My husband and I have been caring for my 92 year old mother for over five years. It has taken me almost that long to even admit and verbalize that my mother has dementia. I always would just say that she was forgetful and then as time went on I added the word confused. In the last year she has also become anxious and panicky when we leave her home alone for a short period of time. Tonight, after I ran an errand for less than two hours, I returned to a frantic mother.
It was the beginning of 2013 and my husband and I hit rock bottom. Once again, another medication did not work. This was the 10th medication in 10 years my husband tried to relieve his chronic pain. He was depressed, angry, and began to talk about divorce. I was about to throw in the towel as well because I was experiencing caregiver burnout.
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My son Neil was seventeen when he sustained a traumatic brain injury at the hands of a drunk driver who hit him and his girlfriend Trista as they were walking. Trista was killed. That was ten years ago. Initially helpless in an intensive care unit, he had no choice but to allow his family to take care of him in a way that had not been necessary since he was a small boy. His father carried him to the bathroom. His brother fed him smoothies from a straw. I brushed his unruly curls, massaged his muscles and helped with the exercises his therapist recommended.
Families and caregivers in San Francisco have access to some of the country’s most innovative programs to help care for loved ones with chronic or disabling health conditions like Alzheimer's, stroke and AIDS.
When asked, many family and partner caregivers say that heavy incontinence would tip their decision towards moving a loved one to a nursing home. What makes this such an emotionally difficult turning point? Incontinence can be the last straw in a stressful caregiving situation. Covered below are some of the issues that make incontinence so difficult to deal with, and tips on how to cope with these concerns.
Most people who live with incontinence do not tell anyone about it, often not even their doctor(s) and especially not their friends. Family members might be the ones to bring up the subject, especially if the house is beginning to smell or furniture is soiled. It’s not an easy conversation to have. If you are faced with incontinence, know that you are not alone. One in 15 million Americans are searching for ways to deal with this very personal issue. Here are typical feelings associated with continence issues and some coping strategies to consider:
A trip to the hospital can be an intimidating event for patients and their families. As a caregiver, you are focused completely on your family member's medical treatment, and so is the hospital staff. You might not be giving much thought to what happens when your relative leaves the hospital.
Our family equation for caregiving developed slowly, over five rigorous years following our father's death. Two sisters and I divide the year into three, with each caregiving our 85 year-old mother four months. Mom spends summer on Kauai.