Jun 29, 2014
Jun 28, 2014
Jun 27, 2014
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Jun 25, 2014
Jun 24, 2014
Jun 23, 2014
Jun 22, 2014
|"Those who know how to think need no teachers." Robert Frost|
Perhaps we think that we already know how to think, and, of course, on many levels we do. But, how much do you trust your own counsel? I think that is an area we can each continue to develop. When making a decision, I ask the opinion of a few people I trust; then I pray about it; then I make what I believe is the best decision. Sometimes there are no really good options among which to choose. When I was told that my loved one would have to move into a nursing home, I chose among the ones I researched and found to be the best. All of them are 45-70 minutes drive away from me. I chose one about 60 minutes away from me because it had the best reputation. It adds more to my drive, but I believe he gets better care.
Jun 21, 2014
|"He who mounts a wild elephant goes where the wild elephant goes." Randolph Bournes|
What a descriptive way to describe when we let stress or moods or our own thoughts take us for a ride. Buddhists call it the 'monkey mind', jumping around going wherever it wants. It is one of life's challenges to manage our thoughts, our stress and our moods so that we are not taken for a ride we would prefer not to take. Meditation and yoga and spending time in nature all help me to calm my thoughts and remain in a place of serenity. Peace is attainable, even in the midst of caregiving, and it is so critical for our own health.
Jun 20, 2014
|"It is when you give of yourself that you truly give." Kahlil Gibran|
Well, then, by that definition caregivers most certainly give. Time, money, attention, love, positive regard. Today while visiting, I read him the newspaper and trimmed his nails. There is nail care available at the facility, but it was a way to spend time together, and I try to keep his fingernails very short so that he does not inadvertently scratch his legs -- causing another infection. We shared a homemade ginger snap cookie that I took him and some conversation. I wish it were not an hour drive for me, but that is the way it is. Caregivers give of themselves. Please acknowledge that about yourself.
Jun 19, 2014
|"If you have stress symptoms, taking steps to manage your stress can have numerous health benefits. Explore stress management strategies, such as:" Mayo Clinic|
Jun 18, 2014
"Stress that's left unchecked can contribute to health problems, such as high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity and diabetes." Mayo Clinic
|Common effects of stress ...|
|... On your body||... On your mood||... On your behavior|
Jun 17, 2014
|"Lewy Bodies Dementia is frontal lobe dementia and that always means a loss of control over behavior." local neuropsychologist|
In a chance conversation with a well-respected local neuropsychologist, I learned that not being able to keep my loved one at home is not my fault. Some people are able to keep their loved ones with dementia at home, but according to this neuropsychologist that is far less possible with someone with Lewy Bodies Dementia because the frontal lobe dementia removes their ability to modulate their own behavior. It makes so much sense to me now. The intense resistance, bursts of anger, refusing respite care, locking caregivers out of the house, finding keys and driving when that was no longer advisable. It makes sense now. Please do not feel guilty if the behavior of your loved one prevents home care.
Jun 16, 2014
Jun 15, 2014
Jun 14, 2014
|"AARP's Planning for Long-Term Care for Dummies may be a helpful resource for caregivers." aarp.org/longtermcarefd|
This book contains the resources and costs of the various levels of care for someone needing care. It even suggests the legal documents you should prepare and update and covers the pros and cons of long-term care insurance. It gives tips for talking to family members. In whatever reliable ways we can prepare ourselves with good information, we benefit. I am continually surprised at how many people think that Medicare will pay for longterm care. It will not! So, one needs to consider how it will be paid for, and this book may help in that direction.
Jun 13, 2014
|"This was the first study showing that any intervention can actually make your telomeres longer ---in a sense, reversing aging at a cellular level." Dean Garnish, MD|
So, what interventions is he talking about? His suggestions are: a plant-based diet low in sugar, at least 30 minutes of exercise every day, eat with awareness, meditation helps us get in touch with inner peace, strong family and friends network, volunteering. Garnish says, "if we stop doing what's causing the (health) problem, we begin healing." Very hopeful and fairly easy to implement. Why not consider it? You are worth it.
Jun 12, 2014
|"The hardest part for any caregiver, whether it is a child, parent or spouse, is the relationship change." Lonnie Ali (wife of Mohammad Ali)|
Lonnie goes on to say that the biggest challenge for the caregiver is to guard against becoming bitter because of having your life ripped away from you. I agree that the relationship change is difficult, and it is hard sometimes to not feel sorry for oneself for having the responsibilities for someone with a terminal illness. Gone are the times of making decisions collaboratively -- which was something I treasured in our marriage, and that, too, is a burden. Making all the decisions, not just for oneself, but for the loved one is a huge responsibility. And, I believe, it can only be done well with good support systems. Legal, medical, emotional, financial, spiritual -- I think we caregivers need the support of people who have integrity and wisdom to help us make the best decisions.
Jun 11, 2014
|"I have no power of miracle other than the attainment of quiet happiness, I have no tact except the exercise of gentleness." Oracle of Sumiyoshi|
Gentleness toward ourselves and others is a good life practice. That is one reason I never argue with or correct Dwane when he tells me about something which is obviously a hallucination he had or when he gets a fact or date wrong. When one is having hallucinations, that is his or her reality. What point is there in correcting, or trying to correct, their perception? In fact, isn't there arrogance for us to think that our perception of reality is the only one -- the right one? Instead, I listen and acknowledge what he seems to be feeling within the hallucination. Seems good practice to me.
Jun 10, 2014
|"When you get to a place where you're seeing the positive in others more than the negative, it means you're doing the same for yourself." Tut|
My conscious orientation and choice is to see the positive in life. When I let that orientation slip, I find I am horrified to be at this point in my life with my husband in a nursing home. No matter how I "dress" the situation, it is very, very sobering. He deserves better, and so do I. It is so hard for me to see him go through the physical incapacity -- even more so than the cognitive at this point. Hard, hard stuff we caregivers deal with on a daily basis, and so hard for the loved one.
Jun 9, 2014
|"Two roads diverged in a wood, and I, I took the one less traveled by. And that has made all the difference." Robert Frost|
I have always loved this quote and tried to live my life by it. In the midst of criticism about decisions made as caregivers, we, too, can trust in taking our own path. As long as that path is one of integrity and one in which the best interest of the loved one, as well as ourselves, is of the highest priority. Whenever I make a decision, I always consider: Is this best for every person directly involved? When I discern what is best -- after consulting people whose opinions I value, that is the direction I go. When we live by this value, we can be rest assured we will also be criticized; but it is imperative that we are true to ourselves and to those to whom we have the greatest responsibility.
Jun 8, 2014
|"To be fully alive, fully human and completely awake is to be continually thrown out of the nest." Pema Chodron|
Literally and figuratively, all of our lives we are being thrown out of the nest. Dwane is adjusting so well to the new care facility; I am just tickled. And relieved. Such a huge responsibility to make decisions on the well-being of another human. With his move, I also am thrown out of the nest again. New decisions, new people with whom to deal, further for me to drive to see him, more expenses. I choose to look at this as a means to become more fully alive and awake.