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Caring for Grandparents

Read the blogs of those who care for grandparents.

Real or Dream? Or Both?

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I came home from work the other day, like almost all other days, at lunch time. Elly had the table set and some kind of leftovers sitting in a pan on the stove (Ugh). So, we sat down for lunch and Elly says, “I had a most interesting morning!” I said, “Okay, tell me about it.” So, Elly tells me that she had a phone call from “Awesome Hubby”. She said AH needed $4,000 because ... Read More »

Adjustments Rather than Living Life “On Hold”

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I was looking at Denise’s article  ARGH: It’s Not About Putting Your Life on Hold, and decided to write about that, in relation to my caregiving experience. Almost four years ago, my husband and I had a conversation with Elly, my grandma who was beginning to have issues living alone. She needed more than someone to check in on her and bring her meals every day. Family and friends were also concerned for her welfare. ... Read More »

Video Chat: Caring for Stoic

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EllysGranddaughter (@ccforsure) joined me for a Friday video chat. EG (as we affectionately call her) talks about caring for her grandmother, who she describes as being stoic, stubborn and private. How do you provide care to an individual who resists care? Related Articles Video Chat: Taking Caregiving Public (caregiving.com) Vidoe Chat: Caregiving Then and Now (caregiving.com) Video Chat: Caring for Grandparents (caregiving.com) Friday Chat: A “Caregiving Tract” for Working Family Caregivers? (caregiving.com) Friday Video Chat: ... Read More »

Chair Day

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Elly continues to have a pretty good attitude about her life these days. She continues to be stoic, stubborn and private. My take on these issues means that we will have a long, hard, road yet to travel in terms of sticking with caregiving for her  until the end! She continues to be resistant to allowing us to give her help or assistance. We are on the cusp of helping her to understand that some ... Read More »

Musings About This Week

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Elly and I had a successful trip to the Wound Clinic. She is now “lighter in the legs” as the Unna Boots were removed and not prescribed for the foreseeable future. She just has some really nice wraps on her legs for this week. Elly’s wound has healed so very nicely but more lesions have appeared due to the edema with kidney failure. All those impurities that the kidneys are not cleaning out are escaping ... Read More »

Confusion and Setting Things Right

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Elly, my grandmother, has been fairly inactive lately, which has been just fine with me. We discovered that a person with a 93-year-old body should have a little higher blood pressure than the ol’ 120/40 standard. NurseySister found that in the medical journals! Elly just doesn’t feel like moving much with the low blood pressure. So, now we’ve seen her blood pressure rise as NurseySister suggested that I gradually remove her blood pressure med but ... Read More »

She’s Still “In Control”!

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This last week was again a success in the showering department. Our Wonderful Angela (WA) has come twice now to help Elly with her shower. Thursday’s episode could have gone wrong, but WA called and talked to Elly, letting her know that she would be coming out at 3:30 p.m. to help with her shower and wash her hair. Elly said that was okay and remembered that her hair needed to be washed for Friday’s ... Read More »

My End-of-the-Year Report

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I have been busy. Probably too busy so soon after Respite Time! Our weeks have been full since I have been home from work and Awesome Hubby has shared some consecutive days of being off with his office closures. There is always something to do but not what I want to get to for my personal space. I do need to change that. For now, I am on “Elly Watch.” Our routine has been disrupted ... Read More »

Elly Visited the Hospital

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As we were enjoying a respite time at the Coast just steps from the ocean, I got the text from Nursey Sister that Elly decided she needed to go to the Dr. to see about her very painful leg wound/now ulcer. She ended up at the ER fairly quickly by 1 p.m. and had tests done and by 11 p.m. Nursey Sister got to go home leaving Elly in a room settled for the night. ... Read More »

Before the Christmas Holiday Catch-Up

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Awesome Hubby and I had a lovely Thanksgiving week getaway. I was able to cook a nice Thai dinner for Uncle Bob and his family. Visiting with Arizona Son and wife and their Fur/Feather kids was delightful. LivingRoom Son flew in so we could all be together on Thanksgiving too. During this trip together, LivingRoom Son shared some of his thoughts and plans for the next year which bring events to look forward to this ... Read More »

Getting Ready for Respite!

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Elly has been “Just Fine” lately, thanks for asking. We have seen a bit of bounce back from our troubles in October. Maybe getting past 93 years of age is a bit difficult? Elly’s leg is still swollen since the toy bag incident and still bends at a crazy angle. She has had a few days in the week where she says she just can’t stand at the stove or counter so I am MORE than ... Read More »

10 Tips for Caregivers Living in a Caree’s Home

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I will try to share our story with 10 Tips that one should consider when moving into a caree’s home. Our experience was moving in with my Grandmother, 89 at the time, into her home of 50 years. 1. Give some time for consideration as you talk with your caree about moving in, maybe a month if possible. They will need to own that decision. 2. Take seriously how much change is involved for you as you ... Read More »

The Hard Places

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An excerpt from a newsletter I wrote: “In a caregiver support group meeting, I shared how miserable it is to be with my grandma on her worst days of pain and disorientation. I confessed: “I don’t want to be a caregiver.” I don’t want her to have dementia, and I certainly don’t want to be on the receiving end of it. But here I am. And it’s the right place to be.” This is what ... Read More »

Processing

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This week has been another week of processing some thoughts, ideas, or plans about how to adequately care for Elly and still allow her to make her decisions about her care. I understand my NurseySister’s position that if Elly doesn’t ask for help, we don’t need to provide it. My experience in living with Elly is that she isn’t going to ask for help unless she is in dire need of assistance and is miserable. ... Read More »

55 Miles an Hour and then Bam!

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My Grandma, Elly, has always been a “worker bee”. She never chose to drive a car but could pilot you around town, California, or across the country to SE Canada. This week, Elly has been pushing along with her swollen legs and we’ve seen improvement as they have gone down to normal. The pain still tarries in those scarred legs but now she doesn’t say much other than, “I don’t have any starch left”. So, ... Read More »

No More Swollen Legs Here!

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I should be getting used to the routine.Elly feels fine but today we were at the doctor’s appointment for a checkup after last week’s super swollen legs I told the nurse about Elly’s recent ailments. Her legs look fine in the “are they still swollen” department. Her skin is horrible!!! So much itching has caused bruising. Doctor sees the rashy legs still red and hot and says we have to see a dermatologist! Ugh! Elly ... Read More »

Keeping Up with the “Jones’”

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I joined all you folks in seeing a doctor this month! Grandma has had terrible swelling of her legs due to the inefficiency of her kidneys because of high blood pressure and maybe something else???. They haven’t been very bad this summer, which is her worst season but for some reason. . . it just got out of hand, BIG TIME!!! I noticed Grandma had neglected to refill her Thyroid medication and by the time ... Read More »

Mirror, Mirror on the…Oh, Forget It!

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I’m long overdue for a blog entry. So here it goes. I hope that it will end on a positive note. Someone told me that people living with dementia often mirror the emotions that they see in their caregivers. This was not a good day for Grandma to mirror what she saw in me. After fighting with my unruly hair for about an hour, I finally woke Grandma up for breakfast. I reminded her that ... Read More »

Can We Discuss Something?

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I am getting more brave about negotiating the health issue discussions with my grandma, Elly. Up until now, we just chat about the basics, sleeping, blood pressure, headache or back ache. She doesn’t really want to share anything and there is background to that. Elly’s mother was a “hypochondriac” – according to Elly, the oldest child. My great-grandmother went to the doctor and got pills and then more pills. This has been told to me ... Read More »

Blowing the Top Off!

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I am going to share this in a constructive way as I know that we all have our “moments”, sometimes with disastrous results. I have made mistakes in engaging in conversation with Grandma but thought I wanted to blog a bit about Awesome Hubby’s experience that earned him an amended title for the day as just “Hubby”. I was gone for about three hours on Labor Day to go to a movie with some friends. ... Read More »

Forgetfulness vs. Grandma-ness

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Grandma polished off her breakfast of eggs, bacon, and toast. She downed her prune juice. She eyed her empty plate, and looked at me with determination. “When I get better,” she announced, “I will start washing my own dishes again. You’ve done enough.” She paused. “After all this is over, I’m going to make sure that you never have to wash another dish again.” I resisted the urge to crack a smile, and maintained a ... Read More »

Paranoia Night

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For the past two months, I’ve been holding onto one hope and one hope alone: Vascular Dementia. My grandma had two strokes this year. Surely her dementia is due to that, and not to that other thing, that diagnosis I refuse to utter in my heart. For me, Vascular Dementia means that if Grandma doesn’t have another stroke, she could possibly live out the rest of her years like this: forgetful, irrational at times, but ... Read More »