May 1, 2013 at 12:45 pm #4447
I was the caregiver for both of my in-laws. My MIL had severe heart issues and would only let me help her. My FIL had dementia and he had to move in with us after she passed away. He lived here for over 8 yrs and he really disliked me. I know it was the dementia and not how he really felt but some days it was all I could do to take care of him because my pain would be so bad. Where we live there are no help, so it was all me through the week because my husband worked out of town. He helped on the weekends. My advice to anyone going through this is to find whatever help you can, a day care center, someone willing to come into the home and help, whatever you can get. We want to make sure our loved ones are well taken care of but when you live with pain, it drains you some days and you are no good to anyone then.
November 19, 2015 at 8:50 pm #22152
A couple of months ago, I spent 4 weeks sitting with a dear friend while she was in the hospital. Everyday I was there for 7 to 12 hours depending on the schedules of other friends and family who were rotating in to make sure that she was never alone. It felt good to be of service. It felt good to help my dear friend whom I’ve loved for decades. She had ALS and passed away earlier this week.
It wasn’t physically demanding. It was a matter of making sure that her communication tools were close at hand since she was not able to speak on her own. She had a very cool computer that utilized eye-gaze technology for her to type out messages that the computer would speak or she could email to folks. I was there to take notes, wipe her tears, make her smile, make her laugh. We discussed pain care, hospitals, healthcare, end of life decisions and current events. We pretty much solved all the problems in the world.
It was a great relief when she was finally discharged and went home to her accessible cottage with 24/7 caregivers. She spent her final 10 weeks inviting friends and family for a few hours visit at a time. Making connections, encouraging each of us in our endeavors. Her sister and her daughter were by her side every moment making the most of their time together. Through it all her eyes sparkled and her smile lit up the room. She was in control and she made all of her own care decisions.
I’m grateful that I was able to play some small positive part in her journey.
November 20, 2015 at 2:17 pm #22248
First let me say, thank you, for sharing the beautiful journey that you went on with your dear friend. I also want to share my sympathy for the loss of such a wonderful friend. I have found over the years that when I have been called to duty to be a caregiver for a friend or loved one that my pain goes to the back burner. I do not have time for it and somehow I was always able to force it back so I could do what needed to be done and what I wanted to do for the one I was caring for.
It never ceases to amaze me that we can find ourselves learning new and wonderful things through life. It is a gift to be called to duty to be a caregiver for a loved one or friend and I am grateful and cherish those times I was called to put on my caregiver uniform.
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