I am a caregiver for my dad who is ninety. He is in good health, but needs help with a lot of things. Sometimes I just feel so overwhelmed with things. Any hints or suggestions?
By Lynda (crabby) from Kearny
My husband fell and broke his back 4 years ago. He is now paralyzed from the waist down. He is 57. I was so overwhelmed, but you learn as you go. Keep supplies together in a handy place. Get "your" rest and always keep in the back of your mind, if this were happening to you, would you have someone to help you in your time of need?
P.S. You are a good person at heart if you put someone's needs ahead of your own. (04/16/2009)
Check and see if there is a senior center in your area. If so, take him and leave him there while you do something for yourself. Barring that, see if you can get somebody to relieve you every now and then, maybe, a church member or a neighbor. Having taken care of my mother prior to her having to go into a nursing home (Alzheimer's), I know exactly where you're coming from! God bless you for taking care of your father, but do remember to take care of yourself, also! (04/21/2009)
You are a tremendous person for taking on this difficult and rewarding task. My grandmothers still live alone, but my mother takes them to appointments. She stresses organization and a constant schedule as being very helpful in maintaining their health care and homes. Since we all live in the same town, she schedules their checkups together. Having social activities like Bible study, church activities, coffee at the local diner and sports activities at the school give us plenty for free entertainment. (04/21/2009)
Here in Canada, our health care system has "home care workers" who come to your home to help you. They bathe the patient, tidy their living space, prepare meals, and provide respite services, so the main caregiver can go out for a while. Check with your doctor to see if you have this service available in your area. It's free here. (04/21/2009)
As with one of the first feedback posts, I had access to monthly nurse's visits, a home helper who bathed her twice a week, and Meals on Wheels during the week. I became disabled myself at the time, so these outreach sources were a wonderful blessing. Contact your dad's doctor, your local social services office, check with anyone else you know who is going through this same thing.
All these sources should give you the access you need. Medicare pays for it all, so don't worry about the expense. Here in Michigan, we have "211" service (It's like 911, but for health and human services). It connects you to the right people. Check your phone book for information.
One thing I must add. There were certainly times when during my caring for her that I wanted to run away to Brazil or something, but after she was gone, just weeks after my husband's death, there is only one thing I wished for. To hear her call my name one last time because she needed help.
She suffered from dementia and was very confused all the time. She'd had many strokes which had robbed her of her ability to read, which ruled out her old love of the library, and even kept her from understanding television programs because she couldn't read the subtitles. She died on her 86th birthday on May 18, 2001, which was actually a wonderful thing. I got to "celebrate" her birthday here, and then she got to "celebrate" with my dad on the other side later that day. Just keep your spirits up. Sounds easy, I know, but we both know it isn't.
Cherish this opportunity to be as good to your father as he was to you as you grew. It will make the ultimate loss easier to bear, knowing you did all you could. May God bless you as you continue to care for your father. (04/21/2009)
Call your Area Agency on Aging, they have many helping services you may apply for. Also take care of you. As your health and mental health is important in caring for your dad. Accept any help you may be offered, especially "time" for yourself to get out and do something fun. It can be very stressful, but when he passes you will miss him terribly, so be sure to do for yourself while you are caring for him. (05/01/2009)
The main thing I think (I do live-in elder care 4 days per week) is to have a schedule and try to stick to it no matter what happens. Seek all possible outside help and while there probably aren't too many of his friends still around or mobile there is bound to be some neighbor/friend/relative who could sit with him and talk about "old times" and things familiar while you take a well earned break. Every time I feel like "running away and joining the circus" I think about both my parents, now long gone, and try to do to my "patient" as I would want someone to do for my parents. God bless and good luck. (06/22/2009)
Add your voice! Click below to comment. ThriftyFun is powered by your wisdom!