Quilting and Questions for Caregivers

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Harolyn Posted: Fri, Oct 19 2012 4:20 AM
Are you a caregiver that quilts, and needs to vent at times? My husband has had Parkinson's Disease for over 25 years. I have been his only caregiver up until recently when I asked for help. Anyone have an interest in this subject? I would love to get ideas from others that may have a loved one in the same boat. Thanks, Harolyn
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Joe replied on Fri, Oct 19 2012 8:06 AM

My wife and I have been professional caregivers for years, working with developmentally disabled children and adults.

You are surely doing the right thing by asking for help. Although we both worked full time, myself a group home manager and she a children's day program manager, we both also did respite work.

Respite is a good thing. Everybody needs a break.

I am sure you will find friends to talk about it here, but I'm an early responder.

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Thea replied on Fri, Oct 19 2012 8:07 AM

Harolyn, I empathize with you.  I have just recently become the caregiver for my Mother - up until last January I was a Mother - which is a fantastic  caregiving job but now am the daughter taking care of the Mother in her last years.  In the last few months it has become very difficult and stressful.  I am at this time trying to get assistance to help me with this job as I know with my health that I can not take care of her the way I want to and she is a very difficult person to deal with.  

I do quilt and I do vent... so I guess I fit into your category.  Quilting is my only escape at the present time because we found out recently that I can not leave the house but that she causes problems.  I am trying to understand it all and am using my quilting right now to keep me sane.  

If you need an ear to talk to, I am here.  I do not know much about Parkinson's but will be glad to just listen.  I think that is the hardest thing that caregivers do need assistance and sometimes it is just an ear to hear.  You don't really want to complain but you need to get things off your chest so that you can release them and love the one you are caring for without hurting inside from holding it all in.  Just a simple way to release and get support.  

I know I am not saying anything the right way but hope that you understand - I am very sleep deprived right now and exhausted.  My body did claim lots of sleep yesterday and thankfully there were no interruptions but that was just one day...

Anyway, my thoughts and prayers are with all the caregivers out there - I fully understand and empathize - something a year ago I would not have understood.


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gini replied on Fri, Oct 19 2012 10:38 AM

hi harolyn, it is good to hear from you.  i am sorry for all you and your husband are going through.  this is a great site for getting ideas from others in the same circumstances, we all need help at one time or another.   and, vent away, we're here to listen.

gini in north idaho

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Nana replied on Fri, Oct 19 2012 10:59 AM


Being a caregiver is a really tough job.  I was caregiver to my mother for many years.  I know that in the final years that her behaviour really  changed our relationship simply because I didn't have anyone to vent to.  I pray that your situation impoves now that you have someone to help.   You come here and vent anytime that you need.   We will definitely provide the shoulders to lean on.

Vinton, Virginia

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barbjahay replied on Fri, Oct 19 2012 4:44 PM

My main job around here is being a caregiver and sometimes I just need someone to talk to. My Mom and Dad moved to OK to be closer to us during their elder years. My younger sisters still have little kids at home. Mine are all grown up now. Mom is a retired teacher and Dad was a farmer. He slowly developed Parkinson's, he was 6 ft., had arthoritis and dementia, He was rather dominering and Mom put up with it. Lots of yelling. He fell a couple of times and would not let Mom call 911. Finally when he fell in the shower, she did, and Dad realized he needed to change. He went to the Nursing Home to " try it out"  and never went back home.  He passed away from strokes and complicatons three years ago. Now my Mom , 83, is doing all the things she could not do with him around and enjoying the peace and quite, she calls me about three times a day and I go in to see her about two times a week, its 9 miles, I help her do shopping , paperwork, etc. Then my mother-in-law moved in with us about six years ago. Her late husband died of heart problems and strokes. She did not want to stay by herself in a large town. She had never lived in the country before and was in for a new experience. She is 80, she is just the oppisite of my mother. My mother is really independent but my mother-in-law is completely different. She goes where I go, does what I do, does simple tasks around the house, she has arthoritis in her hands and early signs of dementia, I have to repeat alot, you know what I mean. Anyway, the time I spend on the computer is like therapy. Off in my own little world untill the phone rings, I have had to learn to be patient and slow down.  I am a terrible speller, so probably did not get dementia right, bj

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Angele replied on Sat, Oct 20 2012 9:44 PM

Dear caregivers and quilters, I guess I come from the other end. DH and I moved away where we could have jobs.now 33years later DH's parents are both gone but my parents are both still with us I have the luxure of having siblings living close by to care for them. My dad is 97 and my mom 89. Dad is almost blind and mom has the beginnings of dementia caused by swelling between the two hemisphere of the brain.  They are still in their home.  I feel lots of guilt for not being there year round, but I go every summer and spend three weeks caring for my parents in order to give a break to the ones who are there for the other 11 months.it does not reduce my guilt for not being there, but I do lots for mom and dad.  I taught myself how to quilt I guess because I hoped to share something with mom.  She is now having difficulties working on quilts and I wished I could be close to help.  I understand the energy, the patience required to do all that needs to be done.  I also know that no matter how healthy or young you are, you all need a break. It is ideal to be able to share some of the responsibility, or if another family member can take over for a weekend or a week.  Not easy to do, but think that if you don't take care of yourself, how will you be able to keep on helping the ones you love?  Quilting is a great source of creativity, and calm.

it is great to have a place like here to share thoughts and not feel judged.

Angèle  from NWO

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