Caregiver to Grieving in Four Days

Each day was a roller coaster by how he felt and how exhausted I was. I learned so much being a caregiver to my grandmother and grandfather. As the population ages many of you will take on the responsibility. One of the most difficult changes was going from granddaughter to caregiver. Even at 92 my grandfather had a strong mind and felt he didn’t need help. I prayer for strength everyday. My grandfather died in 2010 at the young age of 92 years old. I spent more time with him 2010 year than I spent at home. I cherish the time we had together, no matter how painful. They are my memories and my life changed forever with his death. His health declined so fast that for two days I did not realize that he was dying now, not in a couple of weeks. He was at home under hospice care and would not get in the hospital bed until two days before he passed. He fell out of bed that morning, he was so weak it was difficult for me to get him back in bed. I don’t think we would have been able to talk him into moving to the hospital bed if he had not fallen. For him the bed meant death and he was still fighting. My grandfather had End Stage Kidney Disease. An emergency trip to the hospital for his AFIB is how we learned he had about two months to live. We knew his kidneys were losing function but I was not ready for […]

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Lost in Caregiver Twilight Zone

Written on 12/21/2009 I’m caring for my 92-year-old grandfather following three surgeries in seven days. I’m so tired it’s numbing, it’s impossible to think about doing it again tomorrow.  My grandfather is a man of habits driven by the time of day, maybe from his military background. One morning he was upset when the hospital had not brought his coffee and could not see he was the problem. We’re in a hospital not the Hilton. At home it was far worse. It does not matter that I have changed the sheets again this morning, changed his soiled underpants more than once and got him dressed for the day. If the coffee is not ready when he expects or I don’t have the newspaper yet, I hear about it. My grandparents raised me and I love my grandfather dearly but it’s hard to bite my tongue. I want to ask doesn’t he realize or care that I’ve been moving since 5:00 a.m. to take care of him. At 92 he lives at home alone, still drives (very limited), buys groceries and goes to the local Senior Center several times a week to play dominos. He amazes me with each year. He is the healthiest dying person I know and in his mind he is much younger and more capable. This makes it impossible for him to understand recovery will take several more weeks at least. I catch him doing things he […]

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I’m Mourning and She’s Still Alive

My grandmother passed away with Dementia from two strokes in 2005. I’m reposting for the caregivers dealing with a loved one with Alzheimer’s or Dementia. For those who have not been a caregiver, these post may help you down the road. For the caregivers who give every ounce of energy, just one piece of advice if I may. Take time to clear your head, 10 or 30 minutes whatever you can for yourself each week. I did not have any one to offer suggestions and had brain drain after both of their deaths. My body was physically broken down. Due to the nature of the illness, it’s hard to take an eye off them, 24/7. I was fortunate we had hospice care for both of my grandparents. My grandfather was healthy enough to help with my grandmother. I don’t know how to turn my brain off. I’m Morning and She’s Still Alive As the caregiver for my grandparents, my hands are full yet my mind runs at a high level by switching to what I call “caregiver mode”. I can manage tons of information about what drugs they take, schedule appointments, discuss test results or anything else needed to take care of two people who are dying and “switch back” when at home. Before the fall and broken hip, my grandmother knew me. Our conversations limited yet sharing memories with her made my day. She really enjoyed a photo book I put […]

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Dementia Induced Thought’s of Suicide

Being a caregiver to a dying loved one can leave you drained of emotion, exhausted and frustrated. All perfectly normal feelings. I felt quilt mixed in my bowl of emotions. I grew up knowing my grandparents wanted to die at home. I would grant the wish if possible. They inspired me, saved me from parental abuse and blessed me with unconditional love. Helping my gramps when making difficult life decisions, while working hard to remember she’s my grandmother. There were uncomfortable conversations, articulate to doctors how she is progressing and butt heads with family members. I ran a tight ship, no problems telling people it’s time to leave, not allowing people over everyday. God blessed me with the ability to turn my depression down and step up to next level. Love for my grandmother drove my decisions down to the last morphine stick. As our population ages the number of caregivers increase. It can seem overwhelming at times. If you don’t have a blog I would suggest checking out, it gave me an outlet. Caregivers choose to open their hearts to the emotional and physical challenges.  Dementia Induced Thoughts Of Suicide Today I used one of four “in case of emergency” pills to keep my Grandmother from hurting herself during a dementia related meltdown brought on by my Grandfather going to the grocery store. She’s had many of these episodes since her stroke almost two years ago. Today I saw […]

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Caregiver Tips I Missed *What I Know Now*

I wrote the post 12/23/2009, Gramps died a year later. Many people are finding themselves in a caregiver role. I’ll post several on my experiences as the caregiver.  Breath.  As mentioned in earlier post I care for my 92-year-old grandfather, I’ve been here for five weeks. Here are a few lessons I missed in the Caregiver 101 manual. *Ask the doctor what happens if the procedure does not work. *If a second procedure fails does not work, is there a third option. *What is the recovery time and what type of home health services needed. Gramps went in for non-invasive surgery, nothing prepared me for the outcome. I’ve been through many surgeries with my grandfather. The procedure had not performed before however it was non-invasive. It actually sounded the least complicated procedure to date. I forgot nothing is normal or non -invasive at 92 years old. We went from going home that afternoon, to having three surgeries over the next seven days. I made the mistake of thinking the procedure would go as they had in the past. Age makes all the difference, just five years at this stage in life can change everything. I’m blessed to spend this time with my grandfather. We still have a long road ahead. It is very emotional and testing my patience I’ve become the parent and he doesn’t like me telling him anything especially when to take his medicine. He has raised his voice […]

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Caregiver to Grieving in Four Days

Each day was a roller coaster by how he felt and how exhausted I was. I learned so much being a caregiver to my grandmother and grandfather. As the population ages many of you will take on the responsibility. One of the most difficult changes was going from granddaughter to caregiver. Even at 92 my grandfather had a strong mind and felt he didn’t need help. I prayer for strength everyday. My grandfather died in 2010 at the young age of 92 years old. I spent more time with him 2010 year than I spent at home. I cherish the time we had together, no matter how painful. They are my memories and my life changed forever with his death. His health declined so fast that for two days I did not realize that he was dying now, not in a couple of weeks. He was at home under hospice care and would not get in the hospital bed until two days before he passed. He fell out of bed that morning, he was so weak it was difficult for me to get him back in bed. I don’t think we would have been able to talk him into moving to the hospital bed if he had not fallen. For him the bed meant death and he was still fighting. My grandfather had End Stage Kidney Disease. An emergency trip to the hospital for his AFIB is how we learned he had about two months to live. We knew his kidneys were losing function but I was not ready for […]

Read More →

Lost in Caregiver Twilight Zone

Written on 12/21/2009 I’m caring for my 92-year-old grandfather following three surgeries in seven days. I’m so tired it’s numbing, it’s impossible to think about doing it again tomorrow.  My grandfather is a man of habits driven by the time of day, maybe from his military background. One morning he was upset when the hospital had not brought his coffee and could not see he was the problem. We’re in a hospital not the Hilton. At home it was far worse. It does not matter that I have changed the sheets again this morning, changed his soiled underpants more than once and got him dressed for the day. If the coffee is not ready when he expects or I don’t have the newspaper yet, I hear about it. My grandparents raised me and I love my grandfather dearly but it’s hard to bite my tongue. I want to ask doesn’t he realize or care that I’ve been moving since 5:00 a.m. to take care of him. At 92 he lives at home alone, still drives (very limited), buys groceries and goes to the local Senior Center several times a week to play dominos. He amazes me with each year. He is the healthiest dying person I know and in his mind he is much younger and more capable. This makes it impossible for him to understand recovery will take several more weeks at least. I catch him doing things he […]

Read More →

I’m Mourning and She’s Still Alive

My grandmother passed away from Dementia from two strokes in 2005. I’m reposting for the caregivers dealing with a loved one with Alzheimer’s or Dementia. For those who have not been a caregiver, these post may help you down the road. For the caregivers who give every ounce of energy, just one piece of advice if I may. Take time to clear your head, 10 or 30 minutes whatever you can for yourself each week. I did not have any one to offer suggestions and had brain drain after both of their deaths. My body was physically broken down. Due to the nature of the illness it’s hard to take an eye off them, 24/7. I was fortunate we had hospice care for both of my grandparents. My grandfather was healthy enough to help with my grandmother. I don’t know how to turn my brain off. I’m Morning and She’s Still Alive As the caregiver for my grandparents my hands are full yet my mind runs at a high level by switching to what I call “caregiver mode”. I can manage tons of information about what drugs they take, schedule appointments, discuss test results or anything else needed to take care of two people who are dying and “switch back” when at home. Before the fall and broken hip my grandmother knew me. Our conversations limited yet sharing memories with her made my day. She really enjoyed a photo book I put […]

Read More →

Dementia Induced Thought’s of Suicide

Being a caregiver to a dying loved one can leave you drained of emotion, exhausted and frustrated. All perfectly normal feelings. I felt quilt mixed in my bowl of emotions. I grew up knowing my grandparents wanted to die at home. I would grant the wish if possible. They inspired me, saved me from parental abuse and blessed me with unconditional love. Helping my gramps when making difficult life decisions, while working hard to remember she’s my grandmother. There were uncomfortable conversations, articulate to doctors how she is progressing and butt heads with family members. I ran a tight ship, no problems telling people it’s time to leave, not allowing people over everyday. God blessed me with the ability to turn my depression down and step up to next level. Love for my grandmother drove my decisions down to the last morphine stick. As our population ages the number of caregivers increase. It can seem overwhelming at times. If you don’t have a blog I would suggest checking out, it gave me an outlet. Caregivers choose to open their hearts to the emotional and physical challenges.  Dementia Induced Thoughts Of Suicide Today I used one of four “in case of emergency” pills to keep my Grandmother from hurting herself during a dementia related meltdown brought on by my Grandfather going to the grocery store. She’s had many of these episodes since her stroke almost two years ago. Today I saw […]

Read More →