As the year closes, I look back not knowing where the time went. Even though I have not been posting as I want (many times 'life' has gotten me side-tracked), I try to keep in mind what we have been going through with those in our lives who need the help. Willie has gotten accustomed to his program, enjoying the time out in the community be it SIS (Support Intensity Scale) evaluation (see 'Getting Closer to 21' ) and then a yearly evaluation at his center. We have had meetings regarding his community support person (the person who takes him out after his day program - out for walks, shopping, haircuts, snacks, etc). His wanting to experience more of a work environment hasn't come as quickly as I had hoped but the staff at his program continues to get him to do a variety of tasks there hoping something will pop out as a good fit. Personally I think he should be a professional traveler who critiques hamburgers and pizza wherever he goes!
On the elderly parents care front, this year we lost a couple of family members. My uncle, 77 who I wrote about in 'Having lunch with an uncle', passed this summer after a 7 year battle with cancer. My father-in-law, 94 who I also posted about in 'Heart, kidney, & liver problems', died in the late summer from kidney and liver failure. Both declined quickly but we were able to say our good-bys. Now we have my mother-in-law, 93, who my husband and his siblings are taking care of. Although they use one local agency, Child and Family Services, they are trying to take advantage of their many services. This I hope to explore more of and share with you soon. While you would think that lining up services to help take care of her since she still is in her own home (with a family member living there) would take up most of the time, it seems that dealing with behaviors is what takes the most time. She misses her husband so some of it may be dealing with grief but other times it is the forgetfulness, the repeating questions about events coming up, who came to visit, or unfortunately thinking that people are stealing from her that has everyone questioning her state of mind.
So we enter the new year trying to get a psychological evaluation done and her primary care physician (PCP) has prescribed some medication to level her moods off. I had a geriatric psych evaluation done on my mother a few years ago while she was in the hospital and it was good to know where she stood mentally so we would know how to handle things. I hope to keep people in the know with the services decided upon and information that have.
For now a Happy New Year to all. Also one full of health and peace!
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4 Signs of Caregiving Stress Overload
ElderCarelink email posts 4 signs that should not be overlooked by you, the caregiver, or a close family member or friend. They report that even though the immediate caregiver may not be helping in direct care, the mind is never far from the needs of the older person, thinking about meals, falling, medications. Take the opinion of a family member or friend if they are telling you that you are stressed. Four signs: you skip your own physicals; you isolate yourself from others; you eat and/or drink too much for good health; you are short tempered with the elder, your spouse or your children. If any or all of these sound familiar, take a break no matter how short in order to recharge. For more information on caregiver stress see ElderCarelink
You can check out my ranting and stream of consciousness writing about looking at adult service providers with Will.
A Caregiver's Poem
I was looking through a 'Caregiver's Blog: Senior Care Support' and came across a poem that was shared by a writer, Dana, from the blog. The poem was written by Becky Netherland and Dana's grandmother shared it with her. I thought it was great and there is not much to say about it - just read!!! Enjoy!!
(picture from Caregivers Blog)
I’ve traveled paths you’ve yet to walk
Learned lessons old and new
And now this wisdom of my life
I’m blessed to share with you
Let kindness spread like sunshine
Embrace those who are sad
Respect their dignity, give them joy
And leave them feeling glad
Forgive those who might hurt you
And though you have your pride
Listen closely to their viewpoint
Try to see the other side
Walk softly when you’re angry
Try not to take offense
Invoke your sense of humor
Laughter’s power is immense!
Express what you are feeling
Your beliefs you should uphold
Don’t shy away from what is right
Be courageous and be bold
Keep hope right in your pocket
It will guide you day by day
Take it out when it is needed
When it’s near, you’ll find a way
Remember friends and family
Of which you are a precious part
Love deeply and love truly
Give freely from your heart
The world is far from perfect
There’s conflict and there’s strife
But you still can make a difference
By how you live your life
And so I’m very blessed to know
The wonders you will do
Because you are my granddaughter
And I believe in you.
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