Author Topic: On Caregiving  (Read 124574 times)

Offline Front-Ranger

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Re: On Caregiving
« Reply #350 on: January 18, 2019, 06:32:54 pm »
Thanks for that link, brian! It's a kind of sad story but I'm glad the husband is staying active.
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Offline serious crayons

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Re: On Caregiving
« Reply #351 on: January 19, 2019, 11:26:27 am »
Thanks for the searching tips. I was basically looking for articles having to do with the non-economic aspects of caregiving, which I feel are underemphasized.

Some of them are about economic aspects, but many are not. As I said, there have been a handful of articles on the non-economic aspects of caregiving in my newspaper alone, some of them written by me.

As for the AARP article, I wasn't talking about an article in the magazine or newsletter with reader comments. I was talking about comments on a message board, much like this one except instead of Brokeback Mountain (etc.) the topic is caregiving.

Here's an AARP page that's like a whole website in itself, with a grid of topics you can click on to open up articles on basics, resources, caring at home, caring for someone with dementia, caring for someone with cancer, etc., as well as financial aspects. They're more guides than articles, but there is tons of information on a wide range of caregiving-related topics.

https://www.aarp.org/caregiving/

Here are the first 10 results from a search for "new york times" and "caregiving." Long-distance caregiving. Easing the burden on caregivers. Caregiving for aging parents. Caregivers' isolation. Caregiving sooner than expected. A robot caregiver. Caregiver burnout. Caregiving for a cancer patient. And so on.

https://www.google.com/search?q=new+york+times+caregiving&rlz=1C1EOIJ_enUS750US778&oq=new+york+times+caregiving&aqs=chrome..69i57j0l2.3410j0j4&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

Here's a six-page special section from the Washington Post, "CAREGIVING: A Special Report," filled with stories and photos, including one by Rosalynn Carter.

[url]https://apps.washingtonpost.com/g/documents/national/caregiving-a-special-report/864/[/Neurl]

Newsweek has stories (including the Rob Lowe one). Time magazine has stories. U.S. News & World Report? A little skimpy, and most seem to be about finances or nursing homes. But you get the picture. There is no shortage of coverage of this topic. When I've written about it, it has not been a problem of not enough information, it's a problem of too much.

There's a site called caregiver.com, agingcare.com, caregiver.org, caregiverstress.com, dailycaregiving.com. The last one has an article that lists 11 Facebook groups for caregivers.

Not that your article wouldn't be welcome -- it's a topic that people will be hearing more and more about as boomers age. The oldest boomer is only 72, an age at which most people can still care for themselves. Once our generation needs help it will be a full-blown crisis. There are far fewer Gen Xers to perform the caregiving, and they're scattered around the country.

Paid professional caregiving is expensive as it is, and yet the pay for people who do it is so tiny that nobody wants to do it. Except people who have a hard time getting other kinds of jobs. So here's a good idea -- let's kick all the immigrants out of the country!!  >:( >:( >:(



Offline serious crayons

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Re: On Caregiving
« Reply #352 on: January 19, 2019, 04:52:22 pm »
Thanks for the searching tips. I was basically looking for articles having to do with the non-economic aspects of caregiving, which I feel are underemphasized.

I hope I didn't come off as too know-it-all-y by suggesting possible search terms and gathering some search results, FRiend. I was just perplexed as to why you weren't seeing articles about the non-economic aspects of caregiving, whereas in my experience they are abundant. In fact, I felt it was the economic aspects of caregiving that were somewhat under-reported, considering how much they contribute to poverty among older women.

But again, I encourage you to write your own take on it! There will always be interest. NextAvenue publishes a lot of freelance work, if that's a place you'd consider publishing your article. They've probably covered this topic a lot, but there is always room for fresh perspectives.

(That's when you're done with your screenplay for the horror movie The Renters, that is.  :D)




Offline Front-Ranger

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Re: On Caregiving
« Reply #353 on: January 20, 2019, 12:32:27 pm »
Hi friends! I haven't posted until now, because I've been busy searching on caregiving topics! Friend Katherine, thank you for guiding me to these topics. It's a bit like trying to drink water out of a fire hose! It would be great if I could find that one magic article where the reader could spin the dial and have an answer to the question of what to do with aging parent(s) who can't take care of themselves any longer. I haven't found it yet, but I'll keep searching!
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Offline serious crayons

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Re: On Caregiving
« Reply #354 on: January 20, 2019, 09:43:03 pm »
what to do with aging parent(s) who can't take care of themselves any longer. I haven't found it yet, but I'll keep searching!

Wait, isn't that what most of the articles are about? I mean, sure, sometimes the caregivers are taking care of spouses or other relatives. And sometimes the relatives don't need really that extensive of care beyond a ride to the grocery store or doctor, let's say. Or maybe they're already in an assisted living or something. But I've seen plenty of articles about people caring for aging parent(s) who have dementia or other conditions that prevent them from living on their own. Even situations where the caregivers had to learn some basic medical procedures so they could perform them on their parents.

At one of the events I attended, there was a woman from AARP who had done it, as I recall, three times -- once for her grandma, once for her mother and once for her father. She was very upbeat about it, though. More so than a lot of people would be. Come to think of it, I have at least a couple of friends who have done similar things for their parents and were glad they did. But I think the majority of people find it really hard.


Offline Front-Ranger

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Re: On Caregiving
« Reply #355 on: January 21, 2019, 01:27:48 pm »
My mother used to suffer from dizziness. I would take her in to the doctor, who would ask numerous questions and take some tests, but we could never get close to an answer. It turns out that one of the major side effects of medicines from aspirin to zygotene is dizziness. Finally, the doctor decided the dizziness was due to a urinary tract infection, or uti. It turns out that uti's are the go-to diagnosis, especially in older women, if you can't find any other cause. So, she would be given antibiotics, and grow resistant to them, and soon we were back at square one.

It was difficult for mom to articulate what she meant by "dizziness". There are different kinds, starting with vertigo. Her brand of dizziness started early in the morning, even before she got out of bed. One time she woke and said the room was upside down. This was a severe hardship because Mom had to be able to get out of bed and go to the bathroom quickly in the mornings.

Finally, it was Mom's physical therapist who figured the mystery out. There were mineral crystals in her inner ear and, when she turned her head, these crystals would bend the little hairs inside the ear and distort her sense of balance. The PT led Mom through a series of exercises or positionings that got rid of the crystals and then she had some relief for a few months until the problem built up again. I learned later that this is a very common and widespread problem.

That's the kind of information I needed to have and would like people to know so they don't have to go through the miserable waits in doctor's offices, the falls, and the brain-wracking that I had to.
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Offline brian

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Re: On Caregiving
« Reply #356 on: January 21, 2019, 02:18:23 pm »
My sister's best friend, slightly younger (my sister is 84) has the same problem and it took a while to diagnose.
When I moved to NZ in 2010, my doctor had to find a blood pressure tablet similar to the one I was taking n Australia but was not on the NZ Pharmacy scheme. He prescribed Cilazapril. All was fine until about 2- 3 years ago when I began coughing badly after every meal. He gave me Omeprazole but no improvement so he increased the dose. I began to think Omeprazole was the culprit as things got worse and stopped taking them. I had a miserable time travelling in UK this year especially going to concerts most nights. I could only eat small meals.  When I came home, he ummed and ahhed as usual then said Cilazapril might be the culprit and changed to Losartin. We are still adjusting the dose  but the coughing is a thousand times improved. On talking to several friends (including retired nurses)  they have said "Oh yes Cilazapril does that"
I guess it is hard being a GP but I  do wish he had thought of that sooner.

Offline brian

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Re: On Caregiving
« Reply #357 on: January 21, 2019, 02:46:26 pm »
I think I have reported before that my mother died a month short of turning 97.  Her mind was wonderful up until the last few days but she was on oxygen 24 hours for over a year, quite deaf and with macular affecting her eyes. To take her out I pushed the wheel chair and my sister the oxygen cylinder. She lived in the apartment next to my sister and, when the phone rang about 2 or 3 am, my sister would not answer just run down the corridor to my mother's apartment and take her to the toilet. In the last year I went (2 and half hours by train, a little over an hour by car) three times a week if possible ( I was doing casual relief work) for about 4 hours so my sister could go out, mainly for shopping. We did have a carer for 4 hours once per week mainly in case I had work. My sister was 72 when mum died and she really gave up about 2 years of her life for Mum. She need surgery on her fingers (she had been a shorthand/typist) but put it off as she could not have showered Mum with wires on her hand. She had the surgery after Mum died but really it had been delayed too long so only partially successful.
She had cared (but to a much lesser extent) for her mother-in-law (a horrible person) and for her husband's aunt (a lovely lady who had supported my sister but ended up with complete dementia in care but my sister was her main legal guardian). Now she thinks her husband is showing early signs of dementia. Hopefully she is just super sensitive. She does not like leaving him but is doing so for 10 days in March to come and support me as i have a hernia operation.

That is my main worry, being almost 75, no kids, no nephews or nieces, the only relative with whom I have  contact is my sister (and Bil) 10 years older than me.
NZ has a euthanasia law going through parliament. It will be very minimal but a start.
Our bishop (a medical doctor before he became a priest) has been a leading opponent and it is the last straw for me with the church. I tell them they ruined my life with their views on homosexuality and now, when as a result I am left alone, they want to make the end of my life miserable. The biggest mistake of my life was to become a Christian at about age 7. At age 74 I think it is all ridiculous. My best friends have no contact with any church yet are offering to help me with my operation and the aftermath, offering to stay if my sister has a problem and to help with shopping.  The church people who once told me in a discussion over euthanasia that they would support me in old age, have not even bothered to ask why I have not been to church for 6 months (I went to the Cathedral not my parish church on Christmas Eve as I love the music). They are a bunch of hypocrites. Rant over  ;D

Offline Jeff Wrangler

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Re: On Caregiving
« Reply #358 on: January 21, 2019, 08:33:54 pm »
Finally, it was Mom's physical therapist who figured the mystery out. There were mineral crystals in her inner ear and, when she turned her head, these crystals would bend the little hairs inside the ear and distort her sense of balance. The PT led Mom through a series of exercises or positionings that got rid of the crystals and then she had some relief for a few months until the problem built up again. I learned later that this is a very common and widespread problem.

That is exactly what happened to a friend and neighbor, and he was also given exercises to do. He tells me that so far the exercises have been helpful.
"It is required of every man that the spirit within him should walk abroad among his fellow-men, and travel far and wide."--Charles Dickens.

Offline Front-Ranger

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Re: On Caregiving
« Reply #359 on: January 23, 2019, 08:18:17 pm »
Another thing I recall is that caregivers and the ones they care for move at different speeds. When I was taking my mom somewhere, I would help her walk out to the car, opening and closing building and car doors, carrying her and my purses etc., and  put her walker in the trunk of the car along with all the accessories, then slide into the driver's seat, stow my purse and look for my key and phone, buckle my seat belt and then turn to Mom as I put the key in the ignition and see that she was practically fuming with impatience at my slowness.

At other times, when I was dropping by the pharmacy with her to pick up a prescription, I was so impatient because on the way to the pharmacy window (which is always at the very far corner of the store from the entrance) Mom would pause at the cosmetics counter and the hair care aisle and the incontinence supplies and the flip down sunglasses section and. . .on and on. I haven't seen this disconnect covered, except to say that your aging parent will not be sensitive to you, they are all wrapped up in their own problems and so you have to be patient and kind. Easy to say, sometimes hard to do. I only developed the maturity to cope with these kind of disconnects about a year before she died. I have to say that it was my faith in God that helped me over the hurdle.
Too much to do. . .I don't have time to get old!