lauriearoberts Asked July 2010

How do I keep my chin up and get through the frustrations with my mom?

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farmangel Jul 2010
My oldest sister is retired now and she lives close enough that she will take care of Mother for a couple days each month so that I can have some time off. However, I don't want to put too much on her as she has health issues of her own and her son has MS. Having my daughter here so that I can go to church on Wednesday evening helps. Yes, I know that I need help whenever I can get it and you are right-I deserve it!
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anne123 Jul 2010
I don't know if you are able to have someone care for your mother for a while
on a particular day so that you can get out of the house and get a total change of scenery. Just to go to a mall, shop, have a latte, or whatever to relax and nurture yourself. This would give your mind and body a total rest from your responsibilities, at least for a few hours. I hope this is possible for you. You need it and you deserve it.
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farmangel Jul 2010
I am blessed to have one of my daughters and her youngest son living with me to help me take care of Mother. My grandson is 5 and he makes my day. On the week-ends that he is with his Daddy I look at pictures of him and remember what we were doing when the picture was taken and that helps relieve the stress. When I mention to different people that we have four generations living in one house they look at me like I have lost my mind and sometimes it isn't pleasant but when they come home at night my grandson & I usually go outside for a while if the weather is good and play with the dog or in the sandbox or just pick up sticks out of the yard to put on the burn pile so we can have a wiener roast this fall. Just getting out of the house for a while really helps because being cooped up with an Alz. patient is not very pleasant sometimes and we do start feeling sorry for ourselves just because but when we catch a breather we are ready for another round of what is going on at the moment. Music is also a good way to relieve stress, just listening or try dancing and being silly can make a difference. So what if someone sees you, they may call the "men in the little white coats" but who cares, if acting silly makes you feel better-that's all that matters. The remark that AlzCargiver made about going outside at night is right on. I live in the country and am able to go out at night and see the stars and the fireflys and hear the crickets chirp. When the moon is full or almost full I love to sit in my lawnchair and think about the times that my late husband and I sat out under the moon and stars and talked or just sat quietly. Even if you have only a few minutes to be able to be alone to gather your thoughts and refresh your mind helps tremendously.

I have had a couple weeks respite while Mother has been in a facility for physical therapy and I am grateful to have had this time. I am ready to bring her home and begin another go round. Knowing that there are others out there that are going through the same thing I am really helps. When you are home being a caregiver 24-7 you sometimes feel that you are alone in what you are doing. Just a few minutes "chatting" makes me feel like I can get up the next morning. So thanks to all for your comments. God Bless!!
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rossellamex Jul 2010
It's hard. Very very very very hard. Try to have some spare time for yourself where you can do things that you really like, The rest of the time, deep breaths!
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"Use your pretty things, don't hide them away for safe keeping! You know life is too short and one day when you're dead, and your pretty things have collected enough dust to bury you, your children will go through your closets, set up a garage sale and sale your treasures for 10 cents each!"
Take each day as a gift, dress for dinner, use the good china and cloth napkins. Use your best cologne everyday. Treat yourself, and when there is a quiet moment, look upward and thank God for that moment you have to spend with Him in prayer. 'The Joy of The Lord is our strength!"
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I use photography and video, both in relating to mom (reflecting her world, sharing where I went in the day), and artistically. Just saw a coffee table book where the author took a photo per day, mostly abstracts of a day's meaningful object. So, this is my hobby, which happens to be useful dealing with Mom. I have videotape her delusional thrashings to show the ambulance guys and doctors at the ER. Once there, I take photos of what's going on, or smiley face photos of Mom and nurse, then show them to her immediately. That takes both of us out of the fear of the moment and makes the event more of an art form.

See videos at my CarolJWright YT channel (and also AlzheimersCaregiver channel) and my blog which you can find by googling whendoesthegladstart. The recent ones feature using photography for "kissy photos." Mom being kissed by neighbors, granddaughters, hair salon gals, etc. Mom can relive the moments and feels warmth from them. Of course I have prints made, but those digital picture frames are handy too...or run slideshow on your tv.

Another gal on this website shared about scanning in old family photos and making slideshows to show on TV. It gave her a hobby and a meaningful way to share time with her mother.

Oh, go outside at night for a break, even if just to the street curb. once I had to run across the street to return something to the neighbor, and when I turned around, I saw the new moon lingering in twilight colors. Darn. I was shocked to see this amazing sight. And shocked to realize I had not been outside at night in months and months. So now I slip out every now and then and breathe the cool air and enjoy the quiet.
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Jsomebody Jul 2010
I guess by just that, keeping your chin up, looking at all the bad and all the good in your day and accepting them both and giving yourself credit for what you can do and being compassionate with yourself over what you can't and remembering to breath and take breaks when you need to. Just going outside for twenty minutes can help relive stress and recharge you for the next batch of whatever...
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Journal or blog. I get through it by blogging. Bubble baths and prayers help too. Try hard to focus on the positive & dont become negative. Negative thoughts are contagious & hard to rise above. Seek professional therapy or support groups in your area.

Find something positive in every day .... Somedays it may just be that everyone is alive! Cherish the time together.

God bless you!
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