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Author Topic: Care Givers thread  (Read 7219 times)

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Offline pineywoods

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Care Givers thread
« on: May 29, 2014, 09:32:38 pm »
I've debated starting this thread for some time. I read every post on every board, and I see mentions of care giving all over the forestry forum. This will give us a common place to swap information that may be of use to others, whether you just see after mom in the nursing home or have a special needs child. Being a care giver can be one of the most demanding jobs one can imagine, but can also be very rewarding. As for me, I have been a full-time 24/7 caregiver for my handicapped wife for 15 years. Any help I can pass on to others will be forthcoming. I maintain a large fleet of mobility devices, lifts, kitchen aids, ramps, you name it, anything that makes life a little easier, I probably am familiar with.
It seems that all threads eventually turn to food, so I'll go ahead and get that over with. Anybody on blood thinner, stay away from leafy green veggies. They are loaded with a coagulant compound that counteracts most blood thinner drugs. Dang good excuse reason to forgo the spinach and turnip greens..
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Offline thecfarm

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Re: Care Givers thread
« Reply #1 on: May 29, 2014, 09:37:33 pm »
We plan on getting old in our house. We have all 3 foot doors. A walk in shower, a high toilet,no overhead cabinets,just draws. Open a draw and look down into it.Wife been in a wheelchair,3-4 times. It sure does help that she can get around in the house. Everything is on one floor.
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Offline hacknchop

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Re: Care Givers thread
« Reply #2 on: May 30, 2014, 12:48:03 am »
Looked after my FIL till he passed he was in a wheelchair since my wife was about 6 yrs old she cared for him all her life pretty much.Now our health is bad so we take turns looking after one another I have diabeties and a nagging heart condition she has rheumatoid arthritis and a very painfull condition called pancreatitus which i didnt even know existed
but were managing alright we own qnd operate what was her father live bait and rock shop business and i still run my sawmill and skidder and almost forgot caregiving is a big part of our lives.Thanks for starting this thread.
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Offline sawguy21

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Re: Care Givers thread
« Reply #3 on: May 30, 2014, 09:59:12 am »
It is a very demanding task. My wife's needs are increasing due spinal stinosis, type two diabetes and advancing age. She is also a cancer survivor. A few times I have felt like I was at the end of my endurance with no one to turn to. Will be good to get some ideas and have the opportunity to share support.
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Offline goose63

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Re: Care Givers thread
« Reply #4 on: May 30, 2014, 12:35:01 pm »
Thanks for starting this pinneywoods now I know not to eat the green stuff. when I was 12 or 13 I had to  help take of my grandpa and it can be a lot of work
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Re: Care Givers thread
« Reply #5 on: May 31, 2014, 12:21:33 am »
My wife takes care of her aunts financial and health affairs. Her aunt is  in a nursing home and it seems my wife is running 3-4 days a week taking care of her aunts things.
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Offline pineywoods

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Re: Care Givers thread
« Reply #6 on: May 31, 2014, 11:34:40 am »
My wife takes care of her aunts financial and health affairs. Her aunt is  in a nursing home and it seems my wife is running 3-4 days a week taking care of her aunts things.
Yeah, there is a whole lot more to caregiving than feed um and tuck them in..Seems like something new just about every day...and the honey-do lists grow by leaps and bounds..
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Offline Stinny

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Re: Care Givers thread
« Reply #7 on: May 31, 2014, 02:16:30 pm »
I've debated starting this thread for some time. I read every post on every board, and I see mentions of care giving all over the forestry forum. This will give us a common place to swap information that may be of use to others, whether you just see after mom in the nursing home or have a special needs child. Being a care giver can be one of the most demanding jobs one can imagine, but can also be very rewarding. As for me, I have been a full-time 24/7 caregiver for my handicapped wife for 15 years. Any help I can pass on to others will be forthcoming. I maintain a large fleet of mobility devices, lifts, kitchen aids, ramps, you name it, anything that makes life a little easier, I probably am familiar with.
It seems that all threads eventually turn to food, so I'll go ahead and get that over with. Anybody on blood thinner, stay away from leafy green veggies. They are loaded with a coagulant compound that counteracts most blood thinner drugs. Dang good excuse reason to forgo the spinach and turnip greens..

Great idea to start a thread Piney. Caregivers, especially of family members, are a unique group. My wife and I took care of my Dad for a year before cancer took him and then my Mom for 15 years after. Last 2 were dealing with her dementia which had it's moments. It's been 9 years since she passed and my wife and I still miss both of them a lot. As difficult as it was at times, we would do it again in a heart beat.

You folks who are caretakers, be very sure to take care of yourself as well. Get someone to "spell" you once in a while, and always know you are doing a very good thing... even if your loved one can't understand sometimes.
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Offline pigman

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Re: Care Givers thread
« Reply #8 on: June 01, 2014, 08:05:56 am »
I have the privilege of seeing after my 89 year old mother-in-law. My late wife was an only child and I was chosen as her mother's care giver. At the present I only have to take her to Dr appointments and the grocery store. Her eye sight is failing, so the future is uncertain for her.   
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Offline hardtailjohn

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Re: Care Givers thread
« Reply #9 on: June 02, 2014, 12:02:56 am »
How timely!!  I was searching for a "good way" to bring this subject up. I was sure I wasn't the only one. My wife and I are taking care of my Mom and Dad...mostly Dad. He's headed toward 92, and on oxygen full time now, and pretty much bedridden. We've set up a hospital bed in their living room and he spends the majority of the day there. His mind goes from time to time... sometimes so sharp it's amazing. He can still tell you the name of every  horse he's owned in the past 90 years... no kidding!  My wife, God bless her, is amazing with him! They butted heads many times since we've been married, but she's the one he calls for is something is wrong. She's amazing with him and I can't even begin to think of where I'd be without her here. I moved back "home" here to the ranch in '96 and promised Mom and Dad that I'd make sure they could stay as long as they want, and they both want to die right here, so that's what we're steering for. I think it's the least we can do for them.  However, I have 2 older sisters that are like a couple of buzzards, circling for the settlement....how sad. At any rate, thank you Piney, for starting this.... just knowing there are others that are doing this, helps....and it helps to get a bit of it off my chest too.
From the bottom of my heart, thank you all.
John
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Offline thecfarm

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Re: Care Givers thread
« Reply #10 on: June 02, 2014, 07:32:42 am »
Buzzards,yep,my family too. ::)  My wife and I took care of my Mother. My wife does not work,so she was able to take care of her. She passed away at her home. We only did it for about 6 months. That was a long 6 months. Mom has alot of bad days towards the end. Not knowing us and thinking we was "bad people". We was just about home bound for that time frame.
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Offline Magicman

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Re: Care Givers thread
« Reply #11 on: June 02, 2014, 07:47:56 am »
This thread touches my heart.  Pat and I have been continual caregivers in one way or the other since 1995.  Little did we realize when I retired in 1994 that life could make such abrupt changes.
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Offline pineywoods

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Re: Care Givers thread
« Reply #12 on: June 02, 2014, 09:36:36 am »
Sawguy21, I know the feeling. If you don't sometimes feel like you are at the end of your rope, you really have a problem. It really hit me hard. Went to bed looking forward to retirement with a happy, healthy vibrant mate, woke up the next morning a caregiver for life. When you feel like you just can't go on, ask yourself one simple question, "can I handle this for just one more day ? " OK, one more day. Get up tomorrow morning and ask the same question. In other words, take it one day at a time..I have a sister who is a psychiatric nurse, spends all day every day dealing with difficult, dis-abled, depressed people. She has been a real blessing for me. Dealing with the depression that almost always occurs can be even more demanding than caring for the physical needs. Been there, done that fairly successfully, hope I can pass on some of the means of coping...
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Offline hacknchop

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Re: Care Givers thread
« Reply #13 on: June 02, 2014, 11:31:01 pm »
I can tell you one thing for sure it can be a real challenge to care for others but there no more satisfying feeling of accomplishment when  its over and you know you did all you could to ease someone elses pain and or suffering by being there for them and the rest of your family.
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Offline pineywoods

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Re: Care Givers thread
« Reply #14 on: June 11, 2014, 11:07:02 pm »
Care giving has it's dangers, but you have to learn to laugh..Yesterday, I was on the front porch down on my knees re-potting some flowers for the wife. She cam barreling down the ramp in her power chair, and ran completely over my leg just below the knee. I got a hurting sore leg, an over extended ankle, and one hand jammed into a pot of prickly pear cactus.  :o
Them Dang electric power chairs are HEAVY..
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Offline pineywoods

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Re: Care Givers thread
« Reply #15 on: June 11, 2014, 11:36:14 pm »
Don't sweat the small stuff. Most problems eventually become small stuff. Couple of examples.
She loves to get outside and ride around in the yard on her power chair. Big problem is MUD. Then up the ramp and into the house, tracking mud all over the floor. As a throwback to when she used to yell at me to wipe the mud off my feet before I come inside, I yell at her to wipe the mud off your wheels.  :-\  Of course, she can't, I clean up the mud  and it has become a private joke between us.
Then there is the modern version of the gordian knot. A couple of fairly extensive braces and a pair of orthopedic shoes, all with industrial strength velcro fasteners. All get thrown in a pile at bedtime. Next morning, there is no way she can un-tangle the mess, so I just laugh about it, pull them pieces of 4 inch velcro apart, and apply everything.
Don't sweat the small stuff   ::)
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Offline ely

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Re: Care Givers thread
« Reply #16 on: June 12, 2014, 08:57:43 am »
thanks for this thread, my wifes grandmother is nearing the final stages of althimers / demensia. she and her mother are going to look into a home that deals with those problems specifically tomorrow.
I know of the many ordeals that come from caregiving, and specifically I see the wear and tear on my mother in law as she has had to care for her mother full time for awhile now. the whole caregiver thing has its ups and downs with tears of laughter to tears of sadness in each day. the womans mind is basically gone and her husband is unable to help much with her care. his mind is perfect but his body is failing. he is 87ish. veteran of the Korean war and a joy to visit with. the man ran a sawmill and logged for most of his life. he just cant hear and you have to holler to talk with him. the saddest part is the two have been married since they were pups and I am afraid when she goes he will follow quickly.

Offline pineywoods

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Re: Care Givers thread
« Reply #17 on: June 12, 2014, 11:02:56 pm »
ely, +1 on the wear and tear on the caregiver. It's very important to take care of the caregiver as well as the patient. Anyone who works at it 24/7 without a break is sooner or later headed for trouble, both physically and emotionally. I have been fortunate in having a lot of excellent advice from some people who knew what they were talking about. A caregiver needs to get out and away from it on a regular basis. Something as simple as a trip to an old fashioned barber shop can make a lot of difference. When I started this thread, what I hoped was that maybe there would be an exchange of ideas to help care for the caregiver as well as a patient..
Learn to laugh, btw, I'm still picking cactus spines out of my hand, it ain't very funny  ;D
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Offline red

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Re: Care Givers thread
« Reply #18 on: June 13, 2014, 03:50:02 am »
Lots of good info if you google Caregiver Oxygen Mask
We have a lot of good boys and girls in harms way
lets all support them and their familys.

Offline Bogue Chitto

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Re: Care Givers thread
« Reply #19 on: June 13, 2014, 09:45:32 am »
How timely!!  I was searching for a "good way" to bring this subject up. I was sure I wasn't the only one. My wife and I are taking care of my Mom and Dad...mostly Dad. He's headed toward 92, and on oxygen full time now, and pretty much bedridden. We've set up a hospital bed in their living room and he spends the majority of the day there. His mind goes from time to time... sometimes so sharp it's amazing. He can still tell you the name of every  horse he's owned in the past 90 years... no kidding!  My wife, God bless her, is amazing with him! They butted heads many times since we've been married, but she's the one he calls for is something is wrong. She's amazing with him and I can't even begin to think of where I'd be without her here. I moved back "home" here to the ranch in '96 and promised Mom and Dad that I'd make sure they could stay as long as they want, and they both want to die right here, so that's what we're steering for. I think it's the least we can do for them.  However, I have 2 older sisters that are like a couple of buzzards, circling for the settlement....how sad. At any rate, thank you Piney, for starting this.... just knowing there are others that are doing this, helps....and it helps to get a bit of it off my chest too.
From the bottom of my heart, thank you all.
John
John, you'r situation sounds like mine.  My wife does most of the caring for my dad.  She is the best. I don't see how she does it handling my dad , me and my two boy;s.   You are blessed to have such great wife.  God bless and good luck.

Offline Barney II

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Re: Care Givers thread
« Reply #20 on: June 17, 2014, 08:35:35 am »
My wife and myself kept her mother in our home until she was 100.  We started when she was 90 , she was wheelchair bound so it required extra care and remodeling of the house.  She was a handful but she was always of good nature.  She liked to come up and watch the sawmill.  As time went on it became a larger job for my wife.  We almost lost her due to our ignorance of care.  That was the last day and we headed to the rest home where she is getting the best of care----today she is 108 years young.  I think we had it easy when I read of others trials and tribulations.  I have the highest respect for all care givers.  God bless you all.      Don
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Offline pineywoods

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Re: Care Givers thread
« Reply #21 on: June 17, 2014, 09:53:00 am »
helpfull hints ....velcro will destroy nylons.....3 wheel electric scooters are just like a childs tricycle, avoid them like the plague...wheel chairs and mobile homes are completely incompatible....Batteries on electric wheelchairs will expire at the worst possible time....Anyone who is dependent on electric wheelchairs, needs a spare, don't ask how I know.  Mechanical lifts out the side of a van are to be avoided if at all possible.
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Offline Jim_Rogers

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Re: Care Givers thread
« Reply #22 on: June 17, 2014, 10:40:41 am »
I've been caring for my almost 95 year old mother for a good part of the past five years. Luckily I have a sister that is close by and will come and stay over so that I can travel on business trips.

I had a brother who lived, literally next door and he never did a thing to help us.

I drove him to chemo and radiation treatments back a few years ago, three times a week or more. I even drove him to the hospital one Sunday morning after he collapsed on his kitchen floor from the drugs he was taking or not taking.

After he was declared a cancer surviver I asked him for help to take care of my mother one day a week, Sunday, so that I could have that day off to spend with my wife and daughter. And he said, no.

I wrote about this recently as he just passed away from complications of pneumonia.

My BIL this past Saturday morning chewed me out about how my mother was "suffering" living at home. He doesn't have a clue what it's like at these places that my mother has been in and out of over the last five years, as he never visited her there. He and my sister both live in PA. And only travel to MA once or twice a year as most.

They are here now because of my brother's death.

My brother lived in a small house that my father built back in the 50's for his mother. She lived there until she passed in 1968.
Now that my brother is gone, I'm going to sell this house to my neighbor who has been wanting to buy it for several years for his son.
And I'll use the money to take care of my mother for the rest of her life.
My grand mother (mother's mother) lived to be at least 98, (not sure). So I may have my mother here another three years or more.

Dealing with dementia is a challenge for sure.

Most of the elderly service people who come here to help me and my mom say I'm doing a great job. I just wish one of them would tell my brother in law that.

Jim Rogers

PS. thanks for starting the thread. 
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Offline thecfarm

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Re: Care Givers thread
« Reply #23 on: June 17, 2014, 06:08:09 pm »
My wife and I took care of my Mother. My brother and his wife would come up just about every other weekend. They always told me they get her supper for her. That helped me out. Than I was there after they left. There was a can of beans on the counter. I asked what that was doing there. It took a while,but I got it out of her. That was her supper!!! She could not use a can opener or the stove. Microwave oven was past her too. Eyesight not the best and her hands did not work the best either. She had all she could do to handle the remote to the TV.  ;D I never said nothing to them. Not worth it. I made sure she got her supper from than on.
It is so much easier to judge others when they are not there day after day,night after night. She was there when I was young,I was there when she got old.
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Offline hacknchop

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Re: Care Givers thread
« Reply #24 on: June 18, 2014, 12:13:09 am »
Jim_Rogers
 I know its hard now but keep it up you are doing the right thing and when its all over you will have the satisfaction of knowing you stuck it out and did all you could this is what is called setting the right example for others as to what it means to honor your parents.Most people would rather see a sermon than hear one. You are doing the best you can and thats all anyone of can do,keep it up.
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Offline Jim_Rogers

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Re: Care Givers thread
« Reply #25 on: June 18, 2014, 08:05:06 am »
Jim_Rogers
 I know its hard now but keep it up you are doing the right thing and when its all over you will have the satisfaction of knowing you stuck it out and did all you could this is what is called setting the right example for others as to what it means to honor your parents.Most people would rather see a sermon than hear one. You are doing the best you can and thats all anyone of can do,keep it up.

Thanks for your kind words.

Jim Rogers
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Offline sawguy21

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Re: Care Givers thread
« Reply #26 on: June 22, 2014, 01:17:18 pm »
 Karen had a heart attack Tuesday. She came home yesterday, now I need to keep an eye on her so she doesn't over do it.  ::)
I came home from work Friday completely used up, nothing left in the tank. I need to learn to pace myself, I am no good to her flat on my back. Those of us in a care giver role tend to forget to look after ourselves but we are not invincible especially as we get older. I think many of us feel guilty if we feel we are not doing enough. My cousin looked after her husband then her mother in their final illness. She has never seemed to be able to pick up the pieces and move on once alone, she doesn't know what else to do with her time. She is reasonably healthy at 74, financially comfortable, but has never been able to develop new interests. Do what we can for others but let's not forget #1.
old age and treachery will always overcome youth and enthusiasm

Offline pineywoods

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Re: Care Givers thread
« Reply #27 on: June 22, 2014, 01:59:26 pm »
sawguy, sorry to hear that kind of news. You got it right tho, #1 rule, take care of the caregiver...I use a gadget that helps to lighten the load somewhat. Similar to the medical alert systems you see advertised on tv, but with a couple of different twists. No monthly fees, no connection with ambulance service or 911. Waterproof pendant on a necklace cord, when activated, it sounds a LOUD alarm, then dials my cell phone. If  don't answer ,it calls a neighbor. I put my cell phone in my pocket and go to the shop or sawmill. Several other nice features, and the price is reasonable. PM me for details if interested..I hope and pray that the wife continues to improve, meanwhile accept the fact that both your lives are forever changed, just take it one day at a time....The challenges are not in-surmountable
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Offline pineywoods

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Re: Care Givers thread
« Reply #28 on: June 27, 2014, 08:19:01 pm »
OK, time for a little humor. Caregivers will understand, others may not  ;D I have 2 real close friends who have disabled spouses. We lean on each other a lot. One of them, lets say his name is Fred, has a wife with severe arthritis, all her joints are completely seized, she can barely feed herself. Fred is a small man, so to handle the lifting chores, he purchased a portable electric patient lift. This morning, he plans to use the lift to get her out of bed and into a wheel chair. Gets her into the sling, lifts above the bed, and swings around over the wheel chair, hits the down button and nothing happens,  dead battery. Now Fred's spouse is well know for a sharp tongue. She hangs suspended 4 feet off the floor, giving Fred @#^%*($, while he goes off looking for the battery charger. He won't say how long it took to find and hook up the charger, but he apparently took his own sweet time.  ;D Sometimes caregivers have to do odd and unusual things just to preserve our sanity..
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Offline Jim_Rogers

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Re: Care Givers thread
« Reply #29 on: June 27, 2014, 09:27:01 pm »
We use a patient lift to get my mother up when she slips off the edge of the bed onto the floor.
She did that three times last weekend, but didn't get hurt.
I've had to go to adding a "bed alarm" under her sheet so that I'll know when she's trying to get up without telling me she wants to get up.
It works good. It woke me up at 10;45 pm, 12:15 am, 2:45 am cause she couldn't sleep.
Well you know what, I couldn't either with that alarm going off all night long.
How's that for some humor.

But anyway, if you need one the one I got is great. It is wireless and shoots the signal at least 150 feet from the base unit. The receiver can be plugged in to the wall outlet or it can run on three "C" size batteries.
I can hear it nicely here in my shop/office 135 ft from the house.

I also got a "baby" monitor.

When we were little kids back in the 50's my mother would call us to come home by blowing a whistle out the kitchen window. Well we still have that whistle and I've been telling her every day since she got home from rehab to "blow the whistle" if she wants me. And I'd hear it and come help her.
She doesn't understand about the monitor and hasn't asked me what that little white unit with the green light on that's on her bureau is all about either.
After about two weeks of telling her I could hear the whistle if she needed my help, she blew it the other night, while I was here in the office reading the FF.

And I went right into the house and got her up and got her a cold drink of lemonade.

Isn't 1950's technology great, batteries not needed..... for the whistle. Everything else needs them. The monitor is nice and I can hear her TV over it just fine.
The receiver for the monitor can receive up to 500 ft and can be plugged into the wall outlet and when not plugged in it runs on batteries.

The other latest thing we got was a semi electric hospital bed. It has worked out pretty good but she doesn't like the hand rails on the sides and lately one of them has been down on the side where she gets in and out. But with the bed alarm, I'm not too worried.

July 11th, she'll be 95 years young.

Thanks for letting me vent and comment.

Jim Rogers 
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Offline hardtailjohn

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Re: Care Givers thread
« Reply #30 on: August 11, 2014, 12:28:44 pm »
Wow Jim, that sounds lots like my Dad. 
When it rains, it seems to pour....  We've been doing ok with dealing with Dad for the past month or so. My wife and I are now staying in their spare room at night, so we can hear him if he's trying to get up or having any problems, and he's pretty good about calling for Kate anytime he needs something. We did go to the baby monitor, and that helps, as we have the fireplace between his hospital bed and our bedroom door, so the monitor lets us relax a bit more.  Mom is stressed out about him (they've been married 62 years..she's kind of used to having him around!) but very realistic about his situation, but it's still getting to her. She's having muscle problems in her back from the stress, so when she goes to sleep, she doesn't hear anything until morning.
Just when we were getting settled into the routine, our oldest daughter lost her baby (about 8 months along), so Kate had to head to NE to be with her. This changed the game just a little, as we'd been able to switch off a bit, and get some rest. Now I'm the one.  I've been sleeping in a recliner right next to his bed at night, as I don't want to miss him needing me, and it's going pretty well, but sure is tough to get much rest an hour at a time!  Last night he slept very soundly from about 11pm to 1am, then rolled over on his remote for the hospital bed, and cranked the head of it almost straight up. Poor guy was having a heck of a time trying to figure out what was up. As soon as I got it cranked back down, he was out like a light until about 4am. 
He and I have never had a real "buddy" type of relationship, but he's still my Dad and I love him dearly, and it's not easy to see him in this condition.
Kate gets home tonight at midnight, so at least we can start to get a little rest again, and I can get back to haying in the daytime.
It's sure not the easiest route to take, but I'd never let him be in a home or hospital for his last days. It'd put a quick and miserable end to him, as he's been an outside guy all his life...ranching, packing, hunting, logging, etc... and hates to be "cooped up" as it is. We're keeping all the drugs to a minimum, as much as we can, but want to keep him as comfortable as possible....sometimes that's a real "juggling act" all in its own.  The "Home Health Care" nurses that come by each morning are a true blessing, as is Hospice, and most of all my wife, Kate. I don't know what we'd do without them!!
I'm so far behind, I think I'm ahead!

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Re: Care Givers thread
« Reply #31 on: August 11, 2014, 12:35:51 pm »
Thanks for all you comments.

Lately, my step daughter and her husband have been here while I was away this past weekend to a conference.
This did not go as well as we had hoped.
Mother has taken a "dislike" to her for some unknown reason.
She is calling her names and being a major pain in the ash. When she is her.

I was hoping that these two would be able to replace my sister as she doesn't seem to "get it" as to what is needed to take care of Mother.

Jim Rogers
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Offline pineywoods

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Re: Care Givers thread
« Reply #32 on: August 11, 2014, 01:19:54 pm »
I'd like to point all you caregivers to a web site that I jokingly refer to as "caregivers supply" I have no connection to this firm except as a very satisfied customer. www.ats-tn.com is a small mom and pop operation, just plain good folks. They stock all sorts of handy devices. Anything to make life a little easier for caregivers.My church has purchased over a dozen of their "no monthly fee" medical alert units and placed them with needy elderly folks. 
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Re: Care Givers thread
« Reply #33 on: August 11, 2014, 05:02:42 pm »
I guess I am the lucky one right now. My wife and I do not have any day to day requirements like you guys do.

Several years ago my dad who had always been a pretty healthy dude got sick...pancreatic cancer. The end came fairly quick compared to what some people have to exist through. But we became close to a new term to us...hospice. Prior to that I had no real understanding for their services.

We all learned to appreciate the services provided by our hospice group as they performed flawlessly. And we all learned that things could be very bad for us with out them too. So many people here may not have any experience with hospice I can state right now "that if you have no experience with hospice then go out and start shopping." Some others told us their experience was not nearly as comfortable as ours was.

And then we were exposed to their services a few more times. Again our experiences were fantastic for such a horrible subject.

David G


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Offline hardtailjohn

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Re: Care Givers thread
« Reply #34 on: August 19, 2014, 01:55:39 pm »
This leg of the journey is over. Dad passed on Sunday morning. He woke up about 5am and wanted some breakfast and sat and joked with us while drinking coffee. The Home Health Care nurse (also a neighbor) had given him a bath and he was joking with her also. He sat up and slumped over. A very peaceful end.  He'd had some really awful nights the past couple weeks, as he was having reactions to some of the drugs that Hospice had recommended. We finally took him off all of them and had him down to a couple Aleve and Melatonin as needed, and he was doing much better... clear headed and in good spirits.
It was a journey I was somewhat apprehensive about to start with, but looking back, I wouldn't trade it for anything in the world. Dad's main wish was to die at home, and I'm proud to have been able to give him that final gift.  He didn't want any memorial or service, but instead would be honored to have anyone donate to a child related charity to help a kid.
It's been a rough month, as our oldest daughter just lost her baby that was due in September, about 2 weeks ago. They have narrowed it down to the doctor giving the "Tdap" shot, which is for whooping cough and tetnus, as it's not been tested on pregnant women. The more they research it, the more they find cases of this happening, so please if you know anyone that is pregnant, tell them to do their research and make an informed decision before taking that shot.
John

 
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Re: Care Givers thread
« Reply #35 on: August 19, 2014, 04:41:02 pm »
Sorry for your loss.

Jim Rogers
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Offline WDH

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Re: Care Givers thread
« Reply #36 on: August 19, 2014, 09:02:11 pm »
John,

May your Dad rest in peace. 
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Offline WmFritz

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Re: Care Givers thread
« Reply #37 on: August 19, 2014, 10:17:50 pm »
My condolences, John.
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Re: Care Givers thread
« Reply #38 on: August 19, 2014, 10:52:10 pm »
I wish that we could have met him John, but in his condition, I know that it would not have been his wish.

Our condolences are with you, your Mom, and your family during this time of grief.

We will see you in about a month.   :)
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Re: Care Givers thread
« Reply #39 on: August 19, 2014, 11:05:57 pm »
John, thanks for posting this. Condolences to you and all your family. You are truly an inspiration to caregivers everywhere...
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Offline thecfarm

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Re: Care Givers thread
« Reply #40 on: August 20, 2014, 05:35:26 am »
Sorry to hear of your Dad's passing.
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Offline Jim_Rogers

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Re: Care Givers thread
« Reply #41 on: September 10, 2014, 09:55:01 am »
I took my 95 year old mother to the Doctor's yesterday for a regular 3 month check up.
The nurse tried to get her blood pressure, 62 over 40.
The doctor came in and tried to get her blood pressure, 60 over 40.
Took her to the ER and they got a much higher blood pressure, but put her on a IV for fluids and she is there overnight until they sort out her medications.
One for her heart was way too high and most likely they will stop that one completely.

She was not happy about being there and pulled her IV out at least once while I was there.
She called me at 9 pm after telling me to get out at 6 pm. But I didn't hear my cell phone ring and didn't get the call. She most likely was calling me to ask me to "bring me home".... which was about all she'd say to me most of the afternoon.

Her problem is that she doesn't drink enough water. I get flavored water for her to make it more pleasant and she still doesn't drink enough.

Any suggestion about how to get her to drink more water?

I kept telling her that she was there because she wouldn't drink enough water but she doesn't like to be told what to do, very much any more.

Jim Rogers
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Offline hacknchop

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Re: Care Givers thread
« Reply #42 on: September 12, 2014, 06:52:05 pm »
Hows your mom? Did you get her back home yet? Hope all is better.
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Offline hardtailjohn

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Re: Care Givers thread
« Reply #43 on: September 13, 2014, 01:22:05 pm »
None here Jim.... sure hope she's ok and home again!!  Dad would be obstinate like that with Mom or one of us kids, but he would listen to my wife. When all else failed, we'd have her tell him what to do and then it was no problem. Good luck!!
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Offline thecfarm

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Re: Care Givers thread
« Reply #44 on: September 13, 2014, 07:40:25 pm »
Good luck,Jim. My wife does not like to drink water. We have good water,has to be tested through the state due to her cooking licence. But we brought some bottled water for a trip we was taking. She really likes it! She has been drinking water more now.
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Offline Jim_Rogers

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Re: Care Givers thread
« Reply #45 on: September 14, 2014, 07:51:10 am »
Hows your mom? Did you get her back home yet? Hope all is better.

We, my sister and I, brought Mother home from the hospital Friday.

My sister stayed with her overnight as I had an "on site" job planned for Saturday.

She is basically ok now. They changed a lot of her medications and hopefully that will be better.

Thanks for all your comments and prayers.

Jim Rogers
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Offline pineywoods

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Re: Care Givers thread, wheelchairs and quality of life
« Reply #46 on: May 27, 2016, 11:13:04 am »
Many of us are getting to the age where we have family members who are no longer mobile. Some of us are looking that possibility in the face. One option that comes up is wheelchairs. Looks like a simple decision, but NOT. Picking the right equipment can make a huge difference in the quality of life. The wrong decision can add to an already miserable lifestyle. 
The first option is usually a simple foldable manual wheelchair like this
 

 
Beats nothing but not by much. Clumsy to operate, especially by someone not in good physical condition. Uncomfortable is not an adequate description. The seat is a sling, the back is vertical, and no headrest. Any thing more than an hour or so borders on pure torture..OK for trip to doc or transfer from one room to another in the house.  Don't rent, buy USED.

Next option is usually what's known as a handicap scooter, three or 4 wheels. Don't waste your time. Usually have comfortable seats, but the things are large, clumsy and not very maneuverable. I went this route for my wife but found it unsatisfactory. She needed a power steering option..Absolutely useless inside the house unless you have rooms the size of a gym.

OK, what about power wheel chairs. Joystick control, so no physical requirements. Again, it ain't quite simple, there are several options. First, small lightweight units for indoor use only. Not recommended because they are usually rather squirrely to drive. The castering front wheels make for an unstable vehicle. The seats are usually rather basic with no adjustments.
 

 

Here's some more options
 

 

The chair on the left in this pic is considered a high end type. All 6 wheels are load bearing, both front and rear wheels swivel. Not quite as squirrely as the one above, but still a bit unstable. The real problem is driving over door thresholds or starting up a ramp. The front wheels will lift most of the weight off the middle driving wheels, causing loss of traction.

The other two in this pic are the best we have found. They are identical except for color, use one and keep the other plugged in to a charger.. Not obvious in the pic is the 2 small front wheels. They don't swivel, and clear the floor by a couple of inches, only purpose is anti-tip. This puts most of the weight on the larger-than normal drive wheels. Result is a machine that is quite stable, easy to drive and even works well over rough terrain. Like granny in the blueberry patch
 

 

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Offline Jim_Rogers

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Re: Care Givers thread
« Reply #47 on: July 21, 2016, 12:48:50 pm »
In this thread, I wrote about my mother and family dealing with her for the years.

Every month the traveling hairdresser would come to the house and do mother's hair on the second Tuesday of the month.

I would take a picture of mother with her new hair do, and post it on facebook for all my highschool friends and family to see.

She usually had a smiling face:

 

 

On June 24th while I was in the house with her, she got up out of her wheelchair to get into bed alone. I mean without my help. And fell on the floor and broke her hip.

They put in a new hip on June 29th, and she came through the operation (at 96 years old) fine.

They sent her to a rehab place to get her strong enough to stand up at a walker.

They really had a hard time getting her to stand up.

This past Sunday morning they gave her breakfast and came and got the tray as she was awake and ate her breakfast.

The went in at 9 am to check on her and she had passed away.

So, there are no more "happy Tuesdays".

6 days after her 97th birthday.

Calling hours are today, funeral is tomorrow at 1 pm so no sawing as the sawmill is closed.

Obit here: http://obituaries.eagletribune.com/story/Bernice+Elaine-Rogers-1919-2016-808285411

Jim Rogers
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Offline Dan_Shade

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Re: Care Givers thread
« Reply #48 on: July 21, 2016, 01:05:24 pm »
Please accept my condolences, Jim
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Offline Czech_Made

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Re: Care Givers thread
« Reply #49 on: July 21, 2016, 01:20:35 pm »
Sorry for your loss, Jim.

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Re: Care Givers thread
« Reply #50 on: July 21, 2016, 01:44:13 pm »
Sorry for your loss, Jim.
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Offline Jim_Rogers

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Re: Care Givers thread
« Reply #51 on: July 21, 2016, 02:10:15 pm »
Thanks guys

Jim Rogers
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Offline Ron Scott

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Re: Care Givers thread
« Reply #52 on: July 21, 2016, 03:52:43 pm »
A sad time. You have our prayer and sympathy.
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Offline Magicman

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Re: Care Givers thread
« Reply #53 on: July 21, 2016, 04:45:20 pm »
My condolences are with you and your family Jim.
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Offline submarinesailor

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Re: Care Givers thread
« Reply #54 on: July 21, 2016, 04:50:36 pm »
Jim, I'm truly sorry to hear this.  My deepest condolences to you and your family.

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Re: Care Givers thread
« Reply #55 on: July 21, 2016, 06:05:17 pm »
Thoughts and Prayers
We have a lot of good boys and girls in harms way
lets all support them and their familys.

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Re: Care Givers thread
« Reply #56 on: July 21, 2016, 07:08:10 pm »
I'm so very sorry. 
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Offline WDH

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Re: Care Givers thread
« Reply #57 on: July 21, 2016, 08:17:46 pm »
So difficult to lose your Mother, Jim.  You have my deepest sympathy. 
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Re: Care Givers thread
« Reply #58 on: July 21, 2016, 09:29:30 pm »
Sorry to hear no more Happy Tuesdays.  :(
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Re: Care Givers thread
« Reply #59 on: July 21, 2016, 10:50:00 pm »
I am sorry to hear this Jim, you have my deepest sympathy.
old age and treachery will always overcome youth and enthusiasm

Offline Jim_Rogers

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Re: Care Givers thread
« Reply #60 on: July 22, 2016, 07:14:32 am »
Thanks everyone. 

Jim Rogers
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Offline Jeff

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Re: Care Givers thread
« Reply #61 on: July 22, 2016, 08:32:43 am »
Sorry to here about your loss Jim. I stopped by the topic because of what we are going through right now and found that your mom had past away.

A note about those sling wheel chairs Piney mentioned. He sure is dead on. The worst part of them here is the toll it is taking on those of us trying to push and pull them around in an environment that was never meant for wheel chairs. Lifting one up only a 5" step just a few times a day is taxing on the body to say the least. Pulling one 150 feet across a lawn so Tammy can be out to the barn as I work is a total workout. We have one more month of zero weight bearing on her foot and then hopefully we can get that thing out of here.

This experience has shown me some things in our home that I will be addressing over the next few years, because odds are, as time passes, one of us might be in this predicament again.  Putting a wider door in the bathroom is imperative. Because of the orientation of the door in a hallway, its a three point turn, a flagman and a compass to get in there with the chair.
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Offline Jim_Rogers

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Re: Care Givers thread
« Reply #62 on: July 23, 2016, 09:00:59 am »
Thanks Jeff.

I might also suggest to add "grab bars" to walls in a position near the toilet to help a person "pull" themselves up.

I added some for my mother and it worked for her for many years. Our house is small and bathroom tinny so she had to pull herself up while I moved the wheelchair out. Then she would shift over a bit and grab another bar and I'd help her to lower herself down onto the toilet.

After she broke her arm, a year ago, I extended the grab bar by removing it from the wall, adding an block of wood to the spot and re-installing the grab bar. This made it a bit easier for her, and us.

Jim Rogers

PS. to make things narrower for us, the wheelchair company removed the hand rails from the wheels of the wheelchair. Then it would fit through the doorways easier.

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Offline thecfarm

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Re: Care Givers thread
« Reply #63 on: July 23, 2016, 09:31:43 pm »
Three foot doors I have in our house. Brenda has been in a wheelchair a few times. Also makes furniture moving easier too. No over the counter cupboards either. All draws under the counter. In her other house I got tired of coming home and finding pots and pans on the kitchen floor because she could not get them back in. Just slide a draw out and look into it to get what she needs.
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Offline coxy

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Re: Care Givers thread
« Reply #64 on: July 23, 2016, 10:44:48 pm »
 jim so sorry for your loss

Offline sawguy21

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Re: Care Givers thread
« Reply #65 on: July 24, 2016, 03:54:52 pm »
The sliding drawers have been a big help for Karen too, she is not wheel chair bound yet but can't bend far enough to reach in the lower cupboards. Has Brenda tried an E-Z reach?
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Offline thecfarm

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Re: Care Givers thread
« Reply #66 on: July 24, 2016, 09:18:07 pm »
No EZ reach,yet. And yet is the key word. The drawers really helped out and we have a hanging rack for the frying pans.All she has to do is stand and reach. The getting down low is what she can not do.
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Offline kiko

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Re: Care Givers thread
« Reply #67 on: October 04, 2016, 11:08:17 pm »
Four years ago my wife had a massive stroke at the age of 37.  Just to get this out of the way, I will never give up on my wife and mother of my children.  However, the caregiving overwhelms me sometimes.  I have the attitude that if I push myself hard enough I can get through most anything. But there is no getting through this one,   it will be constant for the rest of our lives.  I feel like  I am being used up and tired.  I glad it is cooling off and some fishing and deer hunting will offer some R and R.

Offline thecfarm

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Re: Care Givers thread
« Reply #68 on: October 05, 2016, 06:20:06 am »
kiko,just never know what will happen in life.
As pineywoods,it's a full time job. And more.
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Offline Roxie

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Re: Care Givers thread
« Reply #69 on: October 05, 2016, 07:52:29 am »
Kiko, my heart goes out to you. 
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Re: Care Givers thread
« Reply #70 on: October 05, 2016, 10:29:54 am »
kiko, I know exactly how you feel. Been there for 17 years. Being a Full-time caregiver Will consume you if you let it. Over the years, some things that help have evolved. Number 1, you need to get away once in a while. Arrange for someone to sit in, and go to the barbershop, go fishing, anywhere for a change of surroundings. I have a housekeeper lady come in half a day once a week. I could do the houskeeping and did for years, but this kills 2 birds with one stone (old saying). I go visit family in the nursing home, or go visit with some of my grumpy old men friends. Two gadgets that have made a huge difference is a medical alert that calls my cell phone and one or more electric wheelchairs.. It helps a bunch to go one on one with someone who is in the same boat (nother old saying). That's why I started this thread...If you feel the need, holler and I'll pm my phone #
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Offline sawguy21

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Re: Care Givers thread
« Reply #71 on: October 05, 2016, 03:02:08 pm »
Four years ago my wife had a massive stroke at the age of 37.  Just to get this out of the way, I will never give up on my wife and mother of my children.  However, the caregiving overwhelms me sometimes.  I have the attitude that if I push myself hard enough I can get through most anything. But there is no getting through this one,   it will be constant for the rest of our lives.  I feel like  I am being used up and tired.  I glad it is cooling off and some fishing and deer hunting will offer some R and R.
Amen brother. I too am doing the very best I can but it does get overwhelming. One thing I have to let go of is the guilt for leaving her alone even for a few hours, I have a fear she will fall and be unable to call for help. We are looking at Medic Alert.
old age and treachery will always overcome youth and enthusiasm

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Re: Care Givers thread
« Reply #72 on: October 06, 2016, 11:52:16 pm »
Thanks for the support.   It feels good to be able to talk about it.  I am fortunate to have two employees that work at the house that allow me to work or whatever.  But it amounts to work at work and work at home.  She fell in the hall way tonight, thankfully no serious injurys. The financial aspect causes a lot of stress as well.  The brain injury part is the most difficult part to me. It is like I am by myself.  Like a single parent.   Sometimes i feel selfish for thinking about my little problems, she lost more than i did.  I may take you up on that phone number.

Offline Roxie

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Re: Care Givers thread
« Reply #73 on: October 07, 2016, 09:31:21 am »
You've got a rough row to hoe.  Please don't be hard on yourself for being human.  I'd just bet that our (beloved!) Pineywoods would get some comfort from that phone call too. 
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Offline pineywoods

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Re: Care Givers thread
« Reply #74 on: October 07, 2016, 12:28:46 pm »
kiko,,pm sent
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Offline kiko

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Re: Care Givers thread
« Reply #75 on: November 18, 2016, 10:26:47 pm »
Thanks again ,  I have some good news this time.  I have questioned all my wife's doctors about the possibility of her being over medicated and got little response. So I have taken it upon myself to start weening her off some of the medications, with her approval I might add.  She is waking up!    She was being masked by the meds .  Common sense is not common.

Offline Grizzly

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Re: Care Givers thread
« Reply #76 on: November 19, 2016, 10:17:12 am »
.... it will be constant for the rest of our lives.

Our load is nothing compared to what's being discussed in this thread, but I took note of that phrase. That is the part that we find most difficult. We have a son with mental and physical challenges that will make him a constant pal of mine for the remainder of my years and you keep hoping or thinking you see improvements only to have reality come crashing in that no, this will go on and on.....   Sure is good to see how connections can be made in a forestry focused forum for help of all kinds.
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Offline pineywoods

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Re: Care Givers thread
« Reply #77 on: November 19, 2016, 11:00:38 am »
Good news kiko, glad to hear it. Been there, done that, latest was a round with thyroid. Getting dosage right made a world of difference. The most difficult issues are the ones dealing with "quality of life". Successfully dealing with them is the most rewarding, don't expect a lot of help from medical sources, I have found the best results come from having an educated and caring caregiver. I started this thread hoping it would become an exchange of ideas and methods for addressing the quality of life issues. not just medical needs..

That said, I am/was very fortunate in getting the wife into rehab hospital that is among the best at dealing with physical issues, but also addresses lifestyle and quality of life issues. They demand that the caregiver attend training sessions tailored to the patient. That plus 17 years of experience has taught me a bit.  ;D....
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Offline thecfarm

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Re: Care Givers thread
« Reply #78 on: November 20, 2016, 07:40:12 pm »
sawguy21,Brenda had a total knee replacement. The EZ reach got some useage,so did the device on putting a sock on. She had her knee cap bridged up about 2 inches many years ago. There is an official name that I can just about pronouce. But with that,her thyroid problem and seem like one more thing has thrown a bad curve ball with the knee getting better. Just takes longer and she is behind on the degrees but right on with all the above things that is going on.
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Offline drobertson

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Re: Care Givers thread
« Reply #79 on: November 27, 2016, 04:13:29 pm »
Been reading and praying, just got back from seeing dad, nursing home now.  Brother Steve has been a trooper, and still has both in laws at 93 years old in the house,  been around it through church functions and visitations with communion to the sick, but daily tasks for many of you folks  is note worthy and most honorable! Our prayers are with you.
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Offline Grizzly

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Re: Care Givers thread
« Reply #80 on: July 20, 2017, 03:32:22 pm »
Been thinking of my wife a lot and dug up this to read again. Some have young families to deal with but in most cases we're caring for a partner or parent in a later phase of life. When my mobility goes due to my back and I'm not able to move around the yard or even much around the house I've come to realize how great a load my wife has to take with me added on to the rest of the family cares. I don't like how hard it is for her but we certainly wouldn't want anyone else involved with my care. Just adding to the thought of making sure we care for the caregiver. I hate being a burden on others but sure appreciate a committed wife and family.
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Offline pineywoods

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Re: Care Givers thread
« Reply #81 on: July 20, 2017, 10:00:32 pm »
Griz, good on ya to think that way. Take it from someone with 18 years of 24/7 caregiver experience. If you get disabled, believe me, you will put more pressure and angst on her than you could dream of. Caregiver responsibility can literally break a persons will to live. I'm fortunate to have had a lot of good help...
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Offline sawguy21

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Re: Care Givers thread
« Reply #82 on: July 21, 2017, 11:08:55 am »
My wife went into hospital two weeks ago, she had severely low blood sugar. We think she have got absent minded and took a double dose of insulin. She was then moved to hospice to give me some respite, I am pretty much worn out.
We are hoping she can come home Tuesday but that will depend on her condition. We are both very lonely but we have to live with that, there will soon come a point when she is in care full time. This is not what we signed on for but is the hand we have been dealt and must play. I fully empathize with those who are going through this, it is a hard road to travel.
old age and treachery will always overcome youth and enthusiasm

Offline red

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Re: Care Givers thread
« Reply #83 on: July 22, 2017, 06:03:57 am »
It is said that a Mother can take care of ten children.  But ten children can not take care of her .  When big storms like Katrina happen , for days people were told to leave . If it happens in a big city no one is prepared. If it happens in a rural community the shelters are open but no one comes.  They are prepared for some what if situations. Strength , knowledge and your life experiences will get you thru incredibly Tough Times.
We have a lot of good boys and girls in harms way
lets all support them and their familys.

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Re: Care Givers thread
« Reply #84 on: August 09, 2017, 10:08:02 am »
My friend had an Autistic Boy that is ten years old.  The boy ran away yesterday , but he did come back. She is looking for any kind of cheap tracking device like maybe for his shoe or a watch ?
We have a lot of good boys and girls in harms way
lets all support them and their familys.

Offline sawguy21

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Re: Care Givers thread
« Reply #85 on: August 09, 2017, 11:23:48 am »
Karen was at the hospice for a couple of weeks to give me some respite, I was absolutely exhausted. She came home and seemed to be doing ok, we were out Thursday for an enjoyable day, but Friday she was having serious problems and taken back to hospital.
She has now lost any strength in her legs so will be going to hospice as soon as they find a bed. It has taken a lot of pressure off me, I simply can no longer take care of her, but the reality is sinking in. This is the final stage. She is alert and well aware of what is happening yet is quite calm. She is really looking forward to seeing her family this weekend for her birthday but I fear she may slip away quickly once they are gone, there will be nothing left for her to do.
old age and treachery will always overcome youth and enthusiasm

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Re: Care Givers thread
« Reply #86 on: August 09, 2017, 11:42:08 am »
My friend had an Autistic Boy that is ten years old.  The boy ran away yesterday , but he did come back. She is looking for any kind of cheap tracking device like maybe for his shoe or a watch ?

PM Magicman. He was just telling me about a gal he met that had a new product. Difference with hers is it can be attached directly to a metal object.
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Offline WDH

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Re: Care Givers thread
« Reply #87 on: August 09, 2017, 03:00:59 pm »
Sawguy,

My heart goes out to you. 
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Re: Care Givers thread
« Reply #88 on: August 09, 2017, 04:16:45 pm »
sawguy21,
Sending prayers for yours and Karen's comfort in the days ahead. We hope for the best for you both.

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Re: Care Givers thread
« Reply #89 on: August 09, 2017, 09:09:38 pm »
sawguy21, my Prayers are with both you and Karen as you face the difficult time ahead.
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Re: Care Givers thread
« Reply #90 on: August 09, 2017, 09:17:54 pm »
sawguy21,I'm a long ways from ya,but I will be thinking of you both.
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Re: Care Givers thread
« Reply #91 on: August 12, 2017, 07:30:01 am »
Sawguy21 thinking of you and your family
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Re: Care Givers thread
« Reply #92 on: August 12, 2017, 08:15:47 am »
Sawguy21 sorry to hear what has happened

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Re: Care Givers thread
« Reply #93 on: August 12, 2017, 10:11:15 am »
A caution for anyone using a power wheelchair...Most of them have a fold-up foot rest..Pretty common for users to ride with the foot rest folded up and let their feet slide along on the floor...NOT a good idea..Wife was rolling down the driveway at a pretty good clip, feet sliding on the pavement. Toe of a shoe caught on a crack and folded her foot back under the chair. Nothing broken, but stretched tendons and pulled muscles. The other foot is completely non-functional from a stroke...Result is a totally non-mobile person, transfer to/from wheelchair requires lifting and turning, definitely not good for my back. Had to stay right in the house and wait on her hand and foot for a week. Made a healthy backlog in milling/mowing/fixing. Power chairs are a blessing BUT one can hurt you...
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Re: Care Givers thread
« Reply #94 on: August 12, 2017, 11:38:31 am »
Sawguy21,

I don't know how to put it into words. I hope my thoughts are enough.
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