Spousal caregivers ...
George of Carpinteria, CA writes:
It is essential to communicate the realities of illness and caregiving to all potentially helpful relatives in the most immediate and graphic ways and to ask -- no, demand -- their support and assistance. It may be necessary to play on their pride or their guilt or their fear of the disapproval of others, but they must not be permitted to avoid some immediate hands-on responsibility.
Roberta of Hollywood, FL:
Not only does he help my mom he helps the residents. He was an entertainer all his working life so he sings to them and tells them jokes. He talks to them, wheels them around puts on their bibs at lunch time and calls them all by name. At lunch when a resident needs something they don't call an aide or server they call "Jack!".
When people give my dad advice and tell him to take a break he can't keep up at this pace, he just smiles and accepts their concerns. He won't take a break - ever! He schedules his doctors appts. or anything else around my mother. If there were more people like my dad, there would be less lonely people in nursing homes!
Barbara of Woodbourne, NY:
We were fortunate as we were able to travel and do the things we enjoyed until about two years ago but now I often feel depressed, isolated, stressed out and sleep deprived. He does go to a very good daycare program three days a week and that has made a tremendous difference in the quality of his life and mine as well. I'm able to do some of the things that I enjoy and it makes caring for him a bit easier. But it's never really "easy". I think the worst part of the situation is the fact that he is no longer the person I used to know. He is often confused, he hallucinates and doesn't laugh or enjoy much anymore.