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    Is It February Already?
    Judith L London, PhD posted:
    Hi Everyone,

    I'm finally starting that Caregiver's Support Group next month. We know that support eases the burden of caregiving. What a relief to find others who know what you're going through. Share what you have found that helps you as you navigate through this journey.

    Keep up the good work,
    davedsel2 responded:
    Hello Dr. London and everyone. Happy February!

    Personally, I have never really been a hands-on care giver. I did have to "take over" my dad's life when he was diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease in early 2011. That was probably the hardest thing I have ever done in my life. The "system" in the USA is extremely complex and required jumping through many hoops. I started by getting my dad into a memory care facility, then two assisted living facilities until he had to be move to a VA nursing home in May 2013. My dad was in facilities that managed his medications and health issues, but I took him to doctor appointments and out for meals, etc. It was an added responsibility and somewhat difficult as I am disabled. Now that he is in a nursing home my direct involvement has minimized and responsibilities lessened. We try to visit at least once per month as the nursing home is an hour's drive each way and call about once per week. His Alzheimer's is advancing as expecting but he is receiving excellent care.

    My father-in-law was diagnosed with dementia about 10 years ago. My mother-in-law cared for him and we all watched as my wife's dad slowly but steadily go worse. He passed away on February 6, 2013 with a local chapter of Hospice offering excellent care and support for him in his home. He passed away in a hospital bed in their living room and went very peacefully. We watched as my MIL struggled more each year to care for him and her own health issues and aging. She is now 89 years old and misses him so much, as do we all. I saw the challenges of the "system" with my FIL as well and we helped as much as we could.

    I'm looking forward to seeing what the Caregiver's Support Group is all about.

    I pray you all have a blessed and Fantastic February!
    Please click on my username or avatar picture to read my story.


    adele0283 replied to davedsel2's response:
    Dave, I wouldn't exactly call you a "hands on" care giver since your father has been in a facility since diagnosis. That term is reserved for those of us who keep our parents at home and care for them.. Taking over his financial life and physical possessions is an entirely different story, but sometimes as stressful, or more so as dealing with the parent themselves, especially if your disabled as we are. My mother was behind on her bills for 4 months when I took over and I had a hell a of time untangling her financial mess. Then, there is the packing up and moving of their possessions and selling of her house which is almost killing me. I started this endeavor 2 years ago and am still not finished. It never gets any easier. At least you don't have to deal with the everyday torment of his disease which is the real picnic.
    davedsel2 replied to adele0283's response:

    Your fist sentence reads "Dave, I wouldn't exactly call you a "hands on" care giver"

    That is why my first sentence reads "Personally, I have never really been a hands-on care giver.'

    Watching a loved one go through this disease is still a torment, no matter what level of participation one has with the care. It is sad, frustrating and even maddening to watch any family member's health condition digress no matter what the cause. I may not have the physical exhaustion that you do, but I am emotionally drained and under stress. This is a horrible disease, and all involved are greatly affected.
    Please click on my username or avatar picture to read my story.


    cjh1203 replied to adele0283's response:

    I'm also terribly sorry for what you're going through with your wife, but it doesn't serve any purpose to dismiss what others who have loved ones with Azheimer's have to deal with. It's not a competition.

    Best wishes,
    Judith L London, PhD replied to cjh1203's response:

    How devoted you are to your loved ones.

    In fact, you all are primary caregivers - the person who is the advocate, arranger, go-to number regardless of whoever is handling the day-to day responsibilities. adele0283 - please get some help pronto. Local community organizations have volunteers to ease the burden by giving you some relief to go out on your own and do things that nourish you. Caregivers often succomb while the person with Alzheimer's continues the stress is so great for the caregiver. Contact the Alzheimer's Assn. - or 800-272-3900. People who go to support groups fare much better than those who don't. It's tha topportunity to listen and share and discover new tips from those in the trenches who know what it is like.

    Keep us posted,

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