Honoring Family Caregivers - November 2020
We are hearing from YOU!
People are sharing with us, in 250 words or less, about the awesome caregiver in their lives and how they deal with the joys and stresses of family caregiving.
You can too! - Send your submission to: Jan Schnack, Family Caregiver Specialist
Connections Area Agency on Aging
231 S. Main St
Council Bluffs, IA 51503
If it were not for my daughter, Beth Miller, I would not be able to stay in my home. Because of a falling accident almost a year ago, I have been in the hospital numerous times, a rehab stay at Risen Son, and now my home.
I do not have space to tell all the things she does for me. To begin the day, she gets me out of bed and helps me with cleaning up and all the things that are needed in the bathroom, which are many things I can't do for myself. I use a walker to get to the table for meals after she gets me dressed.
Beth takes care of ordering the medications from the pharmacy and puts them in my AM and PM containers.
When going places she helps me in and out of the car and uses a transport chair to get me to my appointments.
At night she gets me ready for bed and hooks up my overnight catheter bag and my CPAP machine.
She is kind and loving in spite of all she had to do. She deals with the stress by praying a lot and by going for long walks.
B. Wendell Miller
Our family has been going through a lot of changes recently, as my 82 year old mother in law, Lois, was diagnosed with dementia and I have stepped into a caregiver role. She has been a stronghold in our family and I want to do for her what she has done all along for us — be someone for her to lean on who will always treat her with respect, honesty, and love. I want to see her continue doing all the things she enjoys, like cooking, puzzles, and spending time with her grandchildren and great grandchildren, while in a safe environment.
I know she will need help, and we are renovating the house to make her more comfortable and have helped her move in. I regularly help her with transportation, going with her to doctor’s appointments, and managing her finances and medicines. I have been educating myself about Alzheimers and am looking for additional resources and a support system moving forward.
I enjoy listening to and singing worship music, remembering each day is new and a gift from God. Lois and I pray and read scripture together, and that has become a very special and treasured time for the both of us to bond together and grow closer to the Lord. One of her favorite verses is Psalm 46:10, “Be still and know that I am God.”
I consider it a privilege to care for my husband of more than 40 years. He has multiple health conditions that have changed him and his abilities throughout the years – but he’s still the wonderful man I fell in love with years ago. I believe our faith and commitment to one another and to God keep us together. Sure, sometimes it’s tough, but I try to remember the medical conditions are causing the changes, and as difficult as it can be for me, more than likely it’s harder for him.
We deal with the stress together. Humor is huge. I’ve discovered recently that he enjoys the craziest jokes and stories that often show up on Facebook and read them aloud to him. We look for strategies that work to help with those difficult situations that could drive us crazy. Covid-19 has made it difficult to ask others to help. However, I’ve learned there are tasks I can and do hire out such as lawn care. There are still those few trusted family members who pitch in and mean so much! And I appreciate working for an employer that understands the challenges of caregiving! While presenting the Stress Busting course, I’m learning right alongside the participants. The course has been awesome! Looking forward to doing Powerful Tools for Caregivers in January!
I am caregiver for my 90 year old mother, with dementia, lung cancer, COPD, asthma and many more health issues. After many doctor appointments and hospital visits, I was stressed, not knowing how to care for her.
As I reached out to family members, not much help was available.
At this point Connections staff were very helpful getting some nursing services, bath aid and meals. Wonderful, what a great service. I still had more full time caring for Mom and she didn't seem to be getting better.
So with Connections help we were able to get her on Elderly Waver.
Covid-19 was upon us too and the hospital was asking for masks. I have lots of scraps and made several masks. Great stress and coping skills for me. I was helping others and didn't have time to worry about all the stuff I wasn't able to do. Also, I talked to myself and said it is okay to leave dishes in the sink, leave the laundry and vacuuming. Find more projects to sew and be creative.
As mom has gotten worse, we have her on Hospice. They helped with her meds and she is sleeping more at night and up more in the daytime. Also she is getting more nursing service and in home care.
As for me I am making Christmas gifts and Birthday gifts, making sure to sew everyday.
Be grateful for what I can do with mom's care but enjoying Life. All because of the help of others, and letting friends do things I thought I had to do.
My father, Keith, has been diagnosed with lung and prostate cancer. He also has congestive heart failure and dementia. I have moved in with him to be his care giver. I provide his daily care, take care of household issues, medicines, doctor appt., finances and whatever else needs done.
He still likes his independence so he will head to the machine shed or his garage and tinker with his antiques and farm equipment! I love to hear his stories and also have learned a lot about antiques!
He has always been the tower of strength in our family. Now that he is in the winter of years it is my turn to take care of him. The grandkids and great grandkids love spending time with him. To hear his laughter, and stories and enjoy the time he has left is a blessing to all of us.
Thanks to Connections and the Stress-Busting Program I have learned new ways to be a better care-giver and also ways to help myself cope when the stress of it becomes distressing! I love to read, I have started coloring and am journaling all of dad’s reminisciencings! I am priveleged to be his care giver. The moments I spend with my dad today will be etched in my heart forever and will be cherished when he has gone.