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Retired Caretaker


RLT

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I know that in the past I have always agreed with the statement that even though your loved one is in a nursing facility, you are still a caregiver. But now that it is my turn I must say I feel like I have retired.

 

One could say that I did a lot of worrying for nothing or you could say all my worry paid off! I never imagined that this time of transition would go so smoothly. Dick is settling into his new environment quite contentedly. He has yet to ask to return home. I took some pictures etc. to decorate his room and he was excited to see everything and help direct the decorating process. I'm learning to decorate for the man he is now rather than the picky interior decorator he once was. It is finally sinking into my brain that he no longer sees the details and just enjoys doing it together. I am told he has tried activities that I have been unsuccessful at getting to do for several years. And he always has some long tale to tell about someone when I see him. On those days I do not go for a visit, he has learned to call me on the phone.

 

I do not let my mind dwell on the separation too much. Instead I focus on doing things that I have been unable to do for a long time. This week it has been spring cleaning. My daughter and I are rearranging things to reflect the changes in our lifestyle. The spring decorating has a decided feminine look. I am enjoying putting some of the frills back into my home. This evening I tackled Dick's bedroom. I am reclaiming it as a guest room. This has been a big hurdle I have forced myself to take on. I am accepting the fact that he will never need things like cowboy boots and muclucs again and trying to see how much space we can have by giving up such things. It will be a real treat for my 2nd daughter when she comes home for Easter and finds a new room ready for her.

 

Admittedly you have had to deal with a lot of negative blogs from me. The last year has been a real struggle physically, emotionally and financially. Now that I do not have to care for Dick 24/7 I have time to address some of the tasks that need to be done as well as spend some much needed down time. I'm actually sleeping at night! And have the energy that seemed oft times completely dried up.

 

I gues the biggest message I would like to share with anyone out there faced with caregiving becoming too difficult and nursing to scary, it reallys can be the best thing for your family to consider long-term care. I swore I would never do it because I had a preconceived idea what it would be like. That fear paralyzed me for a long time. Keep your loved one home as long as you can but if the time comes when he or she needs more than you can provide I home you are encouraged that it is not as bad a it may seem.

 

Sorry this blog is not proofed and planned out well but I wanted to post again just in case someone else can be encouraged by our esperience.

 

No, I don't feel like a caregiver right now. That is because such a huge load of responsibility has been lifted from my shoulders . I am in truth still caring for my husband. He is a part of my daily liffe. We stay in touch. He needs me for differnt things now. I'm learning to let the professionals do their job. Sure I watch and question but so far they have done just fine. I don't need to micro-manage.

 

Ruth

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Ruth, so far, so good. Statistics tell us here that you spend an extra 20 hours a week caring for someone in your own home and 9 hours in a nursing home. I certainly did more than that when Mum had her hip operation as I spent three hours every day for three weeks feeding her lunch and driving back and forth to the hospital. Here the care home's responsibility ends when you leave the facility so it was as if she was back in my care again. Most weeks it is four hours of visiting plus shopping, form filling, phone calls etc.

 

I'm glad so far the transition has been good for Dick and for you. Try to get the girls, his friends etc to keep him in the loop so he still feels a part of your lives, with Mum that never happened and for years I have been her only visitor. And that is 8 1/2 years, a lot longer than I anticipated when I put her into care in 2001. She could easily outlive Ray and maybe me too...lol.

 

You sure you will not use those cowboys boots, how abut at the next Caregiver Boot Scootin' Chat party? Don't be a stranger now, keep in touch.

 

Sue.

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Ruth,

 

I'm the survivor, my wife the caregiver, my question to you is: Do you feel at times you didn't really want to put him in a home? Then did he have any objection or was it the best thing to do looking at his condition?

 

See, my wife and I have decided in writing that I remain at home under any and all circumstances until my death. As long as I'm not dead I get paid my Army retirement, Postal retirement, VA disability and my social security. Therefore she can quit, retire or stop working her current job at the bank and be home with me.

 

Now, do you think that's selfish on my part or just that I know second hand how those nursing homes and facilities operate with the personnel they employ.

 

I'm encouraged by your experience why I ask in case I got the wrong attitude and my wife would be one big ball of confusion trying to care for me at home alone.

 

I commend you for having done what's best in your case and as a care giver, I probably couldn't do it because it takes so much courage, time and desire to be a caregiver in the first place. I wholeheartedly support all caregivers here for supporting their loved ones for so long.

 

That's where I get my idea to remain in my own home until my end. My last question is how far is the facility from your home? Take care Ruth, I support you and other care givers every day, that's a never ending occupation, pretty much 24/7 all year long.

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Ruth,

 

I'm the survivor, my wife the caregiver, my question to you is: Do you feel at times you didn't really want to put him in a home? Then did he have any objection or was it the best thing to do looking at his condition?

 

See, my wife and I have decided in writing that I remain at home under any and all circumstances until my death. As long as I'm not dead I get paid my Army retirement, Postal retirement, VA disability and my social security. Therefore she can quit, retire or stop working her current job at the bank and be home with me.

 

Now, do you think that's selfish on my part or just that I know second hand how those nursing homes and facilities operate with the personnel they employ.

 

I'm encouraged by your experience why I ask in case I got the wrong attitude and my wife would be one big ball of confusion trying to care for me at home alone.

 

I commend you for having done what's best in your case and as a care giver, I probably couldn't do it because it takes so much courage, time and desire to be a caregiver in the first place. I wholeheartedly support all caregivers here for supporting their loved ones for so long.

 

That's where I get my idea to remain in my own home until my end. My last question is how far is the facility from your home? Take care Ruth, I support you and other care givers every day, that's a never ending occupation, pretty much 24/7 all year long.

 

As I was writing a response to this I was wishing that somehow I could reach a larger audience. You have raised some very important questions that most everyone needs to think about. So please check out what I wrote for my next blog entry.

Ruth

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