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I had a friend ask me recently what I would do once my Mom is not around to care for.... I had to think...

Aside from maybe caring for my brother and/or sister, I would get back to the gym...I would also like to spend a few times per year visiting my daughter, who lives 8 hours away.... But, maybe the first thing I would do is clean my house.... My husband has been very supportive of my going to Mom's every day and staying until after dinner time. But, a thorough house cleaner he is not :-)....

How about you? What would you do?

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Breathe a huge sigh of relief!!!
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Relax and regain my health.
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Susan, You reminded me of a phone conversation my husband had not long ago... A political party called for donations. My husband told the person that he would not give credit card information over the phone. After telling the solicitor that several times, my husband said, "You should run for Congress because you aren't listening to me." It was good for a laugh.
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I do have a sign that I keep on my door - it doesn't stop all solicitors, but most of them do leave when they see it. I did have one very stubborn politician keep knocking at my door, even when my huge dog attacked the door, and when I finally went to the door because he wouldn't quit knocking, he yelled through the door, "I'm running for Congress!" I yelled back, "I wouldn't vote for you if you were the last man on earth, because you obviously can't read!" (pointing at the sign) He yells back, "Yes, but I'm running for Congress!"
Incredible....no wonder our country is in such bad shape.

Sign reads:
NO SOLICITATION
No Politics
No Religious Causes
No Flyers Left on Door
No Sales of Any Kind

Violators will be reported.

For the most part, it works - but there are always a few....
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Susan (my real name, too! :-) ) Love the sign! I remember the parents of a childhood friend had a recording for their voicemail that included something like: 'If you are selling insurance, we are not interested. Everyone else could leave a message.' Of course, that was years ago.... Now we get all kinds of calls. The one good thing is the blocker we have that will catch many of the robo calls.
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Mapotter - I hear you on the phone solicitors - they fall under the same category as the door knockers in my book - but at least I can block their numbers (sometimes have to do it repeatedly...).

I had one call a few years back when I was still caregiving for Mom and was having a particularly rough day. He called on the landline phone (which we still had at the time) and was trying to sell me satellite tv service. I politely said we weren't interested and to take our number off his list. He responded rudely, "If you don't want sales calls, you shouldn't have your number in the phone book!"
I completely lost my cool with that one - Mom heard me say a few words she'd never heard me say in her presence before.

I still like the no soliciting sign I saw once:


We don't need a new vacuum.
We don't need a new roof.
We don't vote.
We've found Jesus.

Seriously....if you're not selling Thin Mints, GO AWAY!
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GardenArtist, sorry for the delay in answering your last question.
For several years I have had problems walking very far, like 100yds or more. So I haven't done any hiking here in Vegas. I would love to get out and do some of the hiking here.
There are really many places. Red Rock park and Valley of the Fire just to name two. Now with DW having dementia I have worries just going to collect the mail. So I read and collect some of the various tools of hiking and camping.
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SusanA43, let me know if you invent a wired doormat. I'd love to have one!

What I did once when some commonly known religious people were walking up and down the street, and they ignored my sign of "no religious, political, window, construction, salesmen, ...." and tried to save me anyways, was to wait until they got off the porch, went to their car, then I went outside and very visibly wrote down the license plate number, make, model and color of their car.

If I had it to do again, I would take my cell phone with me, get the car data, then pretend to make a call. Hopefully they would think I was calling the police.

Sometimes I've called the grocery stores that leave their ads on the porch and complimented them on hiring people who can't read (with no criticism of someone who is illiterate). They don't understand, so I explain that I have a no soliciting sign on my door, yet someone left ads or whatever on my porch for their store, so I assume that they hired someone who can't read.

There's always a long pause, so I end the call with complimenting them again but suggesting that they hire someone who can read as I don't appreciate having to pick up their trash. Then I hang up before they can figure out what to say.

We also have an ordinance against soliciting in our community.


MountainMoose, have a safe, pleasant and relaxing journey home.


MaPotter, I got responses like you did when I told off the guys pretending to be from Dell or Microsoft calling to alert me that my computer was "infected." Then I started toying with them, asking what kind of infection plagued my computer, what antibiotics I needed to put inside the computer to cure the infection, and more ridiculous retorts.
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SusanA43 — I love this! “....wired doormat that gives them a jolt....or an ejection doormat that sends them flying back out into the street.” Would be great for pesky in-laws, too. 😁
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She1934, I am with you on eating. The ocean is very soothing. Reconnecting to family is always good. I am glad I have been able to stay in touch with some of my extended family online. That is one good thing about social media. (Maybe the only thing! :-)) I also don't feel so far away from my kids when I can drop them a text. (I am not much of a phone-talker...)

Moose, It all seems so hard. I am not looking forward to having to sell my childhood home, and often have anxiety about that. I can't imagine having to do that if I was living in another state. I feel for you. Hugs.

Susan, I wish we had emojis... I would use an angry one. I dislike solicitors who don't listen. I could tell you a story of a phone solicitor when I told him to take my number off his list... , but his response was not one I could repeat here....
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I *seriously* need that no solicitors sign! I doubt it would work, though - the solicitors around here seem to be particularly dense.

I had one last week that came to the door to put a flyer on my door for handyman services. Our town has a policy that any door-knockers other than religious or political have to have a permit to leave flyers or contact you in any way. So I usually remind them of that and ask to see their permit if they come knocking on my door - it usually sends them packing. This guy was something else. He came up to the door, and I happened to be walking past the door at the same time, so I went up and motioned "no" and pointed to the flyer on my door. He pointed at the headphones on his ears and flapped his hand at me as if blowing me off. I opened the door and asked him to take the flyer with him, because I was not interested - and did so politely. He gave an exasperated sigh, took the flyer, walked around the corner of my house and PUT IT ON THE OTHER DOOR!
OMG. I just about lost it. It was one of those days that you just *don't* want to deal with someone like that. So I went out, got the flyer (he flipped me off as he walked away) and called our city clerk to report someone soliciting without a permit, and gave them the phone number that was on the flyer.

Marketing lessons from this guy:
1) Follow the laws of the city you're soliciting in.
2) Don't piss off your potential customers. Acting like an a** when going door-to-door doesn't make anyone want to call you to book your services.

I swear, one of these days I'm going to invent a wired doormat that gives them a jolt....or an ejection doormat that sends them flying back out into the street.
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Moose, I love the warning on your door! I'd like to put something like that on my front door to emphasize more than the "no solicitors" note, but someone would probably report me and the police would be surrounding my house!

She1934, that's a very eloquently described plan, as well as tribute to your spouse.
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First I would try to take a short trip 2-3days to the ocean-nothing at all fancy-just to be able to walk the beach, smell the sea air, feel the wind in my face, throw sticks for my dog, and if my spouse has died, try to reconnect with the man I fell in love with, mourn his loss but be grateful that his suffering through dementia has ended and mine too. Then I would reconnect with my siblings and other children and grandchildren who I have had so little time to be with. Once I have begun to feel comfortable being a part of the world again, I would begin a small exercise routine, simplify my food intake, then find ways to volunteer my time and if possible get a part time job. Oh, and maybe, if I have a little extra money, get a good haircut as I have been cutting my own and his for years-perhaps a mani-pedi! I would be eternally grateful for the good years we had and try to help those going through this awful journey. It's a lot and it won't happen all at once. But I also know that many caregivers do not survive the journey. Sometimes we just do not want to. So very sad.
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Mom's been gone 19 days now. I came close to a meltdown a couple nights ago when I couldn't sleep thinking of all the things on my plate: Trying to pack up my long-term stay stuff along with Mom's things and furniture I'm taking with me in a house littered with most of her stuff that Sisters and Nephew and Niece dragged out to sort and they just left it all out. It seems to be a joke to them "I'll take it later." We had a FAST contract offer to buy Mom's house and it closes on the 27th, so a bit more than a week to get this house emptied and me packed up and all my business finished.

I started cleaning for Sister 2's business to earn some money to help with my expenses of going home. I work hard and I'm exhausted when I leave. Today's my final day--yay! A couple days ago, I traded my car for a car with 4-wheel-drive and a tow package so I can drive it home (I tried to sell my car that I bought here to take care of Mom but it didn't sell--a major stress for me and had no choice but to trade it in for a vehicle I could at least keep in the mountains). But it saves me a thousand dollars to rent a trailer rather than a renting a truck and a tow dolly.

I did much of Mom's business because Sister 1--her executor--blew off much of Mom's business because she couldn't handle it. She's finally stepping up and I tossed some final annoyances her way so I didn't have to.

Yesterday I got fed up because they had stopped clearing out Mom's house last week and I called a local charity that'll pick up Mom's unwanted but sellable items and set a day/time next week to pick it all up. I notified them all of the deadline (too many need a deadline to go into action).

There's a lot more but I've spewed too much for you good people who've helped me so much. Bottom line: by the end of the month I'll be HOME. After the moving trailer's empty and returned, I plan to slowly settle in, sleeping, eating, cuddling with my two dogs, and gently get my mental and emotional health back. Then I can start to again focus on re-writing a couple screenplays I started. Yesterday I thought about a sign for my door: "Do not disturb. I'm exhausted and I'm armed. Leave me alone. Seriously..."
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Just a cautionary word....I began making plans for life post-caregiving and started to try to implement them. But I found that it's too stressful to take on more than just adapting to life w/o my father. I will start sewing again, as I've missed it and really hate being reliant on cheaply made clothing, but I'll start slowly....maybe just some potholders for now!

I might also pick up some of the embroidery, crochet or quilts I started a few dozen years ago. Just touching lovely fabric is soothing. In fact I think I'll spend some time in my studio rummaging through unfinished products. I do need to check on the yarn stash and see if it's still viable.

All in good time....
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Do all the things I couldn't do now because I have to stay home and keep watch on mom.

Things I would do: going out to dinner with husband and kids, taking kids to amusement parks, going to the beach, having friends over, going out with friends, visiting my in-laws, going to birthday parties instead of turning down the invites, going on vacations, taking a cruise.
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I ask myself that a lot. I care for my dad and I’m alone. I have family, but I don’t have a family. I’m totally isolated. I tell myself my future is in God’s hands cause honestly I don’t know.
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Never doubt yourself Jeanne. I've found you to be a wise soul and you are helping many.

I've spent a lot of time on here since my Mom died too. Still don't know where the rest of my life path is heading but I'm sure it will happen when it's supposed to. At least I hope so.
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Thanks for reminding me that participating in AgingCare is doing something, Kimber166 and Mapotter. I appreciate that. I do consider trying to help caregivers a hobby!

I'm impressed that so many of you do or plan to do volunteering. At one point I thought I might, but I have concluded that devoting 10 years of my life to caring for another person earns me a pass. I guess AC is my volunteering.
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Michlaz, that's a nice way to pass, peacefully and in her sleep and without apparent stress. I hope that helps you as you move forward in your own life. And I offer my condolences to your loss as well. I'm glad you'll be able to have good memories of her last hours.
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Great post, Michlaz. Sorry for your loss. Hugs. As I watch my Mom decline, I keep hoping she goes quietly in her sleep....
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I am just starting to figure out what I would like to do with the extra time and energy I now have after my Mom recently passed away, quickly and early one morning, just before the sunrise. A loving and familiar caregiver was with her for her last few hours, and though it seemed my Mom was restless and had some nausea, it does sound like she had no idea she was in her final hours and was even able to walk from her bedroom to her favorite rocking chair in the living room just an hour or two before she passed, sitting in her chair and appearing to fall asleep.

I'm greatful that she seemed to have no distress, no long hospitalization, and no idea really that she was dying. Maybe this is an end that comes mostly with heart problems, as she did have recurring afib. This sudden end did come after a decade or more of slow and difficult decline, so I expected her to actually also have a long drawn out death.

So, to me now there is much relief, enough energy left to pull my own life back together in the most basic areas - clean the house, the yard, get the cats to the vet, get my own health needs seen to better. And then, with whatever is left of my life, begin to have some "leisure time" again. Love to all who are still dealing with the challenge of a declining elderly parent. And to those who are now free to destress and enjoy their families and renewed time with interests, without the chronic worry that being a family caregiver can bring.
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MaPotter, what a great idea for Windy to play his guitar for his parents, and the other residents!

I used to play piano for my father but haven't practiced in so long that I can't play proficiently. Dad asked me to play at his last home away from home, but I tried practicing and really needed to spend much more time before I made a fool of myself.
I also discovered that the arthritis in my left hand prevented it and my right hand from working together! My left hand was moving at a different speed than my right.

And that facility had 2 baby grand pianos. Sigh... Everytime I went by them I wanted to sit down and play, but knew that I couldn't so do with any level of proficiency.
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GardenArtist, the fleece blankets are actually lapghans. My sister has a gel seat on her chair (she has MS, along with scoliosis and osteoporosis...(bad situation)). The blanket covers her legs and she can tuck it in on the sides. The trick was to get the right size.

Glass fusion is where you cut glass like you do with stained glass. In this case, it was for a small square dish. So, you cut the glass and layout a design. Then the studio takes it and puts it in a kiln and fires it (I think it was twice) -- one was placed on a mold. The glass fuses together. I will PM you a picture of what I did (if I can attach a picture).

I forgot... I also took a weaving class and made a scarf.

OldSalior, I love woodworking, too. I took a class years ago, and made a stool. (I always give my stuff away!) A friend of mine goes to week-long classes in other states where he makes all kinds of things from chairs to wooden bowls.

Windyridge, hugs to you. Maybe you can play the guitar as therapy while taking care of your dad. Music is supposed to be good and soothing for dementia patients. My brother used to play the guitar (when he was little he started to teach me). Now, he is leaving it to me to sell his guitar when he passes... :-/
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Old Sailor, you certainly have a lot of interests. But I do understand that it's difficult to enjoy them when caregiving obligations increase. Maybe you can just make plans - dreaming has been very helpful and liberating for me.

If you decide to make that gun case, I'd be interested in how you do it - preparing the naugahyde, cutting it, sewing it...generally working with it overall. I need to replace some gun cases and was planning to just buy them. I sew, but I don't have an industrial machine to handle tough fabrics.

So you're a hiker and camper - whereabouts have you hiked?

And BTW, I'll be glad to sample your chicken with broccoli!



Windy, hang in there.
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Nice to read all these posts . Like maybe there is life out there.....

My mom died last week and dad is failing pretty quickly. I’ve been in WV dealing with it all.

I’ve missed the freedom to travel. Even week end trips can be hard. Phone rings......OMG ....What now.........

And my music. My second job was as a musician for many years. I’ve hardly touched my guitar in months. I keep it on its stand in the living room thinking Ill grab it and get going again.

It will be easier now with just Dad to worry about but his dementia is worsening by the week. I’m hoping to move him to memory care this week.  I’ll be in for some rough sledding with him soon.
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GuardenArtist, I do some wood working. Not so much anymore.
I have crocheted a few water bottle carriers. Sort of his and hers. I am working on a military canteen carrier. All of the above have long straps so I can throw them over my shoulder and walk more freely. I have made some coasters and given them to people.
They are good practice.
I built shelves for the garage, steps for my under tall wife to help her get into the bed, step-in tub, and the vehicle.
I want to make some more out doors type stuff for hiking, camping, hunting, etc of paracord.
I haven't been doing much since wife came down with FTD and such. I really need to get back into it more instead of sitting around and worrying.
As for sewing, my goal is to make a good vest from something and a gun case from naugahyde(sp).
One or two of the hospitals have had cooking classes but it was for foods we no longer eat. I do have a collection of recipes that we do eat. Tonite I made a chicken and broccoli casserole with a cream sauce. Not bad.
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MaPotter, does the fleece maintain its fluffiness after being sat upon? That's a great idea; fleece is so cozy and comfortable.

What is glass fusion? Is it anything like blowing glass to form those beautiful objects seen in demonstrations?

I do plan to take a photography class this summer. The most beautiful photos I've seen are taken by people with elaborate and professional systems, but I want to learn the techniques, especially for something like "stacking".

If I don't stop making plans though, I'll never get the trust and estate managed properly!
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Great posts!

GardenArtist, I did make a lap blanket out of fleece for my sister. It was very warm and fit her wheelchair perfectly. And, it was easy. I have thought of doing that as well.

The other thing that I like doing is taking workshops. Sometimes classes take too much of a commitment. So, you can spend a few hours on a Saturday learning something new. I am the type who likes to learn about a lot of things. (I am the jack of all trades, master of none!) I have taken a pottery workshop (and continued to do pottery off and on for a few years at a time). I have also taken a jewelry class and a glass fusion class. Loved the glass fusion! I would like to try that again.

Also, check out local colleges. They have classes for seniors. Where I used to work (a public university), it is called Lifelong Learning.
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OH, I forgot to add, I've started doing some volunteer work for the local animal shelter, too - when they need me. I love it. :-)
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