Caring for a sick family member

Avatar for cmkarla
Administrator
Registered: 01-03-2001
Caring for a sick family member
8
Mon, 01-28-2013 - 8:38am

Do you care for a sick or elderly family member? As many as 62 million Americans provide care for aging or ill relatives every year. If you’re one of them, iVillage has come up with some simple tricks can help make this task easier: Caring For a Sick Family Member

Do you have tips to share? We would love to hear them.

Karla
Community ModeratoriVillage.com

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-14-2008
Tue, 01-29-2013 - 11:43am

My husband and I were the caregivers to both of our elderly parents; my mom and his dad. That article offers a lot of good resources and I would certainly encourage everyone to take the steps outlined. But know that even with all of that, you may run into problems with your siblings... with my mother, there was only myself and my sister but we worked in tandem to care for our mother. My husband had a lot more siblings, spread out over a greater distance and there ended up being quite a bit of bickering and finger-pointing, during his father's illness and after he passed. There's nothing sadder than that, to my way of thinking.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-09-2010
Tue, 01-29-2013 - 11:53am

These are good tips so thank you for posting. I am not in this situation yet but know that it is inevitable. I would like to ask those of you caring for an elder parent how and why you made the decision you did to care for the parent vs. a nursing home or assisted living. Was it more of a financial or emotional/mental decision?

Nancy
Community Leader
Registered: 07-31-1998
Mon, 02-04-2013 - 5:10pm

Nancy,

It was a long time ago for me but in the case of my mother I couldn't afford to keep her in a nursing home any longer. Plus I really wasn't that happy with the care. To try and keep the costs down I was doing her laundry, physical therapy and paying for her oxygen. So when she was able to be up more and be around I told her that she just had to come home and let me do for her there what I had been doing. I had my father to care for at the same time and all this was exhausting me physically and financially. I finally hired a home health aid to come in but mom didn't like her. There was no way I could work full time and take care of her full time also. After mom died, my father continued to live in the house, which I provided, for the next 5 years and 2 weeks. Either my husband or I was were there everyday and on the weekends my sister came down and she brought food for him. Which he froze and never ate! Both of them wanted to die at home and I was successful it getting that for my mom but not my dad. (My dad would have been 110 yesterday.) Mom lived at home until she was almost 80 and he until he was 88. They didn't have much money and so it meant that I paid most of their bills. That and working full time and caring for them was a huge task for me.

I am not sure that I have answered your question!!

 

Avatar for champagneonice
Community Leader
Registered: 11-15-2001
Tue, 02-12-2013 - 9:31pm

I care for my elderly mother (95 yo) who has been diagnosed with Alzheimers Disease. She's about mid-stage at present. Believe me, I know what it's like to care for someone who cannot remember something 10 minutes later and is reverting back to becoming a child again. Although she should not be living alone any longer, she is insistant about her independence. Therefore, she lives in a small house across the street where we (hubby and myself) can check on her several times a day. She has a once-a-week housekeeper and I fix her meals and do her laundry. She's not to the point of requiring a nursing home, but I wish I could put her in an assisted living facility. I'm sure that day is coming, but not yet. She had a mild stroke in October and thank goodness, she's back at 100%. We do fear that she may have another stroke in the future. I might add that Mom has perfect BP, pulse and oxygen. Her physical health couldn't be better, but it's her brain that is the downfall. I have so much to share about AD and I'm more than willling to share that with others!

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Avatar for champagneonice
Community Leader
Registered: 11-15-2001
Tue, 02-12-2013 - 9:38pm

I guess I'm fortunate in that I don't work outside the home (retired), so I'm able to care for my mother. As I've posted to some of the others, Mom isn't 'ready' for a nursing home, but I do think she should be in an assisted living facility. She insists on keeping her independence, so we allow her to live alone. We do check on her several times a day. We really do not have the funds to put Mom in any kind of a facilty, so that's a major factor, of course. Since her son took all of her savings, she now has only her SS to depend on. You mentioning your father's age made me realize that my dad would 104 next month. Where does the time go? And I still acutely miss him.

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Avatar for champagneonice
Community Leader
Registered: 11-15-2001
Tue, 02-12-2013 - 9:40pm

Welcome, welcome! We're so glad that you have chosen 60-Plus as a place to look for information and support!

EDIT: This was supposed to be in reply to Southern_Style...

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Avatar for champagneonice
Community Leader
Registered: 11-15-2001
Tue, 02-12-2013 - 9:46pm

Welcome to the board!! I've always told everyone that I would never put my mother in a nursing home. I meant it at the time and I still mean it. An assisted living facility would be ideal for her right now, but she doesn't want to give up her independence, which I fully understand. She lives close by us so that we are able to check on her several times a day. I don't know what the future holds for any of us, so we just take it one day at a time. To be totally honest, we do not have the finances to put Mom in any kind of care faciltiy.

Thanks for posting!

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Community Leader
Registered: 07-31-1998
Sat, 02-16-2013 - 2:18am

Oh Geri, I know what you mean. On Feb 3rd my father would have been 110. Most of the time I don't really think about that but I was at church that day and we celebrate people's birthdays. I didn't say anything about it but I sure did remember.