The Lessons Of Life

Stress! Caregiver stress.

Taking care of yourself, meditate, even for five minutes. Listen to the music you love, journal, draw, play with colored crayons, Silly Putty, bang the drum or the pillow, putter in the dirt, buy yourself a flower pot, or a plant, make a collage of pictures as you would like your life to be. save quotes and read one every day, do anything you can for 5-15 minutes a day to restore yourself. If you can’t, then at night before you go to bed, think about a way to make tomorrow the day you can find a few minutes to get away. (even if it’s just in your own mind) Think about happy thought and places you’ve loved, people who have come into your life and made a difference.

See how easy it could be? Yeah, in your dreams. I wish for all caregivers the gift of the above. I hope someone comes into your life to give you some respite.

Someone in your own community to become your friend, to email you, to encourage you, to help take away your stress. That is my wish and yes, even my goal.

Adopt A Caregiver. Give the gift that lasts forever and costs nothing. See www.adoptacaregiver.org and do something for someone who needs you to be that friend. You can tell them that your friend Helene sent you.

Keep love and kisses in your life. Helene

I'm In Limbo

I feel like I’m in limbo. I can’t find anything, most things are already packed for our move which will hopefully be on Mother’s Day. We are still packing up the kitchen, and there are always the odds and ends at the end to do. Things we need for our day to day living for the next three weeks.

But, I feel like I’m not doing all the things I normally do…going to AA, the knitting club and most of all, I am not writing. I miss it, but don’t have the energy to even think about what I want to write about.

The next three weeks will be even more stressful, but things are happening. My granddaughter is coming on Monday, and driving my car back to California. They are taking the art out tomorrow. Next weekend my daughter and granddaughter and her husband are coming to help with the rest of the packing and getting the house ready to show for sale. The following weekend is the art auction, and the following weekend after that is Mother’s Day weekend. I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

On the other end, my daughter is picking up our keys to our new apartment on the 30th, and on May 2nd they are delivering and setting up the furniture. Then my grandson-in-law is coming with his brother and renting a UHaul and taking our things back to California. Then hopefully we can follow right along after that.

I have not abandoned my Adopt A Caregiver journey, I have to just put it on hold for about two months. Then I will dive right back in. I hope you all will stay and listen to my woes, worries and wishfulness.

Wishing you a wonderful weekend. At least give a caregiver a big hug.

Keep love and kisses in your life. Helene

A Lazy Sunday

I couldn’t get on the internet last night from 10 p.m, till my neighbor came over this morning around 11 am. and he got it up and running. I’ve had three service calls in the last month about this, and it’s still not fixed. So I made myself a list of phone calls for tomorrow, and Cox Cable is first on the list.

Ironically, our tv’s weren’t working and my husband went next door to watch the football game.

So, what did I do all day? I did some knitting, which takes time, especially in the beginning. Rolling the wool into a ball, casting on lots of stitches, things like that. I am making myself a scarf with pockets, which means I am doing a pattern, which means I have to concentrate; and I’m making mysef a sweater, easy, don’t have to concentrate yet. Not until I get to the neck, easy. I like easy.

I wrote to a couple of caregivers when the computer was working; that always makes me feel good. Most of them are so happy to hear from me. (or anybody)

I’m asking my caregiver friends, what can we do to help? Please comment here, so when I speak to groups I can include your thoughts on the subject of Adopt A Caregiver.

Give the gift that lasts forever and costs nothing. Adopt A Caregiver and tell them your friend Helene sent you.

Keep love and kisses in your life. Helene

Adopt A Caregiver

To clear up any confusion about Adopt A Caregiver, first and foremost, there is nothing to join, and nothing to pay.

Adopt A Caregiver is a word of mouth program that starts in the community. Every community, whether it’s where you live, work, play or go to school has the same people coming together for meetings, etc. When you hear about someone who has become a caregiver, you already know this person, or someone you know, knows the person. It would be a nice gesture to offer to keep in touch, to be a friend because this new caregiver needs someone to talk to, even someone to vent to.

Together, we can wipe away some of the caregivers tears.

I am not sending strangers to your house or giving out your email addresses. I want you to know this person from your community.  it’s so simple, it can be hard to understand.

Any questions, contact me.

Give the gift that lasts forever, and costs nothing.

Adopt A Caregiver and tell them your friend Helene sent you.

Keep love and kisses in your life. Helene

Every Day Is An Adventure

Every day is an adventure, a new beginning. For caregivers days are the same, only harder, the only adventure is to get through every day. To put one foot in front of the other, and to stay in the now, or as I say, in the patients reality. Have yo ever tried to do that? Suppose your spouse asked you the same question three times in five minutes, or repeats one thing over and over, or asks you why, why, why? Stop and think about this for a moment. How do you think you would react? I hope with dignity and humor and commitment.

So, what happens when the caregiver gets sick? Who is there to help? Does anyone care, is there anyone there? Caregivers are so alone, so isolated, and scared, it takes all their energy to just be there. So, is worry an adventure?

Adopt A Caregiver was started to help the caregiver. To hopefully wipe away some of their tears. How can we do that, by being aware of caregivers in our own community and then befriending them. All is takes is an email. You have no idea how welcome it would be to someone who is a caregiver to receive a note from someone who tells them, “I would like to be your friend. I will not judge you, for I have not stood in your shoes, but I would like to hear what you have to say, and I would like to email you again. Actully, I would like to adopt you.” Then tell them your friend Helene sent you.

Give the gift that lasts forever and costs nothing. Adopt A Caregiver.

Keep love and kisses in your life. Helene

Communities Come Together

Adopt A Caregiver. Give the gift that lasts forever, and costs nothing. Tell them your friend Helene sent you.

Yes, my dream, my vision, but so attainable. One person can make a difference, with a little bit of help.

How can you help? Use your community. What is a community? A community is where you live, where you work, where you go to school, where you play Mah Jongg, Poker, Golf, cards, where you congregate for work or fun.

There are men, women, and children who are caregivers. They think no one understands what they are going through. That’s true, you never really know, unless you stand in their shoes. I think that is one reason I published my book, Behind The Mask. It’s one woman’s secret account of her thoughts and emotions and  love for her husband. I hope it helps others understand what a caregiver is going through.

They don’t want to talk about it, they don’t want to be a burden, they don’t want you to see them cry. Most of the time, they don’t cry, they don’t vent, they don’t get their emotions out. All they do, is care for someone 24/7. Put yourself in their shoes one time, think about them.

There are caregivers in your community. Find them, befriend them, don’t judge them, let them vent, encourage them to journal, or talk, or cry.

There are more and more younger people being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease, and other dementia. There is a stigma attached to Alzheimer’s Disease. I want that to disappear. I want to wipe away the tears and make life more pleasant for the caregiver.

Please help. How long does it take to email someone? A moment of your time, will give someone a lift knowing that someone is there to listen and to care.

I care! I want you to care too!

Keep love and kisses in your life. Helene

A Better Poem

This one is from Emily Dickinson (1830-1886). I received it from www.tenderlovingeldercare.com

“If I can stop one hert from breaking

I shall not live in vain.

If I can ease one life the aching,

Or cool one pain,

Or help one fainting robin

Unto his nest again,

I shall not live in vain.”

It speaks to my heart. If I can help one caregiver, and be his/her friend, and wipe away some the tears, I too, will no live in vain.

That’s why Adopt A Caregiver is to dear to my heart. It concerns every community, every household, every school, synagogue, church, social club, it affects everybody.

This is the gift that last forever, and costs nothing.

Be a friend, Adopt A Caregiver. I’m sure you know one. Tell them your friend Helene sent you.

Keep love and kisses in your life. Helene

Websites to look at:

http://www.regional.org/aging/index.htm

click on the candlelight and watch the video.

Other great sites to look at today are

www.tenderlovingeldercare.com

and

www.knittingdoctor.com

www.lifeprints.com

Composed of information, stories, and comfort. If you know some others, please let me know.

When you find a caregiver, please look at her/him in a different light. Remember these people are suffering, hurting, wondering what else is going to happen to them.Will you be there for them?

If you Adopt A Caregiver, you  give a gift that lasts a lifetime, and costs nothing!

More and more I’m getting questions and being asked how it’s going. It’s going well. One by one, we are going to make a difference. Word of mouth is still potent.

Since I’ve had this last bout of Chronic Fatigue for the last seven weeks, I’ve done very little, but hopefully I will start feeling better and get back into calling people and having them call me.

Adopt A Caregiver is my passion, my journey, my future, and my vision to help all caregivers. Today, tomorrow, one day it will make a difference. One person can do it; with a little bit of help. Are you listening? Are you willing to Adopt A Caregiver, just look around you, and you will find one. Tell them your friend Helene sent you.

Keep love and kisses in your life. Helene

A Teen Caregiver

I’m taking a memoir writing class with B. Lynn Goodwin at www.writeradvice.com and one of the first assignments is to write about where I’ve been. And I realized something I had never thought about. In the 1940’s I was a teen-aged caregiver.

When I was almost twelve my mother gave birth to my sister who weighed two pounds. She was in an incubator for three months and the day she was supposed to come home from the hospital I woke up with Measles.

She came home, and my life was never the same. She cried all the time, and as she grew older she started smelling everything and everybody. The few times my friends came over, they snickered and thought my sister was a freak. Soon they stopped coming, but my sister continued to smell everything that came in her way. People, things, food, and I guess my Mom and I got used to it. During these first years my Mom came down with a nervous stomach. Many times I thought she was faking. She would throw up, then eat. Desert first, then food. Remember I was still a kid, what did I know?

When school started someone noticed that my sister could not see!!!  It wasn’t till years later that they discovered many preemies were given too much oxygen and many of them became blind.

I just never thought of myself as a caregiver, but I was. I had to be home to help take care of my sister, help clean and cook and soon my friends stopped asking me to join them after school. Weekends, I usually had to take my sister with me, and that was not fun. Funny that I never realized until today that I was a caregiver during my teen years.

Many kids are caregivers. Look out for them, help them, encourage them to write out their feelings, to talk to someone about their situation. It might not change for them, but it could change their perception of life. Just so someone understands what they are going through.

Adopt A Caregiver! Man, woman or child. They all need our help. Tell them Helene sent you.

Keep love and kisses in your life. Helene

Chronic Fatigue

For the last three weeks all I could do was sit in my recliner. Too tired to think, to knit, to write, to care about anything. It’s been a nightmare of lost days. Time I’ve lost due to complete fatigue. The last time I had it this bad was when I had Pneumonia several years ago.

Today was the first day I’ve felt almost human. Weak as a kitten, hard to concentrate, but at least up and out of the chair for a few hours. I did get to answer some emails, I filed some papers away, and tonight I am going to wash my hair.

Imagine being a caregiver and having Chronic Fatigue!!!

Support the caregivers. Adopt A Caregiver. All it takes is an email, or a phone call. Please help those who can’t help themselves. Word of mouth is so potent, lets get this journey moving into the right directions.

Too tired to talk more, hopefully tomorrow will be a better day.

Keep love and kisses in you life. Helene