September, 2019 Labor

Labor Day!  Caregivers thank you so much for your labor of love you give day in and day out!  Caregivers never get a day, or night, off unless they hire other caregivers to take their place.  How do you ask or hire other people to take your place so you can have a day or more off from your caregiving duties?  There are more and more licensed caregiver groups who are able to give care at a moments notice.  Be sure to check their references and online reviews.  Friends are preferable, but many do not feel up to the task of caring for an elderly person no matter how often they visit.  Family members may not be able to help either.  Be careful to maintain an attitude of hope and avoid resentment if none of these options are available.  Caregiving will not last forever although it may seem to last a lifetime!  Take joy in knowing your labor will not be in vain as God, himself, will reward your faithful service!

Change!

Well, we have now entered into the next phase of our lives. Retirement! When we were the caregivers, we made a list of “What not to do to our children”. With that in mind, we have tried to clean out and get rid of as much as we could and have now moved closer to our daughter and granddaughter. After 37 years in one house, we could look at the move with sadness or we could view it as a new adventure! To be honest, it was a little of both. Our number one item on the list of “What not to do to our children” was to be unwilling to move near them. It can be daunting, scary or lonely to think about a major move. However, we need to ask the question, “What, where and whom do we plan to eventually take care of us?” Unless God decides otherwise, we will all need some level of care. Do we want a stranger taking care of us or our children or grandchildren? These are hard questions to think about but it is vitally important to plan for the inevitable. Never be too busy to spend time either on the phone or in person to maintain and cultivate the family relationships. Remember, we are always training the next generation to take care of us someday!

Palliative vs Hospice Care

What is palliative care?  What is hospice care? 

The major difference between palliative and hospice care is palliative care is focused on nutrition, pain control and help during a life-threatening illness.  Hospice care typically provides comfort care only for presumably the last six months of your life but may be renewed up to a year.  Palliative care is for help in surviving a disease process with the least amount of pain and disruption to your family life.  So what are the reasons to accept palliative or hospice care?  “All things shared make all things easier”.  The doctors, nurses and aides have years of experience in knowing the ‘tricks of the trade’ and will gladly share their knowledge to help you through the disease.  My favorite tip is using a capful of mouthwash in a bedside commode after each use to kill germs and smell great!  Do not be afraid to accept help but enjoy the extra hands helping you navigate through each day as you face the need for either palliative or hospice care.

2019!

Relatives!

Happy New Year, 2019!  The holidays are over, and I wonder… did you survive the relatives?

Many times, the family arrives and your loved one is so excited to see them.  The adrenaline kicks in and it is amazing how well they communicate, walk and function while the visiting family members are in town.  I used to be amazed and also a bit annoyed at this ‘amazing recovery’.  Some family members who see this for a day or two, may question why there is a problem with caring for their loved one.  Understand…this is a temporary (adrenaline induced) behavior and as soon as the visiting family members leave, your loved one will probably take to the bed or chair for several days.  Their appetite will also be decreased!  This is normal for you but hard to make others understand and accept. 

You are doing what is best on a 24/7 basis!  Stay strong and patient. 

Psalm 46:10 “Be still and know that I am God” is a great verse to claim this new year!