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Caregiver Journey

 

Like anything, being a caregiver has its blessings and burdens. When we are thrust into the position of caregiver, whether gradually or with a big bang, we do our best to figure it out. While ultimately, it is up to us to figure it out, there are books and websites to offer guidance on this journey.

The information you find here on Caregiver Stress is a great resource, and there are plenty of books to guide you along the way as well. There is one resource, however, that is often overlooked—camaraderie. Having a group of people who are going through the same trials and the same joys is a resource no book or article can replace.

If you're there, chances are, so is someone else. As alone as we can often feel, our situations aren't always as unique as we think they are. Who hasn't felt as though many days, there are more questions than answers, and more hours than energy? Other days, we find our confidence and the laughter and enjoyment to fuel us on for a little while longer. Our journeys may not be identical, but our paths certainly overlap and cross at many points.

Let's be honest, though. Sometimes it is a lonely journey.

Loneliness and isolation aren't only a threat for the seniors we care for; it's a real threat for every caregiver out there. Caregivers often tend to their needs last, especially when it comes to social interaction. With a life overflowing with responsibilities, friends are the sometimes the easiest thing to cross off that growing to-do list.

While real-life people are the optimal choice for support, I hope we all will create a sense of community here. This blog will run the gambit of serious, informative and light-hearted—just like our real lives. It is a place where you can comment and share your own stories and words of wisdom and support. And remember, judge not lest ye be judged. After all, we're all just trying to figure out our best path on this long caregiver journey.

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Thoughts and stories from others
  1. October 24, 2011 at 11:36 am | Posted by Cat Koehler

    Great ideas for Emily! Thanks Iggy and Ruth! Anything we can do to help each other as caregivers is appreciated. Cat

    Reply

  2. October 23, 2011 at 1:57 pm | Posted by Ruth

    Just brought mom from the hospital. She normally wears diapers, but at the hospital they are using waterproof disposable pads instead. I was amazed how dry she was and the bed/linens did not get wet. You may want to see if this would help you. Good luck!

    Reply

  3. October 22, 2011 at 6:42 pm | Posted by Iggy G.

    Do let your father's physician know too that your dad is having issues with incontinence. Hopefully it is not symptomatic of some underlying pathology - but nonetheless, let the physician rule out a urinary tract infection, diabetes, ...... What you can do starting this evening is to cut severly back on his fluid intake in the couple-to-three hours prior to bedtime; nudge him to use the bathroom several times in the hours prior to bedtime; ensure as best you can that the hours prior to bedtime are not stressfull for him - play soothing familiar music; using a reusabel/washable super-absorbent bed liner that tucks in under the mattress is also a practical alternative to when the diaper comes off - it will keep him dry and prevent causing the skin rash/irritation to a significant degree if not completely. Good luck and know you are blessed for caring so much!

    Reply

  4. October 21, 2011 at 1:08 am | Posted by Emily12

    I am a caregiver for my father with ALZ who's incontinent at night. I would like to hear from other caregivers what is the best way in keeping him dry during the night since he removes the diaper /pull ups brief during his sleep. The wetness is causing a skin rash/irritation. Having to change the sheet protector pad during the night is disrupting his and my sleep. Thanks for any suggestions you may provide! Emily

    Reply

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