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Author Topic: Care Givers thread  (Read 7223 times)

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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.
Often wrong never indoubt

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..
1995 Wood Mizer LT 40, Liquid cooled kawasaki,homebuilt hydraulics. Homebuilt solar dry kiln.  Woodmaster 718 planner, Kubota M4700 with homemade forks and winch, stihl  028, 029, Ms390
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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!

Offline Jim_Rogers

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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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Offline Gadrock

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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


carry on
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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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Offline Jim_Rogers

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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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Offline Magicman

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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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Offline pineywoods

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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...
1995 Wood Mizer LT 40, Liquid cooled kawasaki,homebuilt hydraulics. Homebuilt solar dry kiln.  Woodmaster 718 planner, Kubota M4700 with homemade forks and winch, stihl  028, 029, Ms390
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