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Caregivers Support Group




As a result of my long overdue acceptance that my caregiver duties are wearing me out I committed (to myself) that I would attend the monthly meeting for Caregivers. Yesterday was the day. It was a wonderful experience, and I know I'll go back. Not only that, I'm going to enroll Bill in the respite activities.


I was introducing myself yesterday when it finally dawned on me. Yes, I have been caring for Bill just over two years. However, I resigned my position with the University June 1, 2001 in order to care for my ailing parents. While I've been thinking what a wimp I am for burning out after two years when others here have been doing this for much, much longer than I it was a revelation to see the looks on others' faces as I described the past six years.


It was encouraging for me to hear these people tell me - do it - get Bill involved in the respite care program, you really, really need this time for yourself. I also got hints about not telling plans too far in adavance (I'd figured this out, but now realize that sometimes even the night before may be too soon.) in order to save me from Bill's anxiety, excitement or whatever you may want to call it. It was also helpful to hear these folks as they describe their spouse's reluctance to go to this activity initially and the way it turned around.


The meeting felt like a "safe place" in which to share my fears and frustrations. The very first woman's husband suffers from dementia and aphasia. Another's husband has suffered multiple TIAs, but no full-blown stroke that have left him with dementia - for over 10 years. It was truly a breath of fresh air for me.


The lone attending gentleman's wife has Alzheimers. She is in a SNF. He has just returned from a 20 day excursion to the Gallapogos Islands and Peru. He spoke of the changes he noticed since he's come home. The ladies there were so encouraging to him, telling him how wonderful it is for him that he has these great memories about his trip. His face just lit up when he described the incident where a bird nearly landed on his hat.


While I attended the meeting Bill went to the respite group. Afterward he said there was quite a bit of "inane conversation". He said he'd been asked many questions about himself. While he wasn't "thrilled" with the experience, I don't believe he was offended either, so we are on our way!


New experiences for both of us, I'm sure we will grow from them.



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Thanks for sharing your caregiver meeting minutes with us, I learnt that I should implement similar techniques with my son who always protest if I sign him up for anything new though later on he admits he liked it, but his initial response always pushes me to corner and I swear I will never enroll him in anything new. let him learn life's lessons hard way.





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Change always takes getting used to - there's a normal adjustment period filled with "I don't know about this".


Good for you - You need the time. You'll both adjust.



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Good for you ... Maybe through the group you will find a couple or 2 to go to dinner or a picnic or some other outings.


Sometimes we get kind of boxed into our own little world. It is good to meet others who can share your experiences, but also have fun with.

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Thanks Ladies!


I really, really appreciate your encouragement. Today was a day Bill could have gone, but I let him off the hook. I told him next week will be a good time to start. Adjustments!!!

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This is great! A gentleman from our Stroke Support group who was his wife's caregiver went to a caregiver group meeting and used to tell us about it. I believe his wife went also. Unfortunately, this was the gentleman who had a brain tumor and they have moved down south to be near a son. I wrote to her on out birthdays (same day, different year) but had no response, I do hope that they have found groups there like the ones that were here.


I agree - as time goes on, both of you will look foward to the days when you go.



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