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I have started to turn some focus on my own diet, mental health and wellness. I am fueled by my thoughts of not wanting to put my daughter in the same situation that I am sandwiched in. Now, I realized this cannot always be helped but I want to take care of myself the best way I know how so I don't need care. I cannot say my mom intentionally put me in this position because I made the choice to care for her as much as I think I am a victim of this circumstance. I often have thoughts that she could have cared for herself much better than she did. However, she lived her life the best that she could at the time. I feel like I know better and I am able to take good care of myself. I don't see a counselor but I know there are caregiver consultants that will listen, I keep active and try to eat a healthy. I always am thinking there is more I could do. It got me to thinking, what do you do to take care of yourself? I know we all need free caregivers and more free time but that is not going to magically happen. What can you do today? Go out and intentionally do something for yourself so your kids don't have to take care of you! What do you need to support your own mental and physical wellness?

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Excellent post. I have been trying to get more exercise myself. In the year that MIL has lived with us my BP has ticked up considerably. I am trying to walk 30 minutes as many days a week as I can. I especially recommend walking in a park to enjoy the scenery and fresh air. It does help calm me down.
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Mort1221 Jul 1, 2019
I love walking. I used to feel like I should be working out harder but walking makes me feel calm too!!
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I stay active. Whether it’s swimming, yoga, walking or body weight exercise it’s my top priority. I ensure I’ll never suffer from being overweight and do my best to avoid any mobility problems in my future. I eat what I enjoy but am mindful on the portions and focus on including carbs, protein and some fat in every meal.

I do quite a bit of volunteer work also, from teaching chair yoga to rescuing animals to working at the local botanical gardens, library and art museum. I’ve also just enrolled in classes to learn tap dancing and another language 😊
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Mort1221 Jul 1, 2019
How great! Tap sounds fun!!
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For all of those reasons and more I started the Keto Diet 4 months ago.

with all the new research by highly accredited universities and hospitals (Columbia and Cleveland clinic, for example), the connection to metabolic health (heart, liver, pancreas, thyroid) and mental health is overwhelming.

On October 3rd, the Nobel Assembly at Karolinska Institutet awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine to Yoshinori Ohsumi for his discoveries of mechanisms for autophagy. The skinny on that is this.... fasting is incredibly good for you! Take special care to maintain healthy electrolytes...especially sea salt with is critical for the functioning of both magnesium and potassium.

best thing you can do for yourself and your family? Die young at a ripe old age.
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AnnReid Jun 30, 2019
7 years ago I gave up on “3 squares” and now I eat one super nourishing meal/day. By doing a modified Keto/Paleo combo, I lost 85 pounds, and it has never returned. I’m heading towards another weight loss now.
I NEVER tell anyone else what to do, because I believe we all need to find our own path, but this works GREAT for me.
That said, my endocrinologist says that the Keto approach is fine for me, and I believe her and trust her.
My interest in my own health left town when I began taking care of LOs, and fortunately after 3 years of self neglect, I’m slowly returning to doing for myself what I deserve.
NOW, if I can only light a fire under DH, who is even more stubborn than I!!
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Up until two years ago my health was priority for me......circumstances changed and so did my lifestyle. Caring for grandchildren, helping my daughter with severe RA, a husband with a multitude of health issues (who continues to work FT at72) and adding my elderly parents to the mix, exercise and a healthy diet was not on top of my "to do" list. And I feel it. So back to making the time and supreme effort to get back on track, which it isn't easy with so much going on. But I'm slowly starting to get into the rhythm of self care. I realize now that if I'm to be there for LO's my health is paramount to doing so. Great question.
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Mort1221 Jul 1, 2019
Slow and steady! You deserve it!
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I worry a lot because I have one copy of the gene for late onset Alzheimer's and, at almost 82, I constantly see signs of dementia--like yesterday I left my handbag in the shopping cart of the grocery store parking lot after I had put my groceries in the trunk and gone to a nearby filling station to get gas. When I looked in the trunk, the handbag wasn't there, and of course when I went back to the parking lot it wasn't there either. I went inside Kroger's in a panic and was told that the take-out young man had found my handbag and brought it into the store! I gave him $10, but now I wonder if I shouldn't have given him $20! Also if I ought to quit driving and shopping! My daughter and my daughter-in-law are both in worse physical shape than I am--both need canes to walk and I don't. I don't take any prescription drugs and I eat whatever I please because I hope to die of heart attack or stroke before dementia gets too bad.
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Rattled Jul 3, 2019
Oh Arleeda, I don’t know whether to laugh or cry. Your story brought up familiar emotions! My mom died suddenly of a heart attack at age 72, and she always said the same thing- she’d rather go in her sleep than have to live in a memory care facility. well, she got her wish.
God bless you at 82 for driving and getting your own groceries! You sound TOTALLY with it, very realistic, and you have a really great attitude about potential issues that might come up. I’m 50, and I lose several things a DAY! (Glasses, cell phone, sometimes my mind!) Eat what you want, do what you want, and enjoy each day because it sounds like you have many blessings to be thankful for! My mom had the same attitude- eat and do what you want! No one knows how life is going to play out, so you might as well do what makes you happy!
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I would say that not drinking (to excess) and not smoking (at all) will go a long long way. The other thing is exercise, and that can be as simple as walking. Our bones need it. It is the best way to keep them healthy and supplements are often more harm than good for us. These three things, two a no-no and one a yes-yes are great. I am 76 and very active. I would not say I am a health nut, and in fact I subscribe to the thinking of Barbara Ehrenreich in her book Natural Causes, that at some point the medical industry is more a harm to us than good. I no longer get mammograms. I have a history 31 years ago of breast cancer. Something, at some point will get us, and to tell you the truth, both as a survivor and as a nurse lifelong I fear cancer less than mental age changes. Just read a post on our forum of a woman whose aging Dad is being encouraged into Prostate cancer treatement. Unless he cannot pass urine, at his age the treatment is more likely to kill him than prostate cancer, so google is our friend. Doctors, not always. Often, but not always. You are smart to think of all of this not only from saving your kids what you go through, but in your own quality of life. And your post may help others thing about options as well.
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I have purchased Long Term Care insurance
I am in a house I can easily age into (purchased a Handicap Accessible house when my Husband was diagnosed with dementia and I plan on staying here.
I have a POA for Health and another for Finances.
I have my Will done. My Sister knows what I want medically and when appropriate I will fill out a POLST (more detailed then a DNR)
I stay active
I do not drink often, a few drinks with friends a few times a year.
And because of the experience I had caring for my Husband
I am more patient than I had been years ago, or maybe age has something to do with that
I volunteer
I am involved with Support Groups
I try to live with no regrets
I forgive
I am grateful
And to keep it short and sweet and to take a line from a Tim McGraw song I try to live like I was dying
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Mort1221 Jul 8, 2019
LOVE IT! Well said!
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No, I didn't and I believe most do not to an extent. I was mostly trying to make my life easier. Everyone in the home was on a no salt, no processed food diet so I cooked to their needs instead of my own. I got really sick and lost alot of weight, doctor said I was malnourished and it was hurting my liver. It took a long time and a dietician to fix the damage.

Good for you thinking about your own needs.
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Mort1221 Jul 1, 2019
I am glad you are on the mend!
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You make great points. I also don’t blame my mother for what happened to her, but am aware that I need to do better to hopefully not repeat the pattern. My mother’s mother died following a series of strokes, my mother died following a series of brutal strokes, so I often feel a bullseye on my forehead. My mother did zero exercise, did nothing to change her diet, and dealt with high blood pressure and bad arthritis for years. I have so far not had any blood pressure issues, exercise daily, and generally watch my diet, mainly with portion control. I have arthritis that hurts but realize the answer lies far more with movement than giving in and doing nothing. I could definitely do better. But the conscience effort is happening. And I think most importantly I’ll never put an expectation on my children that they’re required to care for me, my parents didn’t do this and I’m grateful
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Thanks for the encouragement! If I can just get past crying nearly every day & being so depressed, I will start getting better. Guess it’s a process until mom is out of this house.
I started crying this am & hubby & I went on a long walk, that helped tremendously to clear the mind!! Let’s encourage & keep in keeping on!!!!
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Mort1221 Jul 8, 2019
A long walk is perfect! Let the tears out and walk!
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