in my 5yrs taking care of mom. If I would have only been on this site earlier in those days I would have started with day care. Introducing them as a friend that would eventually come in to stay with mom while I got some time with husband. Instead we just took mom everywhere with us and her becoming so dependant on me that no one could take my place. I know now that would have saved me from having to place mom a few months back. She didn't even like my sister coming from Hawaii to help me a couple times. Hope there are some who take this time with you to see the importance. Even if it are loose change we put in a glass to eventually come up with some money for a break. Our HOPE glass. I know that after a few months I can have up to 75 dollars before I take it in. I know this also is a hard financial roll for everyone but it is so important to have hope for a break. As important as anything else you write those checks out to each month. Possibly more since if you dont take time you may eventually no have anything because you break. When I finally made the decission to bring in my sister for my first break everyday thinking about it gave me a little light in my day. So putting change in a glass could be that everyday thing we need to help us dream at least of what we would do if we had the time. Most likely sleep. My first few days away that's what I did. My whole life I could never sleep 12 hrs always up the crack of dawn no matter when i we t to bed. The first break I slept 12 to 14 hrs the first two or three days before I had enough energy to enjoy what ever island I was on then. Many blessing for a beautiful restful much needed and deserved break!!!!! Xoxoxox Dawn
Thank you Dawn. I don't know what the future holds, but I am hoping that this much needed break gives me the strength to care for Mom when she comes home. I don't want to place her in a nursing facility for the rst of her days on this Earth, put is a possibility if I find it's just too much for me to handle any longer.
Hi Gale, Thanks for sharing about this transition in care for your mom while you get some much-deserved rest and respite from caregiving! I hope all continues to go well with her living arrangement this month, and that you'll share feedback about the provider to help other families in their search for care too: http://www.caring.com/review_submissions/new?utm_source=community
Looking ahead beyond September, here are more ways to find respite care: http://www.caring.com/articles/respite-care Caring.com also offers tips and strategies for managing caregiver stress and maintaining well-being: http://www.caring.com/caregiver-wellness Lastly, beware the 7 Deadly Emotions of Caregiving: http://www.caring.com/articles/7-deadly-emotions-of-caregiving
I hope these suggestions are helpful to you!
DGraab Thank you very much for the feedback. It is day 5 that Mom has been at the nursing home. It has been very hard for me not to go & see her everyday, but I have resisted because I have to. My son & daughter-in-law & husband have visited her. She did tell my husband to take her home, but he changed the subject & she seemed to be ok. I am planning on going there tomorrow to pick up her laundry & visit. I have been enjoying my free time, but there are moments when I think Mom is still here & I go to get up & check on her. Everything is a learning process. This respite thing is no different.
Caring for a Parent While Working: Overwhelmed with Responsibilities
So tired, take care of my mom with dementia full time and also work with dementia seniors in a senior center. Feel so overwelmed and tired but need to work. But having a had time coping and my co-workers dont understand. Had a breakdown today at crying and no one seemed to care....
I think that I would be overwhelmed as well! You are dealing with the same thing 24/7. It does surprise me however that if you work at a Senior Center, your co-workers should have a basic knowledge of "empathy". I've had my breakdowns as well caring for my Mom. It's the hardest thing I've ever done, and like you, no one else understands. I hope tomorrow is a better day for you! Hugs, Tanya
Is your mother at the center where you work? How are you juggling caring for her and doing your job? What stage is she?
I am exhausted, and my DH is still early to moderate. At least that's what I think he is. There is absolutely no way I could work and deal with what's going on at home?
Can you get some help locally? Have you seen a doctor? Are you taking an anti-depressant?
One thing you can do for yourself is come here regularly. This is a great place to vent, and you will find sympathetic listeners.
I'm thinking of you and hope that tomorrow will be a better day.
I'm seeding prayers and giving you a biggggggggg huggggggg. I'm feeling too, it must be the full blue moon . Let's blame it on the moon :)
It is a strange mixture of being overwhelmed along with a grieving process for the loss of the individual (and their character) in this long walk through dementia and AD. You can be fine and strong on one day, and a blithering mess the next. Have been there also. Hold strong, don't lose your self esteem. You are a kind, caring, and empathetic person with a truly large heart and spirit to care for your mother and others, too. I am praying for you and all of the angels here on caring.com because it takes special people to do what we all have done and are still doing. Hugs
Overwhelmed: We care and will always be here for you. I care for my 86 year old mother who is in the 7th and final sdtage, and I cannot fathom taking care of my mother and then working with a bunch of seniors. God must have known how large of a heart you have and placed you where you are most needed. I cannot figure out why your other workers are not understanding what stress you are under. Perhaps they need to be educated about what it's like being a caretaker. Bless you heart and many hugs! Susan
I think all of us know what it's like to feel overwhelmed. But you need to help yourself before you can help anyone else. I hope you have a doctor who can help you
Rear overwelmed .I worked a fuull time nanny job and take care of my husband .I finally couldn,t after 10 years .I sometimes feel that people in a simlar situation don,t always get it it.Another thing is that is is hard to watch others upset .and sometimes others want to talk the pain away instead of listening or giving you the feeling they understand.People say odd things because they feel uncomfortable not always that they don,t understand.....I have found I have said to people I just need to go have a cup of coffee or have one hour to myself It is hard to ask but sometimes if you ask for what you need you might get .Once I told someone I wanted to go to chinese but could not leave my husband alone.The friend went with us and just having another person their made it work.It distracted me from my husband and he was delighted to have a bit of attention that was differant .Note this person did not get it but it helped.....
For most of us we do or have done the 24/7. Is there anyway you could find another type job. I know if I could have gotten help to work outside my home I would of chosen a job caring forchildren or an elderly that needed help but of sound mind. I know in the area I live in there are many seniors that have care takers to drive them do light house keeping cooking and they pay better that assisted living care takers make. Plus you have a little more flexibility than a 9 to 5. My prayer and hugs for you. I am so sorry for you feeling they don't care. We do. We understand anything that you may be feeling. This is a hard road and seeing my mom day to day suffering is emotionally draining. You have the worst of it when dealing with uncompassionate care givers and most likely people doing it with no heart just a job. I have become great friends with one of mom care givers. She is so tired and resntly taken a medial leave b/c of break down. Her heart is for her residents and working with individuals she just wants to punch in the face LOL Trying to pick up the slack for those lazy kind and it just took her out. Also problems with son at home so she never got rest anywhere. Please heed words of wisdom and try and ask for help. Maybe one of the caregivers you work with would be willing to come and give you a break for a smaller fee or blessing you with no fee. I will definitely life you up in prayer my friend. Xoxoxox Dawn
Dear overwelmed - We have all been there. Sometimes letting those tears flow can be a healing thing. I will pray that better days are ahead for you. Charlene
Blessings overwelmed, You are one in a million. Not not caregiving for dementia, but doing it overtime and at 2 different place. God is really needing to help you to do this or help you find a different job to do to make the money you need.
This job can get you down, you do not say how far along your mom is. but she must still be in the early to mid if you are working outside the home and caring for her at home. (I may be misunderstanding) If that is the case you will be needing a lot of help in the future. Do not know what your plans are.
I will ask God to give you the knowledge, patience, wisdom, and strength to do the job he has for you to do. Lean on the Lord. I could not have made it through with out him. I also had a caregiving job but it was private and I made good money at it but had to give it up after 10 years with the same people. It was either that or pay someone to stay with my husband and It would have cost me more than I made so it did not make sense.
Continue to come here when you have time. You will find great support here. God Bless and Hugs.
Great idea Peggy. Staying home with mom and then Maybe another person as a day care giver so someone else who is caring for a family member. . Make more money per hr so maybe you can work less hrs. Or at least time and money to give you a break. We're one a roll. It is a much needed perfession. You have creditals and resumed bet by placing ad you can find someone who needs your service. Taking care of one other in your own home will at least be less of a challenge than a whole assisted living plus same amount or more money than now. I tell everyone who has the blessing of providing care and education with autistic kids or ADD ADHD senior care giver to go private and man have they been so blessed to make more money than working for someone.
Dear overwhelmed, I remember those days , mom was still walking around,falling everyday, never listened to me,it was so frustrating . Know she is in the late end stage, still ornery but it's easier because once I get her settled I can do some housework, the lifting is hard as she pulls the other way , but I lose my cool a lot less, as we were talking on another string, you need to somehow find time for yourself , an we are all good listeners ! Hugs kim
Thank you "overwelmed," for turning to this group for support -- as you can see, there are many people here who you can talk to and who do care about how you're feeling. Many thanks to all who shared their positive feedback and suggestions on this thread!
Here is some information and resources on Caring.com that may likewise be helpful...
Consider enlisting the services of an elder companion or professional in-home caregiver to assist with caring for your mom and give you a break sometimes: http://www.caring.com/local/in-home-care Here are more ideas for finding respite care when you need a break: http://www.caring.com/articles/respite-care
The "Caregiver Wellness" section (at the top of Caring.com pages) offers a variety of tips and ideas to help manage caregiver stress and maintain well-being: http://www.caring.com/caregiver-wellness It also includes a section to help you differentiate stress from burnout or depression (and what to do about each condition): http://www.caring.com/caregiver-stress
Caring for a senior loved one takes a heavy toll on the caregivers' work life: in research we've conducted, 3 in 4 family caregivers reported that they had to change their job situation or do not work in order to provide care: http://www.caring.com/infographics/emotional-and-financial-costs-of-caregiving If you decide to continue working but change jobs to one that doesn't involve more caregiving, here are some ideas for job hunting after age 50: http://www.caring.com/articles/7-secrets-to-getting-a-job-after-50
Your local Area Agency on Aging may also have suggestions to offer and can refer you and your mom to programs and services in your community: http://www.caring.com/local/area-agency-on-aging
Please do let us know if we can be of further assistance to you in your caregiving. Thanks!
Caring for Father-in-Law: Need Gift Ideas for 89-Year-Old with Alzheimer's
FIL's 89th birthday was last Sunday. So hard to find gifts for him anymore. I wanted to get him a box of the larger sized Legos to play with. My DH feels it would have been disrespectful giving him a toy obviously made for small children. I certainly do not mean to be disrespectful, but am just tired of giving gifts that he will never use. Am I off-base? I'm sure that the other brothers would poo-poo the idea as well, but we can only buy him so many pajamas and slippers, picture books, etc. Any gift ideas--Christmas will be here before we know it--HA?
I think those Legos would have been a great idea---also something to do with him! People recommend puzzles so why not Legos....lots of bright colors as well â™¥ Never mind what the men say,follow your own ideas !
They have puzzles and games for the residents at the NH where I worked, Duplo would have been great. We also had those big wire structures with the marbles on them, you put the marble at the top and watch it follow the wire to the bottom, can't remember what you call them but some of our residents liked those too.
I don't think it would have been disrespectful at all. I think your DH is thinking of the past and before AlzD. Your FIL's mind has reverted to that of a child. How is giving him the large legos disrespectful? I've given my Mom dolls, stuffed animals, crayons and coloring books as well as puzzles. It's something to entertain themselves or something to do with them. I agree with avio...go with your own ideas.
It's no different than MIL crocheting what looks like baby skirts instead of hats....keeps her hands busy.
A friend of mine father-in-law favorite toy is a Slinky. He puts small toys into his mouth.
I love the idea of the oversized legos!!! â™¥
Tell your husband you want to play with them and if FIL wants to join in - great!!
I agree, giving your FIL something he would enjoy using is a great idea. I used to think the same way but seeing how much my mom enjoys her life like doll and the little stuffed animals, I realized that it doesn't matter at all.
A large piece jig-saw puzzle? His sons are not being realistic about the stage of life he is really in. Yes, buy it for yourself - sounds like fun, actually! And leave it around for FIL.
Hi In-Law Caregiver, Thanks for posting this question, and thanks to all who offered gift ideas! Here are some more...
Grandparents' Day is September 9th this year, and our senior editor, Paula Spencer Scott compiled these 10 Easy Gifts Kids Can Make: http://www.caring.com/articles/10-grandparent-gifts More homemade gift ideas for seniors (and their caregivers): http://www.caring.com/blogs/caring-currents/homemade-gift-ideas-for-seniors-caregivers
For dementia-friendly choices, Paula suggests focusing on these 6 key words: http://www.caring.com/blogs/fyi-daily/gift-ideas-for-someone-with-alzheimers More ideas for gifts for loved ones with Alzheimer's: http://www.caring.com/articles/gifts-for-people-with-dementia-alzheimers
Our friends at VoiceQuilt also have some keepsake gifts to consider: http://www.voicequilt.com/[voicequilt.com] Gold Violin is another source of gifts for seniors: http://www.goldviolin.com/[goldviolin.com]
Furry toys, animals, and dolls have been helpful to some older adults with dementia: http://www.caring.com/blogs/caring-currents/toys-for-dementia The gift of music can also be therapeutic: http://www.caring.com/blogs/fyi-daily/the-wow-power-of-music-for-people-with-alzheimers
I hope these ideas are helpful to you, and you're successful in finding or making the 'just right' gifts for your FIL.
Caring for Mom: All-Time Record for Getting Up at Night - We Need Sleep!
Mom set an all time record for getting up during the night. I don't know what was going on, but she was out of bed and wondering what to do next every hour for the first five hours she was "asleep". At 2am I finally fixed us both some sleepy time tea and a piece of cinnamon toast. She slept for 3 whole hours after that! Then we were back to up and down. I was so glad to drop her off at daycare today. They'll let her sleep if she needs to. I got a 3 1/2 hour nap!
So sorry to hear about your mom being up and down so much. But very happy that you were able to recover at a little of that lost sleep later. Hugs, Joyce
Kathy, if you tell the doctor about this he will prescribe something you can give her at 8 p.m. and she'll sleep. Have you ever given her anything for sleep?
Some folks have good luck with Melatonin.
I found this time released melatonin 10 mg that helped to keep mom sleeping. I hope you get your whole 3& 1/2 hr time to nap. Xoxoxoxo Dawn
I give my mom melatonin every night. She may get up a couple of times, but then settles in for the night. At least for now!
I use melatonin, works good for me, and tried it for my hubby. I think for a bit it helped, but soon had to get sleeping pills and anti depressant to get sleep. He would do the same, up and down, up and down. Wore me out. YES.. call your doctor, and let him help you. I went from sleepless nights to 8 hours sleep for both of us!!!
I am so happy you have daycare and are able to take them power naps!! When Mamaw pulled this there was no relief for me the next day. I love your attitude!! Hugs and prayers =)
Most melatonin is not TIME RELEASED. So if u get a chance to try time released it worked better for mom. She actually didn't get up at the night and slept in a little longer. I got mine at a Walgreens only time released I have found. It 10 mg not the normal 3 to 5. I still use it if I amd restless of have a lot of pain. That way if I wake up at night I can go back to sleep. The lord only knows how much you all need sleep :))))))).
Thanks everyone. She's got a regular dr appt next week, so I'll bring it up with him. I do give her melatonin at dinner time, but it's not time release. I'm going to look for that tomorrow. We have a walgreens nearby.
Hi Kathy, I hope everything went well with your mom's doctor appointment and treatment for this sleep issue. Thanks to everyone who offered support and feedback too! Here are some tips we have on Caring.com for helping a loved one with dementia and sleep issues...
Ask & Answer: How can I solve sleep problems for my mother with Alzheimer's? Another related Q&A: How do we keep Dad from getting up multiple times a night with out medication?
I hope these resources are helpful to you if this problem has continued, and helpful to others having this problem as well. Please do let us know if there's more we can do to support you in your caregiving. Thanks!