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Jumping in with both feet


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Well, I'm jumping in with both feet. I took your advice JStern and asked Rita more direct questions. "What do you think about all day?" "You guys...what you are doing?"...so I tell her about work and what we are doing and the new office and taking her to visit the new office. My kids and what they are doing. We watched a movie together while her son and daughter in law went to dinner. I was able to talk to her son for about a half hour at the car when they returned. They are overwhelmed and can't keep doing this anymore. We talked about how he needed to be more up front with the three stooges...he is going to have to change the way he is...ask for help. So he tells me he put her on a list to go back to a nursing home. There is a 3 to 4 year wait. She fell two time this week. He fights me on the 'you have to change' thing. I ask him 'Is this working for you...what you are doing here?' No, he says...so guess what, you are going to have to find another way to deal with this situation. The boyfriend (for lack of another term) is tapped out...they are tapped out and the help they are getting is frustrated. So we are going to have to start thinking outside the box. The social worker is coming by Thursday, and I'm going to the meeting. Jumping in with both feet. I'm *beep* quite frankly. The number of caregivers is only going to climb as the baby boomers get older and what the hell is out there for help. I'm not sure if it's the government or the people I'm *beep* at. What the hell is going on in this country that we can't get help to people who put their lives on hold to care for the sick and disabled! And what about the disabled...don't they deserve the best of the best! (Ok, this is my first experience with this, so I'm sure you've all been through it!) I'm trying to think outside the box. What were my issues when Rita had a stroke?? Why did I not 'step up' when she was in the nursing home?? Because I was afraid! How do you overcome fear?? With knowledge. (And this is a great place to gain knowledge...you all are awesome!! I haven't even met anybody here but I feel like I know you when I read your blogs)

Ok, here is my idea. What if we brought together all her friends (and there are many) who probably felt the same way I did but never got past it ...you know, don't go and see her because they are afraid? What if I got them all together in one room...with a plan and coordinated care for her? Like a class...physical therapy (they discharged her physical therapy last week as she wasn't progressing) and social services and whatever else you need to care for her...and had a class. Coordinate a schedule. Does anyone know if this will work?? Just ramblin' here. Thank you for the opportunity to have a place to vent...I am so very...oh hell, I can't even describe how I feel right now. Helpless?

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Your idea isn't bad, but do you really think all of Rita's friends will understand the level of committment that is needed? From my experience I found that as a survivor, thoughts of me where normally tinged with sadness and pity, but yet everyone had their busy schedules and lives to get on with. As a survivor it was almost as if I got taken out of the big game, sidelined. People would show up every once in awhile but no one was there day after day. So while your idea is good, I wish you all the best in carrying it off. Not to sound negative, I'm just being realistic.

Pam

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Pam...I know, I was one of them who couldn't deal. Everytime I visited we would both start crying...not a help to say the least. I've been online today making note of books (Return to Ithaca and One handed in a two handed world)...any suggestions? Also the Office of Adult Services of Maryland and Maryland Caregivers Support Coordinating Council. I don't know, something to start-kick everyone. I feel like we are all roaming around not knowing what to do! I did make contact with Steve Mallory in January...he lives nearby and seems like a great resource. Thanks for the reality check. Keep it coming if I'm off base.

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Kim,

 

I wish you luck with getting all friends on board, but I'm with Pam. People might show up once or twice, but not for the long haul. It's my experience that people will show up for the true emergencies, and while those of us who caregive may feel that we're still in an emergency, on the edge situation. We're really not after the first few months. This is our everyday life now, and people expect others to take care of their own everyday life problems. It's sad but it's human nature. Like how many of us sought out those in need (our elderly relatives for example) and donated a few hours a week at a certain time each week, and for the long haul? No, most of us showed up with it was convenient to work into our lives.

 

Jean

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