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BerniBaby posted:
I hope to connect with other wives who are taking care of their husband's. We have been married for 43+ years and I have become the caregiver to my husband's diminishing health and has been very hard hard for me to go from "wife" to "caregiver". Would love to hear from any other wives who find themselves in this difficult role......
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Andie_WebMD_Staff responded:
Welcome to the Caregiving Community. I am so very sorry your husband's health has been diminishing. After more than 43 years of marriage and active life together I know it must be very hard to now be in a caregiver role. ((hugs))

I'm glad you found us here and hope you'll keep posting. We have a caring community and I'm sure there are others taking care of their spouses that will be reaching out to you soon, too.

Here is the article, Getting Started with Caregiving , which has information on handling stress, worksheets to help you keep track of things, and tips on taking care of yourself.

I also encourage you to start building a support system around you.... find hobbies or even volunteer in your community to start making those all-important connections with others. It's so important to take care of yourself by giving yourself some "me" time to recharge.

Come back and feel free to share often. I look forward to hearing more from you and sending warm wishes your way for a rewarding experience.

~Andie
 
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An_188403 responded:
Hi, Berni - I have never done this online, but my husband, age 77 (Ed) suffered 2 mini-strokes in June, 2010, and it would be nice to talk with someone who is experiencing a similar situation.. Because of spinal stenosis in the lumbar region he is no longer able to drive. I also have the care of our autistic & intellectually disabled daughter, age 40. Between the two I am busy as caregiver pretty much 24/7. Ed is having back surgery on 10/25 for the stenosis (microsurgery, these days), and we are hoping it brings some relief from his pain.
Perhaps I will hear from you - take care of yourself, too. - B.
 
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Elizabeth_WebMD_Staff replied to An_188403's response:
Welcome,

We are glad you found us and hope you find companions in similar caregiving experiences.

I am sorry you have had the extra responsibilities after Ed's stroke and his surgery yesterday.

This article on "Insights for Caregivers" may have information that you are familiar with since you have been caring for you daughter for so long, but I thought the "Self Care" section may be of interest for you.

Please be patient, as this board is growing and check back in to let us know how surgery went and how you are doing.

Elizabeth
 
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Allison12345 responded:
Wow. I'm sure this is overwhelming, but you're wise to look for people going through the same thing. It really does help. While I haven't been in this situation, I've watched others and it really helps to stay connected and make time for yourself. I know that sounds selfish, but you need to recharge now and then. are there family members who can help you out now and then--even a few hours would help. Here's a link to a neat site that is asking for caregiver stories ....not sure if you're at a point to do that, but it could help to read others. Take care!

http://www.eldercarelink.com/Go/contest/main/1

 
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JudyJewell responded:
I have been married for 54 years and about 4 months ago, my husband had a stroke with loss of left side of his body. After a month of acute therapy, we moved down the scale to a local nursing home which gives therapy. He has made more progress than they expected. I have been to the nursing home at least 5 hours a day, helping with therapy. We have applied to a assisted living facility, but I am not looking forward to giving up my home. He cannot transport from his wheelchair to where ever he needs to be, and I am not strong enough to move him. I can understand how you are feeling.
 
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Elizabeth_WebMD_Staff replied to JudyJewell's response:
Welcome Judy,

I am sorry to hear about your husbands stroke and your plan to move.

It must be difficult to make this transition and yet it will be helpful to have the additional care for your husband. Hopefully, he will continue to progress and become stronger each day.

I hope you have had a chance to look over the information in our Caregiving Center . And, this Checklist of Questions to ask when looking for assisted living communities.

Please keep us posted on how you are doing,
Elizabeth
 
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lizedits replied to Elizabeth_WebMD_Staff's response:
Hello all,
I just joined this group today and I wish I'd found you two years ago. In June 2009, my husband of (then) 12 years had a massive stroke that left him with left-side weakness and short-term memory loss. For the last two years, I have been his sole caregiver. In addition to caring for him, I care for our home and pets and work full time (and often overtime) as a freelance writer and editor.

I have taken one day off in two years, and I am burned out. I have health issues myself (bipolar II disorder, for example) and have completely neglected my own needs to care for my husband.

In the last six months he has begun to deteriorate mentally and I'm at my wit's end. He relies on me for everything--even the basic ADLs he learned to do for himself in rehab.

I am considering placing him in a nursing home. Our family doctor has said repeatedly that caring for my husband is destroying my health. He has told my husband this, to no avail. My husband just keeps on making demands that I find it harder to fulfill. Please note that our doctor has said that my husband is capable of taking care of himself--he is just too lazy and selfish to do it.

In the mean time, I am losing weight (partially due to loss of appetite and partially to bouts of nausea and vomiting. Half the time I forget to take my meds. I have lost two clients because my husband's demands on my time caused me to miss deadlines. I used to be a joyful person; now I am simply tired, waiting for the release my own eventual death will bring.

I'm sorry to be such a downer, but I really needed to vent. My friends listen to me but I always figure that they are only sympathetic because they love me.

With love and understanding,
Elizabeth
 
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zzwake1 responded:
I am so sorry to hear about your husband's health. I know that it can be a very isolating situation at times. I am glad to meet you. My husband and I have only been married for 10 years, but together for 15, and in the last 4 years, he has gone from a very active older man, to daily dialysis, in which I've been trained to assist him with at home. I work a full time job also, and it seems I have no time anymore to have any down time. What have you found that helps you most? I am now having trouble with time management, in which that use to be my forte'... All I know is that God is good and that he is with me at all times. This is the only thing that keeps me sain. I would love to hear from you.
 
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humbleII replied to zzwake1's response:
I too offer my solace to you in regards to your husband's health concerns. My husband suffered an hemmoraging stroke a month ago that left has impaired his left side and it seems as if in one incredible moment our life was changed. We are fifty both fifty one year old and both worked full time. We have limited insurance due to rising cost of insurance coverage. My husband is currently in a rehab/skilled nursing facility for the next 30 days to assit him in improved mobility and general care of self. He had to go back into the hospital during the inital 30 days of his stroke due to increased swelling of the brain. He stayed in for a week and half. i have been running back and forth from hospital to work and now rehab center. I know I am truly blessed that he has survived the intial stroke, however his recovery is overwelming to me and I am struggling to adapt to the challenge of working and making sure his care is adequate. I agree that all I know that God is goood and he has given me the strength to get an start anew each day and I know this is the only thing that has enable me to maintain my sanity. As a trained therapist, I know I probably need to be writing how I am feeling about this process, but it so much harder when what you are experiencing is so much bigger than you. I have loss weight as well, partially from stress and loss of appetite, but mostly from the need to change my diet to fit my husband's once he return home. I have been educating myself about the type of stroke he had and the care and recovery he will need. So I would love to hear from both of you.


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