Tell Us: What Are Your Seven Significant Caregiving Moments?

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Tell Us: What Are Your Seven Significant Caregiving Moments?

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time-425811_640Today, we aired another episode of Care Break on Your Caregiving Journey with my co-host Bruce McIntyre (@brucemc) and Jane (@jbones1961), our show producer. (You can listen to our show via the player, below.)

We continued our conversation about telling your caregiving story, especially the importance and value of sharing your experiences. During the show, Bruce shared an exercise that he and his wife, Kathy, used during a get-together of friends and acquaintances three years after Kathy's diagnosis. They shared seven significant moments in their journey as a way to update friends and introduce their story to acquaintances.

I thought that was a great idea and a wonderful exercise for us. So, in our comments section, below, tell us about your seven significant points in your caregiving journey. Don't worry about telling us only good moments or bad moments. We're looking for those moments that brought about a change--game changing moments, if you will. At these moments, you may have changed direction, found a perspective, endured a loss, suffered a setback, enjoyed good news, received a diagnosis. Feel free to include dates, if you'd like.

I look forward to learning more about the timetable of your caregiving experience.

Note: Care Break airs again on September 25 at 1 p.m. ET (Noon CT, 10 a.m. PT). During the show, we'd love to hear about your seven significant moments. Call us during our 30-minute show at (646) 652-4944.



Check Out Caregiving Podcasts at Blog Talk Radio with Denise Brown on BlogTalkRadio

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Jo Rozier

1.) Rushing across country to check on my parents because their phone had been disconnected and finding that they were living in a home with no utilities because they couldn't figure out how to pay their bills anymore although they had previously assured me \"all was well.\" My caregiving journey officially started that day.\r\n\r\n2.) When my sibling, who had assumed the caregiving role collapsed from exhaustion from caregiving. As she was rushed to the E.R., and I again rushed across country to retrieve my parents. \r\n\r\n3.) Placing my parents into an Alzheimer's facility. As a working single parent and already the caregiver for one of my children who struggled with mental illness, it was absolutely the right call to make in support of my parents... and it was one of the most painful things I had to do. It was made tolerable by the fact that I knew my role as a caregiver didn't end at the facility door. I was just as important as before, I just now had a dedicated team and specially designed location to help me. \r\n\r\n4.) Early in what would turn out to be Dad's final year, Dad was asked who was I by the nursing home staff and he looked at me and answered, \"that's my friend.\" What son wouldn't want to be his Dad's friend. :-)\r\n\r\n5.) Later in Dad's final year when Dad's speech ability was entirely gone, I would sometimes just sit quietly at his side just to offer my presence. During one of those visits he silently reached over and griped my hand letting me know he was still there... and still loved me. During other visits he would quietly lean over and rest his head on my shoulder... the mantel was shifting from father to son. \r\n\r\n6.) Knowing we were at the end, I told Dad it was ok to die. I would take of Mom. He could enter into a well deserved rest. He died soon after. \r\n\r\n7.) Commencing the start of hospice support for Mom. It was another heart wrenching decision, one that clearly signaled that we were in a final stage but it was also an opportunity to apply lessons learned and not wait as long as I had with Dad. The good news is that although this is a final stage, the duration of this stage is definitely TBD.

Jean

1) <b>1997</b> - When my father was diagnosed with cancer, I understood what P (my spouse) was going through with his dad's cancer at a completely deeper level.\r\n\r\n2) <b>1997</b> - Watching our mothers as they cared for their dying husbands, was far harder than saying goodbye to our fathers. It brought thoughts of being in their shoes, of what it would be like to loose P, the love of my life and my best friend and soulmate. I pushed those thoughts out of my mind quickly.\r\n\r\n3) <b>1997</b> - Moving home to the farm (4 hrs from P) for several months to help care for dad was one of the most cherished and precious time in my life. \r\n\r\n4) <b>1997</b> - That I could gently close dad's eyes after he died. My youngest sister was freaked out that his eyes were still opened after his last breath.\r\n\r\n5) <b>2000</b> - Telling P's dad in his final days, not to worry, that I would be there to take care of P and his mom. Then 4 years later moving in with P's mom to care help care for her.\r\n\r\n6) <b>2014</b> - The day when I dropped to the floor, emotionally spent, physically ill with pneumonia, rocking like a baby and crying that I couldn't go on for another minute. Within a couple days later, a UTI sent P's mom to the hospital for a few days, the first hospitalization in 7 years since her stroke, which gave us a much needed break. \r\n\r\n7) <b>2014</b> - The day I left P's mom on the bedside commode to briefly to grab a new package of wipes from the bathroom. I got distracted and totally forgot I left her there and I started cleaning the counter top and sink. A few minutes later realizing what I had done, I ran to her room; she had slid off and was laying on the floor. Her delicate skin that covered her boney tailbone sheered off and it was bleeding profusely. P and I, already massively stressed, sat on either side of her, trying to figure out how to get her off the floor. I was crying and his eyes were welling up as we debated the need for an ambulance. P's mom reached up and placed one hand on my shoulder, the other on P's. She looked directly into my eyes, then his, with the most gentle, caring smile as if to say, it's OK. She had rarely connected at any level in those days. That was the last time that I felt her presence and the essence of her former self. Her wound would be a struggle to keep healed until she died a few months later. I struggle with guilt on this one.

Jenn

First, when I realized I had a passion and the stamina/strength/courage/what ever it takes/called to do what I do in the first place.\r\nSecond, when I realized Mom could not be alone while I am at work, having someone spend 12 hours here while I am at work is costly......AND I end up working another 12 hour shift when I come home. So I left my long distance job.......\r\nThird, When I realized what my siblings were really like as people. What I thought was my family actually wasn't and that they really don't care about Mom's end of life care.\r\nFourth significant moment was when I realized that Mom cannot be alone at all.........\r\nThe fifth significant moment is when I realized that I am not alone in care-giving. There are many people who do what I do and have insight, compassion, and wisdom that can help me.\r\nThe sixth would probably be when I found adult day services and what a great center for Mom to attend.\r\nThe Seventh significant moment is when I gave myself permission to take a break, mourn the potential loss of Mom and move forward with life goals and present goals to better take care of my own needs..........Enter care-giving.com