Good Morning Caregivers

 

 

not all heroes wear uniforms

You are my heroes, every one. Thank you for all you do for others.

 

 

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Good Morning Caregivers

somethng good in every day

Every day may not be good.  Caregivers know better than most about good days and bad. On the best of days, when the people in our care, are experiencing the moments of clarity that mean so much, we know that tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow can be, and often is, much different.

When family and friends don’t understand please remember you are not alone. There are thousands of us who do and  I hope in small way to be something good for you today.

 

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Good Morning Caregivers

Kind words echo

I hope someone is kind to you today.

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Sometimes Caregiving Looks Like This

Pull Up Big Girl Panties

There were days when I felt more like the mean girl than the patient saint some believe caregivers to be. I didn’t want to do it any more. I got mad. I hollered back when he shouted at me. I regretted it the moment it happened but let’s be honest, this is what caregiving is like some days.

I have to admit I never looked that good when going through it. I more closely resembled the image below, right down to the scraggly plumage. But, I couldn’t resist posting this image. I love her attitude.

Rough Week

 

It is critical that we address the realities of caregiving  and not sugar coat it.We have to do everything we can to support the over 65,000,000 caregivers in this country and the millions more who will become caregivers very soon.

 November is National Caregivers Month. The President has issued a proclamation in support of caregivers. Caregiver conferences are being held across the country. It’s time to talk less and provide more help. Our legislators would do well to read caregiver support sites and hear from the caregivers themselves. Feel free to start by sending them a link to my blog.

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NaBloPoMo November 2014

Good Morning Caregivers

I hope you find a reason to smile today.

dog smiling

If you don’t, feel free to contact me. I’m here to help.

Caregiver Cover Web

 

 

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Good Morning Caregivers

Some of you have had a very long night starting with sundowning in the early evening and continuing into the wee hours of the morning. I know you are tired and wondering how you can make it through another day. I wish I could be there to give you a break. I know you need it. As hard as it is to find the time in your busy day, please if even just for a moment, when the person in your care is finally napping, take a moment for yourself and take in a few deep breaths and know I am praying for you.

Lord I give you my burdens

 

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DNR … AND

 

DNR or Do Not Resuscitate are not terms I ever wanted to associate with my father-in-law, Rodger. I knew he was failing every day and the nurse and social worker would arrive soon to process the paper work to set things in motion for home hospice care. Intellectually I knew what it meant. Comfort care only. In many ways that would be a blessing for him. There would be no more needle sticks for blood tests. No more medicine in apple sauce several times a day, made necessary by his increasingly severe swallowing problems. For months his diet had been restricted to pureed foods and thickened liquids. Parkinson’s disease, schizophrenia, dementia, and congestive heart failure had robbed him of the ability to walk, eat, or reason. He slept most of the day, every day, only to come awake agitated and afraid throughout the long nights.  His once powerful body was frail and painfully thin.

“I’m going to die soon. I had a dream last night and God told me my work here is done,” he’d told me the day I knew it was time to start looking into hospice care.

“I don’t have a good feeling about this one,” the hospice nurse reported to the doctor on the other end of the phone shortly after assessing him. “We need to get a hospital bed and a comfort kit here as soon as possible.”

She ended the call and turned to me to explain that the comfort kit would contain medications to keep him comfortable and pain-free without prolonging life.  A bright yellow document with the word DO NOT RESUSCITATE across the top was to be taped to the refrigerator to alert any emergency medical personnel entering the house that CPR was not to be administered.

“I know this hard,” the nurse said. “But it’s the kindest thing you can do for him now. CPR is brutal and in cases like this it’s cruel.  He is so frail it will most likely break his ribs and that in itself will kill him.”

“I know. It’s just that it feels so wrong. I hate seeing DNR emblazoned across that ugly yellow paper every time I enter the kitchen. Even though I know it’s inevitable I don’t want to lose him. ”

“Death is inevitable for all of us. All we can do is make it as comfortable as we can. Try not to think of it as DNR – Do Not Resuscitate. Think of it as AND – Allow Natural Death and make it your final gift to him.

And that’s what happened. When the time came he passed away naturally. Free of pain and at peace with his family at his side.

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