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547368 tn?1440545385

Whom Are We Caregivers For?

There is not a lot of activity on our Caregivers Forum. Maybe it's because we have not been "found." Maybe it's because we are so busy care-giving we don't have time to post. Whatever the reason I hope we can raise some interest and activity in our community. This forum is designed to provide support and information for all Caregivers Let's see if we can do just that.

So here's a poll. I hope you will find the time to participate.

I care for my terminally ill 81 year old father. I also provide care for my 77 year old mother 50-60% of the time.  Who do you care for?

Warm Wishes,
Tuck
46 Responses
Avatar universal
Hi, my Mom and brother are in longterm care, I visit them alot.  My Mom is 87, and brother had 3 strokes.  I have a sister that was brain damaged at birth, which I am guardian of.  This on top of fighting depression for quite a while.  
547368 tn?1440545385
Thank you for taking the time to post. You certainly have your hands full. My heart goes out to you.

I hope that your brother and mom are in the same facility. Or do you have to go to two different ones to visit them?

As you may know I am the caregiver for my father in my home. I also deal with chronic pain and am disabled making caring for him even a greater challenge. He's a great man but I fear I am reaching the end of my limitations and ability to care for him. Thus far I have been unable to "give up" and place him in an alternative living situation.

Again thanks for sharing.
Tuck
Avatar universal
I currently care for a client who has had alzheimer's for 10 years.  I am a professional caregiver/CNA.
D.
547368 tn?1440545385
Weclome. CNA's are Jewels. Your work is so important. I was a CNA before I went to Nursing School. It was very rewarding. If you have been doing it for ten years you must be dedicated.

My father has a CNA through Hospice that comes in twice a week. She has become part of our family. We all love her. Thank you for all you do.

Tuck
Avatar universal
:-))  Thank you for your kind words.  I have been up against the "negativity" that surrounds CNA's that they do the "grunt" work...but you know....I don't mind.  I believe in what I do.  I actually wanted to be a  nurse, many, many years ago before I had my daughter, who later we found out was on the autism spectrum.  

I started the biology classes, chemistry, etc. and ended up with a pituitary tumor during that time...lol!  That changed my path.  However, all these years later, I still had the interest in caring for people, so I started with caregiving after my oldest was nearly finished with high school.

Like garbage collectors, etc...society would come to a halt if no one did the work.  CNA's are on the front line whether in a facility or nursing home, CBRF, RCAC, or in home care.  You are a gem :-))))
Avatar universal
I have posted before i take care of my spose who has cancer and is on oxygen and does not walk have for 10 years  jo
Avatar universal
i agree few people post here, also they do not ans the ones that post on senior health  jo not to many people pay much attention to the seniors any more  jo
547368 tn?1440545385
Dazon,

CNA's are the heartbeat of patient care. They notice if someone has a skin problem, they never scold when a a patient has an "accident," they help with meals and nourishment's, make beds and assist with general hygiene and more more things that are too numerous to mention. How would a facility every operate successfully without you? And more importantly how would patients? Your intervention spots issues before they become a problem.

In a long term facility you often become many a patent's family. You provide hugs, love and laughter that their families often can't or won't.

I'll never forget a very sad Christmas Day for me. I was a CNA, a single Mom. I had 2 very little boys that had to spend X-mas Eve and Christmas Day with my mom because I had to work. I went to work that Christmas Morning with tears in my eyes.  A grumpy elderly male patient that liked no one and was almost impossible to please, saw my tears. Mr X was often mean-mouthed and demanding. He never had visitors and no one could reach him. He asked why I was crying. I reluctantly told him, "Because I spent Christmas Eve alone and with out my sons and I'll spend Christmas Day without them too."  To my surprise he hugged me and with tears in his eyes he said, "We'll spend Christmas together. I've been alone for twenty years. My son is dead."  We smiled and cried together, holding on to one another like we were long lost friends. I spent every spare moment with him that day. Sometimes just popping my head in his door to say hello. I became his friend, his only friend. That's what CNA's do.

Granted, nurses make more money but their jobs are no more or less important than a CNA's. I would have remained a CNA had I not required more income to raise my sons. I received Zero dollars in child support.

We need more great CNAs like you so don't ever think you are not very important and very appreciated.

~Tuck~  
547368 tn?1440545385
I agree with you. Our society places great empathize of youth, wealthy and beauty. Seniors are often forgotten.....or at least it appears that way. Unless you are active and productive your opinion or needs do not seem to be very important or in some instances they just don't count.

Other societies equate age with wisdom and seniors are honored. Today in the USA if you are beautiful in a swimsuit or great on the stock market you are honored.

I beleive the Baby Boomer Generation is changing the picture to some degree, as they changed so many things in our country and aboard.

Bless you for caring for a disabled husband for so many years. I know the challenges are many and it's never easy. I care for my elderly father and many times I don't even know the date. Day's become a blur of meeting his needs and trying to manage my chronic pain. I have no other life. I am sure you can relate.

I find it helps to shat with others that know what I am experiencing. I hope you will be more active on the forum. Maybe together we can raise some support and activity.

(((HUGS))) to You,
   Tuck  
Avatar universal
Caregiver for my husband -- and losing my mind, if anybody is interested. One cannot keep her "mind" if she is never allowed to sleep nor ever allowed even a little bitty five minute "quiet time" during any day. Why do they become so babyish and 100 percent self-centered? I think it's the drugs. Doctors dope them up to try to make them stop complaining, and then send them home to the wife to deal with. My problem, I guess, is that I am apparently the only human left on the planet who is not taking drugs. I cannot find quiet time anywhere. For example, last week I cheated and left for my dentist appointment early just so I could sit in the waiting room and sit quietly and look at a magazine ... without anybody yelling in my ear and complaining, complaining, complaining. So what happens? Some other wife's patient high on prescription "Yakky Drugs" comes in and sits down next to me, another old Chatty Charlie high on prescription drugs, talk talk talk talk, yelling loudly in my ear, bragging and repeating himself ... just like at home! I started crying and everybody thought it was because I was afraid of the dental pain, but what I really wanted was for them to take me in for treatment and just don't talk, I can stand any pain if only the incessant loud repetitive talking will stop for five minutes  ...
547368 tn?1440545385
Lynne,

I am so very sorry to hear that you are so alone in your caregiving. I DO understand. Although my father is not talking incessantly he often is angry and blaming me. I do not have a minutes peace.

Everything that goes wrong can be my fault on any given day. Although I admit that his health has declined to the point that he is often unable to even be angry.  His mind no longer functions clearly and often he is child-like. He is still able to be angry and still able to attempt to drag me onto arguments about anything. I refuse to argue with him. It is fruitless.

Dad has been with us for seven years. His health has declined with every year and I have gradually given up my life to care for him. Now he is terminal and it breaks my heart. However that doesn't deter my need for rest, privacy, time to myself, time for my friends, time for my grown children or any of those things that others so often take for granted.

I do understand you need for some peace and quiet and my heart goes out to you. This non-crier is now easily driven to tears. Do you have any outside support? I am blessed to finally have the support of Hospice but even that is not enough.

You do need support also and precious time for yourself. Are there any support system in your area?  Volunteers? may I ask what is your husband;s diagnosis?

~Tuck~
Avatar universal
My husband has heart problems and COPD and other ailments, all of them legitimate serious problems. I am wholly sympathetic about that, and very kind to him, and do everything I can for him. But ... he is not always in a "bad way" and he can/could still do many things. Just not as easy or as fast or as painlessly as he used to. The problem is that he is not coping with growing older, he is furious that he can't drink and smoke and eat anything he wants, etc. etc. He is furious about the aches and pains and restrictions. Worse, once a man has had a heart attack, every twinge of indigestion is indistinguishable from another heart attack, and panic sets in.

All ER visits are at 2am, never when the caregiver is actually awake and dressed.

We do have some "good" days, though.  I have bursts of self-pity when we have gone through extended periods of the bad days. This time, it started just before Christmas and is still going on.  Cold or wet weather brings it on with him because he can't work outside and he refuses to anticipate this and come up with alternate interesting activities. When he hangs around the house complaining and making himself sick and depressed, I go insane tripping over him, from the frustration of never being able to complete any chore, much less have any private "happy" time with any personal interests; heck not even a complete thought to myself because the noise never stops. (The compulsive talking comes from drugs that I deem inappropriate therapy.)  I call this Retired Husband Syndrome, more than any physical illness. My mother went through it with my dad -- she signed him up to volunteer at the hospital the day he started supervising her cleaning the toilet and questioning her lifelong method of loading laundry into the dryer ...

I gave up working when my husband retired, because the first thing he did was have a heart attack (plus, he was wrecking the house being home alone, I would come home and burst into tears upon viewing the utter destruction). And since I am "not working," I guess he decided I am now his personal assistant 24/7. So yes, I consider myself his "caregiver."   Occasionally I read him the riot act -- like yesterday afternoon -- but that takes a lot out of me to cry and yell and slam doors, and it isn't my real personality. It works, though -- today he is acting all mature and independent and cheerful. That could just be because it is a nice spring-like day, though ...

I have an objection about treating Retired Husband Syndrome with drugs, which is what doctors always want to do. Great, now he has a Xanax or Prozac addiction in addition to Retired Husband Syndrome, thanks Doc! Can he come live with YOU?  My suggestion is Mandatory Daycare upon retirement, but nobody will listen to me.

My one request to family members and friends who want to be helpful to a caregiver:  Take the patient out of the house on some regular, predictable schedule.  Pick him up at the front door and don't bring him back until the promised time. The caregiver wants to vacuum in front of the patient's sofa or recliner and air the place out, and have some quiet time to herself. So do not insist that the caregiver come along on your outing -- that defeats the purpose. For goodness sake, don't bring yourself and your closest 10 friends and their children and pets along for a "visit" at the patient's house. The caregiver will shoot herself because now she has 20 additional warm bodies to wait on and hear complaints from ... how cruel can you be?

Thanks for this forum, it really does help to gripe a little in a place the patient won't see, and provide empathy for others in the same situation.

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