When I am finished with treatment I would love to figure out a way to network with local caregivers. I would love to surprise a stressed caregiver with a coupon book for intervals of "breaks", or housecleaning, or grocery shopping. Heck, just sitting with their care receiver while the care giver goes for a walk or takes an uninterrupted bubble bath! But how do I start that? Just caring people looking out for each other, no degrees necessary? Any thoughts?

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Treatment time, I think that's a great Idea there are a lot of people on here most are still care giving and a few such as myself are not after loosing my younger brother almost eight months ago after him being on hospice the last three years of his life. I helped with his care my whole life, he had cerebral palsy never could walk we were told he wouldn't live past age seven, well he made it to age 44. Best Friend I ever had ever will, I don't know what to do with myself. People on here should go by town / city they live in & kinda take it from there, people do need a break from care giving sometimes depending on the situation etc. Just a thought. :-)
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Tell you what, I'll do a drive by, pick you and your mom up, shock a sibling by skidding into their driveway sideways, open the door, deposit mom gently onto their lawn, and speed away before they can get my license plate number. Now remember, you need to be ducking while we do this so that you are not recognized. We might wrap granny in a few pillows for safety. HA HA!

Then I will take you to a Spa for a full day of massage, facial, and other beauty treatments after stopping by Starbucks for your favorite coffee or tea. If you feel more adventurous, we shall hit a local brewery and grab a growler of craft beer instead. *VERY BIG GRIN* We can have manicures and pedicures, we can sit in a sauna or jacuzzi and get a tiny bit drunk. :D doesn't that sound fekking AWESOME!
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yes capnhardass, sometimes people do. i hate that. or i might like it. depends on the person involved.
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PamelaSue - I laughed. My siblings also won't change pampers. They're willing to babysit but draw the line at changing pampers.
Capn - next time (if there is a next time) - have them write an IOU.

I, too, would hesitate in accepting help if the person asking has NO caregiving experience. But it would be nice to have that kind of help/support.
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ill fix your taillights and tie rod ends if youll give me a bubble bath. i know this isnt what you had in mind but im a guy. i never stop trying..
joking aside, i fixed the hell out of a hospice workers automobile and she was supposed to give me some respite from caregiving in return. it didnt happen, she turned me down both times i asked. people suck iz what im sayin..
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I will be honest about something, I do not believe myself capable of changing adult diapers. You guys can go ahead and bash me now. I know that this is a really horrible thing for me to say. I know I am less than all of you. I am embarrassed. But I would like to be able to help somehow.
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You will never believe this treatmenttime, I was thinking the same thing this morning.
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I love the couch surfing idea.

I'd love to host and to be hosted. But, in the meantime, I have been considering a caregiving coop. Pair me and my husband with someone in a situation similar to ours. Then we take turns, taking care.
In my case, my hubby has dementia, cannot be left alone, hates a day care center, and loves company. It would be easy to have your spouse spend half a day in my care. And it would be good of you to host my hubby for a few hours.
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Wow treatmenttime I got a hug post from you yesterday and I felt your LOVE. Now I am feeling it again you are truly a selfless person. As most of on this site are, we are not happy unless we are good to others. I often think of this "caregiver relief" idea. I often offer people advice and guide them to this site when I see a need for it. This idea has crossed my mind. As a hairdresser I lose some customers to hospitals...assisted living....and NH's. I let people know if you need me just ask. They never do then they get into a situation where it's too late or a crisis happens. Now I am like a magnet... I've got customers who trust me more than family so they "spill it to me" I get their side of the story. I don't think people are used to people like us and do not trust a person who offers help without looking to gain! So the problem is getting people to realize they need us, and they can trust us!!! Forgive my french but SH--!!! My own sister does not get that I needed help with out her wanting money!!! On top of that sister cry's to our Dad who hasn't been married to Mom in 30 years and he hears her but not me. I do not get them at all they think I am gaining something, when I spend my time, my money, my energy, all in Mom's benefit. My life is on hold and they take vacations and have nice things and I'm stagnant but still would not trade my life for theirs. I want you all to be my new family!!! I was losing hope in the human race until I found this group of people on here, that put lives before their own and money isn't our first priority. I would love to give anyone a break from their care giving to make and elder smile and a care giver have a rest because I know I needed that and begged and fought and I am still being treated as if I was asking to much and had any other choice!!!!
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News Articles

Posted 11:07 PM 8/15/2012 : Volunteer group helps elderly neighbors stay in their homes

TUCSON - For 15 years volunteers in the Old Fort Lowell Neighborhood have helped the elderly remain independent.

From transportation and meals out, chores and companionship, all services are donated by volunteers.

For Irene Olson mobility isn't what it used to be.

That's where volunteer Kay Anderson comes in. "I just want to pay it forward a little bit, and have some credits out there when I need help."

The pair go to the market every other week.

Irene Olson says, "I wouldn't be able to shop because of my eyes. I had to give up driving."

Irene says a friendship has bloomed, it started with a mutual love of rhubarb pie and a card game. "We play poker regularly, I don't know if I'll be investigated on this," she laughs.

From poker to dominos. Bernice Kyle and Eva Ervin have a regular game.

"I look forward to every Tuesday afternoon, one o'clock," Bernice says smiling. She's a volunteer.

"It means that I have someone to talk to at least one afternoon a week. I spend a lot of lonely hours here by myself," Eva says the weekly visits allow her to remain self sufficient and feel young.

"Although I've celebrated my 99th birthday, I can still stay here my myself," she said.

"Lots of laughs, we have a good time together," says Bernice. She is one 62 volunteers, helping 47 clients.

To participate in the program you must live within the boundaries of the Old Fort Lowell neighborhood.

Rillito River on the North, Pantano wash to the East, Grant Road on the South and Swan Road to the West.

Several neighborhoods around Tucson have this program. Fort Lowell was the first, and the others are modeled after it.

For more information on how to get involved contact the Pima Council on Aging.
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And I've been thinking of another idea: Many of you probably have not heard of couch surfing but there is an organization that sponsors an internet site where mostly young people open their "couches" for others who want to travel and stay somewhere for free and meet someone locally who knows the area. do an internet search for "couch surfing". While, to me, there are some security and safety issues involved, I was still wondering if former caregivers who need a fresh start or want to try out an area to relocate could volunteer to say with a current caregiver and offer respite services while having some free time to vacation in the area they are "caregiver surfing". Of course some organization would have to oversee this, perhaps one like the organization I posted about above.
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Coincidently, I just read about this organization:
Nonprofit Aims To Help Wellington Seniors In Need

By Lauren Miró at October 12, 2012 | 12:05 am | Print
Wellington seniors in need of a helping hand have an opportunity to get temporary assistance and pay it forward to other seniors through the new nonprofit organization Wellington Cares.

Former Wellington Mayor Kathy Foster created the organization in an effort to bring the community together to help Wellington’s aging population.

“I’ve been made aware of the many challenges that face elderly people in the last third of their lives,” she said. “I became more and more aware of senior issues and the lack of choices, in many cases, that our seniors have.”

Foster said that although most older residents would prefer to stay in their homes, temporary setbacks — such as even minor health issues — can require a little extra care that makes it impossible for them to continue living at home.

“In most cases, the decision to leave your home is made by circumstances, not by choice,” she said. “What happens is if a senior has a short-term problem, something that disables them from maintaining their daily lifestyle for a period of time, they may have no recourse but to move to an assisted-living facility.”

Often this decision is made by out-of-town family members who seek to make sure the senior is well cared for.

The question of how to help people confronting the health problems of advanced age has been a much-debated issue, Foster said. Though Wellington has several programs to aid seniors, she said that they are limited in what they can do to help.

“They do a great job providing activities and socialization for our seniors,” she said. “Wellington Cares will hopefully work as a supplement to what the village is doing.”

On a national level, the country is anticipating the retirement of the Baby Boomer generation.

“We do not have the resources on a national level to handle the entire 65-and-older community in the government or in private facilities,” Foster said. “How are we going to address the needs of this population?”

As an answer to this question, Foster said many communities have come together in what they call a naturally occurring retirement community, where seniors and other family and friends join in helping other seniors.

It is by this model that Foster established Wellington Cares, led by a board of local community activists. “What we are doing is offering short-term, interim services to enable seniors to age in place,” she said. “We will go in and initially provide a limited range of services such as light housekeeping, laundry, driving seniors to the doctor’s office, taking them grocery shopping or picking up prescriptions, so they can maintain their independence until their short-term problem is alleviated.”

The organization is based on reciprocal volunteering.

“It is a time bank,” Foster said. “No one pays anything. We will ask the people who benefit from our services to pay it forward when they feel up to it. Even if they are housebound, they can make a hospitality call to someone else who is housebound.”

Foster said she hopes younger seniors who are still independent will volunteer to help, building up time for when they face similar situations.

“Hopefully, through Wellington Cares, younger and healthy seniors can provide services to those who are not as fit and need help,” she said. “And then, by banking service hours, should they have an emergency down the road, they would have created a reserve bank of time for people to provide them or someone they love with services.”

But it’s not just seniors helping seniors — anyone can volunteer to help and build up time for a loved one who may need assistance.

“Anyone can volunteer to help,” Foster said. “Say you’re a 40-something working person, but your mother is a senior. Maybe you can’t take off from work to take them to the doctor’s office. Well, we’ll be glad to drive your parent to the doctor and stay with them, if they need someone to take notes. Then, perhaps on a weekend, you could provide service hours in exchange to someone who needs laundry or light housekeeping done.”

It is through this “pay it forward” mentality that Wellington Cares hopes to create a tight-knit community that helps each other.

“No one is perceived as just a recipient,” Foster said. “We’re asking everyone to get involved. There’s a job for everyone. There is a way to reach out, no matter what your skill capacity is.”

The organization will also partner with doctor’s offices, churches, homeowners’ associations and other facilities that can identify seniors in need.

“The premise is building community,” Foster said. “Hopefully, through networking, we will be able to identify individuals who, with the exception of this short-term situation, could stay in their homes and maintain their lifestyles.”

Wellington Cares is looking now to identify those seniors in need in order to begin providing services in early November.

The organization also is looking for sponsors to help cover costs. Foster said that although the organization is volunteer-driven, it will have to pay for insurance. “We have insurance costs so that anyone who volunteers is protected by a blanket policy,” she said. “We are also looking to provide welcome baskets to everyone we visit for the first time. In those baskets will be information from our sponsors.”

Recently, VITAS Innovative Hospice Care kicked off donations with $10,000 for the organization.

“For anyone who cares about seniors, who cares about aging in place, this is an organization that can help,” Foster said.

She hopes the community will rally around the cause and come out to help seniors.

“We hope Wellington Cares can rekindle that neighborhood spirit where we reach out one-on-one to help others who need it in order to improve their quality of life, and enable them to maintain their independence,” she said.
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AMEN, wouldn't it be wonderful? For those in the NJ/PA area, there is a 'well spouse' group for those who are providing care giving to their spouse. And our church has a 'good Samaritan' ministry that will run errands, bring a meal or sit and visit with a home bound person. To be honest, it's not used very much!

Perhaps another issue is our inability to accept help when it's offered. Seriously, think about how many people have said, 'let me know if I can do anything to help'. Perhaps we should have an idea always on our lips to take advantage of such offers. If we could get a few of these offhand offers to generate some actual help, we'd all be better off.
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Strangely, I was thinking the same thing today. Until you've experienced it, you have no idea of the sacrifices involved. It did occur to me that we could start with the local newspaper and have them do an article on caregivers. Also, programs could be started in area churches for support.
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