I Need a Break!
If you are or ever have been a caregiver, you know how important it is to get a break now and then. I read an article this morning by Jeff Anderson called Tips for Taking Caregiver Vacations: Respite Care. Jeff wrote mostly about how caregivers can use short-term stays at residential care facilities to get a break. I never took advantage of this kind of respite care. The idea of making the arrangements for both Mom and Dad and packing their clothes and medications, not to mention the expense involved, was overwhelming. But there were many other kinds of respite care that gave me an occasional break in the routine and saved my sanity.
Even when Dad could no longer hear much of what was going on and Mom couldn’t understand what she heard, we continued to go to Sunday School and worship services every Sunday. I dropped Mom and Dad at a class for older adults before going to my own class and picked them up afterward on the way to the sanctuary. It was amazing what that hour did to raise my spirits. (more…)
I recently came across an article in the New York Times originally posted on January 30 titled “For some Caregivers, the Trauma Lingers.” It was written by Judith Graham, and it’s about PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) in caregivers. Graham says there has been little research on the topic which, she thinks, means it has been overlooked or discounted. She goes on to list some of the typical symptoms of PTSD: flashbacks, feelings of numbness, anxiety, guilt, dread, depression, irritability, apathy, and tension among others. (more…)
No generation gap here.
I’m at that age that some poetically call the Autumn of Life, and I’m approaching Winter more quickly than I care to admit. But whatever you call it, it’s a season when end of life issues demand more attention than they did in earlier years. I lost both my parents in the last two years, and I spend more time looking at sympathy cards than congratulation cards lately. We’ve had two deaths in our church family recently, and while the situations were very different in most ways, there was a similarity that is worth a little attention – cross-generational caregivers. (more…)
I almost began this post with I haven’t written much in the last week or so, but that’s not really accurate. I’ve written a lot: agendas for meetings; e-mails announcing meetings and encouraging people to attend; copy for flyers, posters and the church website; more e-mails answering questions. Our church is hosting an area-wide ladies’ conference in January, and our pastor asked me to coordinate the event. If I could re-wind to that moment when I said Sure, why not, I might think again before answering.
Seriously, I’m enjoying the experience, and the response from people who are willing to help has been amazing, but it’s also amazing how much time and focus is required. Something else that is amazing is how, in spite of no longer being directly involved with Alzheimer’s and being totally focused on something other than my writings about caring for those with the disease, I am still faced with Alzheimer’s again and again. (more…)