Anyone participating as an aging self-care caregiver utilizing tips on how to? - AgingCare.com

Anyone participating as an aging self-care caregiver utilizing tips on how to?

Follow
Share

I am a 77 yr. old woman. I like the line from the song that says "I get by with a little help from my friends." Only it's more often Scarlet O'Hara's line that is appropriate i.e. "I have always depended on the kindness of strangers." Anyone out there that can relate?? We are mid way between Christmas and New Years. I have a sign on my apartment door that says "I'll be home for Christmas and I'll be in therapy by New Years." This is senior housing. The beach a lot of us have washed up on by circumstances rather than choice. I am trying to adjust. I watch to see how the other residents here have adjusted. I know the aging process involves losses of many kinds and am remembering to make a gratitude list whenever necessary! I used to be a professional care giver. I was a registered nurse and I worked until I was past 70. I think I know a thing or two about care giving. Just hoping I can apply all that to my own self for as long as possible. Hope some one who is a member of this organization is a self-care-giver also so we can swap coping ideas. So far it feels like I am an under cover care giver and maybe not even supposed to be allowed to be a member. I never let a little detail like that slow me down before said she furtively glancing about. Ha! Watching for responses....mac

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
5

Answers

Show:
Bringing this back up to the top.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Hi Mac,
The role you aptly describe as the "undercover caregiver" is a chapter many of us must face for our loved ones and for ourselves at some time in our lives. Coping is hard and having a structure or setting the structure by which to cope, I feel is the key. If I might offer a couple of thoughts both from my professional experience and personal experience to keep this important dialogue going...
On a personal level, as a former certified personal trainer, I would offer this simple strategy - stay active - both physically and mentally and socially. This triad, I feel, takes into account your whole being.
On a professional level, if I might suggest making plans with a local personal care agency to offer a leg up on outsourcing some of your care as your needs change. Along this line, I would suggest making a list of the characteristics you would want for your personal in-home health aid. Additionally, I like to ask potential clients/members to make a list of favorite subjects/interests. I am a planner at heart and like to look for and prepare for the next chapter as soon as possible, to this end, if I might also suggest making a priority list of potential concerns that may prevent you from staying in your home. For many the number one goal is simple - to take at home as long as possible. For example for me, my number concern would be driving and errands/supplies from the store. For many others, it is meals and light housekeeping. In closing, if I might suggest thinking about and exploring friends or a family members who are living close to your home who might make an ideal home health aid. Choosing your own home health aid and having a licensed agency train them for you offers the support of a full-service agency but allows you to remain in control and in your home for as long as possible.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

My situation might be similar. I gave up a 3400 sq ft, well organized house to move to an independent living coop with an apartment of 1400 sq ft. Care is required 24/7 without time off for good behavior. It's hard to adjust; both to the total care giving and the loss of a home. I'm trying to make this apartment into a home and find myself grabbing back to life in my 20's and early 30's. Many people want to corral me into joining committees or doing tasks for the coop--for free of course. They mean well but don't understand that as a 24/7 caregiver I can't just leave when a meeting is scheduled. I don't like to make promises I can't keep. My dad can't afford another caregiver and at $100 for a few hours a day he'd be bankrupt soon. I know some resent that I'm not a joiner since I have quite a few skills acquired over my career. But I've discovered that I'm good at one thing at a time at my age (68). I've even had another care giver ask me for what agency I work and how much they pay. Confusion abounds. I set my goals around what my dad needs and get to the aspects of taxes, financial accounting, laundry, cooking (the food here is OK, but the service is really poor), cleaning (independent living gives 45 minutes a week, but they won't dust under anything, and keeping up with an administration that apparently hates to share business information, when I can get to it. I've found that focusing on making our life in the apartment work--even to the exclusion of other things works the best for us. At this age and in this situation it works for us that I'm well-focused but with a plan for alternatives. I'm friendly and outgoing when I meet people and keep their concerns in mind, but if asked to join, I politely say that my first responsibility is to my dad and if it's something I do out of the apartment I'd be happy to help. Seems to sort of work. Things change all the time. By the way, there are bullies among the older folk, too. Stay strong. One thing I learned over my career, I made my own plans and never had to worry about company. It all sorts itself out. Give it time. My thoughts are with you. You sound as if you're in my boat.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Mac welcome to the hot tub that is AC..... come and sit awhile , hot chocolate? Brandy? Coffee? all three?

I think I speak for most of us when I say we are or have been caregivers in one form or another and we can only benefit from your input, the humour that you will bring and I think we all need coping ideas from time to time.

Let me set the action up to high and as I am feeling frivolously naughty let me tip in some bubble bath - it ruins the hot tub but hey the bubbles are fun!
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

Wow! I am really impressed with your approach, of thinking ahead while balancing the existing changes in your life.

I often wonder if so many older folks had realized they would be living longer if they would have had the opportunity to think so far ahead and make more contingent plans. I doubt many really expected to be living as long as they have.

What I'm trying to do is identify the changes I see in both myself as well as my father and deceased mother, as well as what plans and contingencies I can make so the changes don't come as a surprise and hit me like a tornado.

I'm kind of "fresh" out of thoughts right now, but I'm anxious to learn about plans made by others, especially transportation. I'm not really able to get comfortable with the alternatives.

I have decided, though, that I will never live in any kind of facility; that's where I draw the line. It doesn't make any difference how much activity exists, how many bingo games there are... I have to be able to go out and putter in a garden.
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Related
Questions