How do you keep a positive attitude while taking care of your elderly loved one? - AgingCare.com

How do you keep a positive attitude while taking care of your elderly loved one?

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Thank you for all the great suggestions. I am caregiver for my traumatice brain injured sister (49 now) after my mom became to ill to continue caring for her. She is in a short term nursing home but I'm searching for a more permanent solution. Sometimes I just have to 'check out' because it definately gets the best of me.
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Yes giggle until it hurts!
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When you giggle, we giggle ... thanks for such an uplifting post!!!
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I just came back from a 35 min walk, left the cell phone home!!! Some hills involved, didn't want to go at first, husband offered, I went and boy Do I feel better after sweating out a lil anger, stress and who knows what else.
Right now, I feel like giggling the night away.
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Dear "sumlerc",
Thank you for your comments and suggestions. You are absolutely correct about things we should do for ourselves. You mention needing to journal about your experiences...I just(in April)released a self-published book called "Lost & Found", it's available online under my author name; 'Lance Knight". My little novel is fictional and is not about my day to day care-giving but the point is that I stayed up after my mother went to bed each night and began just writing what came into my head(handwritten on legal paper)and the next thing I knew I had written a story. So I found it to be most therapeutic as I took that time to let my thoughts and feelings flow onto the page.
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Agree with all the above to include pick up a new or old hobby. I really need to journal my experiences with my parents. Maybe you scrapbook, knit, take an exercise or self help class. Just get away from the normal if just for a short time over a long period of time.
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I'm so happy for you "a4MomSon". You are indeed blessed and your story illustrates the possibility of miracles. I pray for one for myself and my mother.
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My 89yr old mother came to live with me 5yrs ago, at which time she was in a wheelchair and spoke of wanting God to call her home. She now walks almost everyday outside(only uses a cane for stability), reads, writes and LAUGHS...She thinks I am funny so I find things to say and/or do that tickle her fancy. We laugh a great deal and pray a lot:)
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Thank you for this suggestion. I know I want to feel this good. A flock is what I need as we all know the saying: birds of a feather flock together! And that's what we are. I have jotted this technique/teaching down and will investigate it near me. Thanks! Peg in San Diego
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I have been taking Dayan (wild goose) Qigong classes offered at Kaiser hospital here in the San Francisco bay area. Kaiser members get a discount, but it is open to anyone.

Qigong is a moving meditation (chinese) that keep me in an excellent frame of mind and gets me out of the house for two hours once a week. My husband watches mom so I can go.

The practice is a type of Tai Chi (or maybe the other way around :) of 64 gentle movements that are done in sinc with the whole class. it is adaptive for folks with physical problems too, as some do it sitting. You do not need any experience or even be in good shape. Two in my class struggle with major weight issues and they are as graceful and lovely as anyone in my class.

Qigong been a life saver for me. I've tried regular mediation classes, but find I am so much in "go mode", that trying to sit still and relax was literally stressing me out more. Since I find needlework (also recommend) and walking relaxing, I decided to give a 'moving' meditation a try. Feels like I hit the lottery... I LOVE IT!

I can practice in as little as 10 minutes at home. When I am driving home from my weekly class, I can honestly say it is the best I ever feel and husband can attest that I always walk in the door with a smile on my face. Practicing with the group aka flock, is quiet, soothing, beautiful and bonding.

If you don't have Tai Chi or Qigong classes in your area, dvd can be bought online. Public television in my area has a Qigong program.

~5+ years caregiving and counting. first w/ middle school special needs "at risk" nephew (hardest of all) for two years. Then my father with advanced Parkinson's, degenerative spine/pain condition and stage IV colon cancer. Now caregiving my schizophrenic mom with vascular dementia and aphasia (loss of normal speech) due to two strokes.

Qigong has literally saved my attitude and possibly my life, as I am very much aware of the caregiver mortality rates...

Take care each and every one of you~ xo sam in california
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