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Balancing those needs? Chronic pain & health conditions myself but also taking care of my mom- We even go to the same arthritis doctor. Yet every time she is in crisis I have to drop everything and tend to her needs, never mind my own. Sometimes things slide on her end, sometimes its my health that suffers, but its not a good combination all around. I know others are in the same boat out there but haven't been able to find any kind of support that addresses these issues. Everything seems to assume the caregiver is comparatively able-bodied. (including those agencies responsible for assessing the elder's needs, unfortunately- they count me as more of a resource than I really can be)

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I am finding myself becoming more isolated by my limited mobility. I am in my own home so don't have the group activities readily available to me that you may in assisted living. I do still drive but it is getting harder to get out to the car, and now I have a rollator walker to load into the trunk. So I avoid the hassle as much as I can - which is no good!

freqflyer has good suggestions for getting to meet people in your facility. I call or email friends, and stay connected with social media. I have also found that our local library has a home delivery service for homebound people. The librarian assiatant will not only exchange books, but stay awhile and discuss them!
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cpraytell, you mentioned you don't know anyone in your Assisted Living building.... do you mean you don't know well enough to ask them to drive you and your husband?

Does the Assisted Living facility have activities that you can join, if you feel you can either bring hubby along [he doesn't need to join in unless he feels he would like to] or if he will be safe staying by himself in your apartment. Having friends is the best medicine, even if you only get a chance to talk for a few minutes each day.
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Continued...I have a rare orphan bone disease while caring for my husband with vascular dementia (after 5 strokes). My greatest challenge now is that neither of us drive, and I don't know anyone in our assisted living building. I am getting to be very isolated since most all of our excursions outside involve medical appointments. I'm concerned that this isolation will.more and more affect my own spirits thus making me a less healthy caregiver. It feels like a catch 22 that I can't break through. Has anyone else found ways to overcome similar situations?
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I am the caregiver for my husband who has had 5 strokes and now has vascular dementia. This is a special challenge because I have a rare orphan bone disea
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GardenArtist - you give me too much credit. Just trying to do the best with what I have. Thanks for those other resources! I have seen newspaper articles where service organizations like Boy Scouts, churches, etc. have clean-up days for seniors or the disabled, too. Love all the input generated here.
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GGSGirl, you're a poster woman for adaptive tactics! You're doing all the right things and have a great and creative attitude toward the situation.

Your city or township may also have some chore service assistance similar to that offered through your Senior Service, or perhaps they're from the same source. HUD does offer grants through municipalities, but I believe they're only for emergency repairs.

There's also Habitat for Humanity and Christmas in Action for chore services.
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...they can while you are there now, etc.) Sorry about the disjointed answers. My arthritic fingers keep hitting the wrong button. :P
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I also worry that I am not caring for her as well as she deserves. I get cranky when tbe pain level or tiredness increases, totally out of character for me. I've always been very patient. Trying some anger management techniques in order to lower my stress levels, which help with my pain, too. A very complex situation we are in, and agree that many health providers don't understand our limitations (come.back in 3 days so I can flilush her ears, instead of doing the best
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*...facing the same issues as we are. Thank you for your timely question. I wish you good days ahead.
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MamaBel, not sure what type of support you are looking for, but I am in the same boat. I've had RA for 25 years, managed very well and in remission up until this past year. Osteoarthritis started attacking both knees and hip (one already replaced a few years ago), I've gone from needing a cane to a walker in 3 short months. My mother(88 mild dementia & other health issues) has been with me in my home two years now, and I was fully capable of tending to her needs until a few monthe ago. Now it takes all my energy to get our basics done. Outings such as doctors, groceries require superhuman effort on my part, and I try to prioritize and limit one extra activity/day with plenty of rest time. I can't do stairs, so haul laundry to the laundomat. My grown son and daughter help out when they can, as well as good neighbors, too. But I have a call out for someone to help.with these housekeeping chores. Pushing vacuum or floor scrubber can be done, but it takes forever and I avoid it! And the fact that my house is not as clean as I'd like really weighs on me, adding to my tiredness. So that is one proactive step I'm taking for the physical needs. I have been cooking simpler and quicker. Normally I would try for all fresh ingredients, but I have been using pre-cut & frozen veggies to save on my standing times. Emotionally, I have a couple good friends who have elderly parents and we vent with each other (as well as laugh about the foibles). This forum is vital, as it provides so much support and outlet for those bad days. But the advice to check with the state department on aging is something I'm considering too. We have Senior Services in the county which is need/financial based volunteer services (home visits so you can get out, up to home repairs, housekeeping a few hours as needed). Have to go through a qualifying process, and there is a waiting period, but perhaps there might be something like that for you in your area.

Keep us posted with solutions you find, as with parents living longer, more of us young seniors will be fac
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Clarification: I'm not advocating putting off needed follow-ups, especially with cardiac and critical care doctors.

And you're right that there's an automatic assumption the caregiver is not only able-bodied, but can compete with and win over the Energizer Bunny. They don't seem to recognize that burn-out can occur very early with caregiving.
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I've often wondered that as well and tried to find local caregiver support groups. Most recently, they seem to be affiliated with, or at least meetings held, at AL or IL, or long term care facilities. None are conveniently located so I haven't gone.

You could check with local hospitals to see if they have caregiver support groups. The Area Agency on Aging can be a good resource. I haven't called United Way's 211 helpline but that's also a possibility.

I've heard but not verified that some hospice facilities have respite time available for caregivers by taking patients for a day or so, but I assume that the elder person needs to be hospice qualified.

Set a limit on follow-up health care - those appointments that are 3 or 6 month checkups. Some can be slid to the next month. I did this when I realized I was taking Dad to sometimes up to 8 appointments a month, none for me. Now my maximum is 4, leaving room for emergencies and still downtime for us both.

Another aspect is to reprioritize; that's what I've had to do although I still end up in crunches. Create a list of priorities and hierarchies - the most important, next important and lowest in importance. When the high priorities events occur, just decide that the lower priorities aren't going to get done for awhile.

Better yet, set aside some relaxation time for both of your. Do dishes or cleaning some other time - a day or so isn't going to make that much of a difference.

Instead, do something you both enjoy...get a Dairy Queen, or ice cream cone at a nice cool dairy with that fresh aroma dairies typically have (unless either of you are diabetic). Go shopping at a favorite store and let your mother drive an Amigo cart. It's amazing how much better someone can feel just selecting her own groceries.

Go to a dog park and watch the dogs romp and frolic. If there's a pond or lake accessible just by car parking, watch the waves...watch the swimmers, boats, and if you're lucky you'll see some ducks or geese.

Sit outside in the shade and watch the clouds go by. It's very relaxing and soothing.

Just the feeling of getting out and not going to medical places will be good for both of you.

And set aside some respite time daily, even if it's only a 1/2 hour to indulge in doing something for you. The relaxation is amazing and will help to restore you.
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Call your Office of the Aging. See if they provide transportation for the elderly. The buses/vans are equipped for wheelchair bound people. Where I live, there is a 48 hour time frame to call and set up doctor appts or shopping. They will be transported to and back. Ask for a booklet of services they have. If there is money, maybe it's time your parents set up someone to take them where they need to go. You don't say if there is dementia involved. If so, and there is money, you may want to start looking for Assisted living/care facilities. With Dementia/Alzheimers they don't get better and will need further help you may not be able to provide. Do you have siblings? You may need to sit your parents down and say because of my injury, even with therapy there are things I just won't be able to do for your anymore. Tell them it's time for them to make a decision on how "they" are going to handle the situation. You are there for support and what you physically can do but the injury is going to limit you in the future. Either they get help or consider an assisted living.

I find it's like dealing with a child and I don't like being the adult in the relationship. I'm not dealing well with the whole situation. I get "curt" because I lack patience. Most of the time the "curtness" goes over Mom's head but every so often she is with it and gets mad. I don't blame her. Her fall last week was because she wasn't paying attention. I understand that she can only focus on one thing at a time, this time being getting to the walker. But, my husband was trying to ease her away from a situation and she wouldn't budge and she fell doing a number to her leg. One more thing to worry about but TG i have a wound care nurse for a daughter. When she gets behind that walker, she just goes and doesn't look for obstacles. The other day, DH asked her to move a little further up so he could get the car door open. When she was far enough away he said "OK" but she just kept going. I told her "Mom stop, Den said OK". She gave me that "look".

Maybe someone else telling them that you can't help like you used to. Good Luck is all I can say.
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Mamabel, I know what you mean. Recently I have developed some physical issues that will take months of rehab to correct, yet my elderly parents [who still live on their own] wants this or that. They know I can't drive right now, I can't lift anything, heck I can't even reach up to the kitchen cabinets bottom row.

It's hard to find support groups [if that is what you are looking for] because most caregivers, be them on-hands 24/7 or logistic caregivers, we just don't have the time to drive somewhere to be with a group. These forums here on Aging Care have been the best resource, as you can come into the forums any time and say anything you want :)

My parents refuse strangers coming into the house, so I just let it be, they have to fend for themselves, sorry I can't do anything about that.... I do order their groceries on-line and they can opt for home delivery, so it's not like they can't eat.

I am hoping my physical injury will be a wake up call, but it hasn't.... my parents are making a list of all the doctor appointments they need to go once I can start driving again.... oh great, can't wait :P
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In my reading it is called: "Caregiver Dementia", which can be just as bad for the caregiver as the one who is being cared for. I am part of the group who is wanting to start a Caregiving Memory group for those of our town and retirement village. It is a lot of work but will hopefully help many who are the caregivers.
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