you do.

Hello e1-

Damn I needed that! Feels like a ton of weight has been removed! YES my fellow caregivers, after years of blockage, I finally took a shift today. Several shifts actually. And I feel sooo much better. I’d like to share with you what my shift consisted of- ME. That’s right, my shift was made up of ME. Here’s what it was like:

I got up this morning and took care of breakfast for mom, fed the pets and while having my coffee, I sat in front of mom, asked her to please mute her squawk box (tv) and clearly explained to her that today between X and X (two hours) I will be unavailable because I will be taking a massive shift. I told her I would be available after X o’clock until X at which time I will again be unavailable while I relieve myself with another two hour shift. I nicely explained that while I am shifting, she will have to get up to get her ice water if she wanted it, that if the remote fell she would have to pick it up, if kitty wants out she will have to oblige kitty by getting up and opening the door, if someone rings the doorbell well hot damn it will be up to her to answer it or not, etc.. I emphasized to her how much EVERYONE HATES it when their shift gets interrupted, she agreed, I said good, thank you mom and went about taking my shift. One word my friends- EPIC!

When you take a shift, that is YOUR time- you don’t share your shift with others, or only with others worthy of your shift if you choose to share it. Prepare your LO for your shift time, plan your shift as much as possible so it’s not interrupted. Make sure everyone is fed, propped up facing the squawk box, has fresh water and whatever else and then get to it- take your much earned shift for the next two hours. The relief a good shift brings is paramount to your well being and sanity.

In order for success, we can only take small bites of the elephant instead of one huge chomp of the elephant. Making sure you routinely shift will make each bite more flavorful.

Well, gotta go, almost done taking my shift!



ps- my point for those who missed it- since we can’t escape our caregiver roles for days or months for respite, incorporate breaks for yourself into your daily routine duties several times a day; stay flexible, but even one hour for YOURSELF can save your MENTAL HEALTH!

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Absolutely. I don’t need to go to an overpriced coffee shop or out anywhere else. I can go on my own personal vacation in my home. There are always headphones for my iPad and I don’t need to be a captive audience while bedridden hubby watches 50 year old repeats for the bazillionth time. I can read. I can knit. When hubby endlessly asks “Where are you going?” Or “What are you doing now!” as soon as my backside leaves my chair, I’ve perfected distractedly saying, “I don’t know...” We NEED to do this! Good for us! We should all be full of SHIFT.
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Reply to Ahmijoy
PharSytid Aug 30, 2019
Great to “see” you how are you? Did you get a chance to check out the Earth Wind and Fire video I mentioned on another post? Please do my friend - start the day busting a happy move! I agree, we all should be full of shift- as caregivers, we aren’t able to ‘runs’ away for respite so if we take several shifts daily, we feel so much better!
You know, I really wish there was a way for all of us to meet each other , kinda like a reunion minus the re since it would be everyone’s first time meeting. I’d luv to say thank you and give a hug to those in this caregiverhood because all of you have literally salvaged my sanity and kept me from cardiac arrest ( because I can safely and honestly vent here). Many a mind has been saved because of this website’s members and it will continue saving by sharing our tumultuous tales of TLC.
Boogie down Ahmijoy, have a great day & hope to “see” you again soon!
ps- I may have stumbled upon a caregiver slogan or type of mantra in this post:
Just one hour for yourself will save your mental health.
What do you think? :0 !!!
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Thank you all for your replies! I understand everyone’s caregiver situation is unique with various details and responsibilities. However, I feel that taking breaks are a necessity instead of a luxury for caregivers. In order to maintain appropriate levels of self sanity and ability, caregivers MUST take care of themselves whether it’s ten minutes or two hours, uninterrupted ME time is crucial. How can we give our best if we do not tend to what’s best for ourselves? I understand that Dementia contorts understanding for those who are afflicted by it; maybe the required ME time can be say getting up just even ten minutes earlier than you do now - even those who provide constant supervised care for someone have opportunity for ME time because the ones being cared for do sleep at some point- embrace it , make it work for you. At least try it. Our caregiverhood on is amazing and we all have saved and have been saved because of the support and luv here, and we don’t want to lose any of us for any reason especially if it can be prevented. The benefits of ME time are ten fold- just ten minutes for yourself will save your mental health!
However you make it happen, have a great safe holiday weekend e1 !
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Reply to PharSytid

I just found this site (Aging Care). Your post, and the responses it brought sparked hope that I can maintain my own sanity, and my own self. I just kicked out, for the umpteenth time, the thought that there won't be anything left of my self by the time this caregiving gig comes to its end. I can start taking shifts, if I can handle the guilt, since if we were conjoined twins that wouldn't be close enough for my husband! Actually I just took a short shift on this website and let him sit in his rocker. He's pretending it's OK. I've allowed myself to be trained for more than 46 years to feel guilty if he's silent. That's not working well now, since he can barely converse. But you have given me some great encouragement. THANK YOU!!!!
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Reply to OMGME2
jjmummert Sep 3, 2019
Wwelcome to a wonderful support group.
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Good for you!

Just remember though, there are some of us this was not or is not an option. Those taking care of people with Dementia don't have this luxury because the people cannot comprehend what ur are trying to get across.
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Reply to JoAnn29

For the most part, my mom with Alzheimer's had no concept of time, so she couldn't understand that I couldn't be at her beck and call all the time. I could be on the phone, and she'd ask for some juice, (even though she just had some), and I told her I'd give her more as soon as I was off the phone, but she couldn't understand that. Sometimes, though, she did understand things. She wanted to get up from her chair, but I couldn't help her at that exact moment, so she figured out how to put the handle of her cane around the adjacent couch's armrest, and pulled herself up. I said, "That's using your head," and she patted her derriere and said, "I thought I was using the other end." I loved the fact that within the storm of Alzheimer's, she sometimes retained her sense of humor, (and her common sense). I learned to take respite breaks when I could, even a cup of coffee with a friend helped. Those 15 minute breaks helped carry me through.
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Reply to rlynn123

(((Well done hugs)))
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Reply to Countrymouse

You go !! That is awesome, and something we need to be reminded of. Wish it was possible for everyone on here!
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Reply to pamzimmrrt

This is what I needed to "hear" at just this moment. Thank you. I will write more later when I get to my Shift... even as I sit here to have my quiet time at the computer, I hear mom coming down the hall, for the second time, to ask me where she put something. I'm going crazy. Today I feel anger. I don't want to be this way with my mom. Thank you for your wonderfully helpful ... what is it? My memory is terrible... too much stress.
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Reply to BorderPuppies

I absolutely love this. You are a teacher. I hope EVERYONE reads this post.
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Reply to AlvaDeer

Thanks for the laugh. It really brightened my day.
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Reply to madzeena

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