Taking Care Of Elderly Parents

You Got To Do What You Got To Do Book Cover, my experience as a caregiver of my parents.


"You Got To Do What You Got To Do"

My Experience As A Caregiver
Taking Care Of My Parents For Over Twenty Years


PREFACE


Chapter 1
INTRODUCTION

Chapter 2
FAMILY

Chapter 3
HISTORY

Chapter 4
DECISION TO BE A CAREGIVER
Faith And Family
Right From Wrong
How I Was Raised-Do What Was Right


Chapter 5
BEING A CAREGIVER
Not An Expert
Do What You Got To Do
You Know Your Parent
You Know Their Problems And Their Conditions
Unique Position


Chapter 6
WHAT OTHERS DO OR HAVE DONE
Every Person Is Different
Another Cousin Had Help
Each Situation Is Different


Chapter 7
RESPONSIBILITY OF BEING A CAREGIVER
Your Responsibility
You Are Responsible For Everything
At Your Own Risk
I Took Responsibility


Chapter 8
LAWS AND BEING A CAREGIVER
State Laws Vary
Health Insurance Portability And Accountability Act
Pre-Admit Hospital Inspections


Chapter 9
MEDICARE AND INSURANCE
Medicare
Supplement Insurance
Under Obamacare
What Medicare And Insurance Pay
Not Knowing What Insurance Will Pay
At Their Discretion
Medically Necessary
Cosmetic
Saved Medicare Money


Chapter 10
GOVERNMENT AND BEING A CAREGIVER
Social Security
Government Intrusion
New Doctor Rules


Chapter 11
HEALTH CONDITIONS AND BEING A CAREGIVER
Arthritis
Pain
Dehydration
Loss Of Appetite
Cholesterol
Sugar And Diabetes
Confusion
Staring Into Space Look
Cancer
Lifting Legs Up
Leg Circulation In The Car
No Feeling In Toes
Leg And Feet Skin Dry, Needed Lotion


Chapter 12
MEDICAL PROCEDURES, TESTS AND DIAGNOSIS
Diagnosis And Problems
Lab And Test Results
MRI’s
Diagnostic Results
Surgeries
Colostomy Bag


Chapter 13
FIRST TIME DOING PROCEDURES
Not A Medical Professional Or Claim To Be
Go Where You Never Wanted To Go
Sight Of Your Parents Body
Sight Of Body Fluids
Sight Of Blood
Being Squeamish
I’m Going In
First Time Cleaning Up
First Time Wound Care


Chapter 14
CAREGIVING ROUTINES AND PROCEDURES
Ways To Call You
Telephone And Items Near The Bed
Sleeping
Calls To 911


Chapter 15
ADVICE AND BEING A CAREGIVER
Caregiver Advisors Rarely Were Caregivers
Different When It’s Your Parent
Some Are Neglected
Ask For Advice
What Works Best For You
Ask Questions
Easier To Put Away
Others Wanted To Pay To Put Her Away
Never Went To A Support Group


Chapter 16
RELIGION AND FAITH

Chapter 17
ATTITUDES AND BEING A CAREGIVER
Attitude
Need Something To Look Forward To
Don’t Let Them Just Stare Out A Window
Will To Live
Stubbornness
Old Stereotypes


Chapter 18
HYGIENE AND BEING A CAREGIVER
Hygiene
Washing Up At The Table
Plastic Shoe Box
Soapy Towel
Dentures
Finger Nails
Toe Nails
Podiatrist
Cleaning Wipes
Diaper Rash


Chapter 19
APPETITE AND FOOD WHILE BEING A CAREGIVER
Appetite And Food
Nutrition
Alcoholic Drinks


Chapter 20
MEDICATIONS AND BEING A CAREGIVER
Prescriptions
Narcotic Prescriptions
Taking Medications
Side Effects Of Pain Medication
Expired Medications


Chapter 21
BODILY FUNCTIONS AND BEING A CAREGIVER
Smells And Odors
Feces Smell
Fluids And Functions
Incontinence
Constipation
Diarrhea
Vomiting
Catheter


Chapter 22
STAYING FOCUSED AND KEEPING THE MIND SHARP
Keeping The Mind Sharp
Talk About Old Times And The Past
Memories


Chapter 23
POSITIVE OUTLOOK AND BEING A CAREGIVER
Your Attitude
Humor
Nicknames


Chapter 24
ACTIVITIES AND BEING A CAREGIVER
Entertainment
Baseball/Sports
Television-Radio-Music
Clubs
Associations
Banquets
Outdoor Activities
Outdoor Nighttime Activities


Chapter 25
CHORES AND BEING A CAREGIVER
Chores
Let Them Help
Food Preparation
Folding Clothes
Doing The Checkbook
Shredding Papers
Want To Do Things Themselves


Chapter 26
THEIR LOSS OF INDEPENDENCE
Loss Of Independence
Privacy
Loss Of Drivers License
Vision Loss
Hearing Loss
Memory Loss
Being Independent


Chapter 27
MENTAL STATE AND BEING A CAREGIVER
Start As A Baby, End As A Baby
Don’t Treat As A Baby
Sitting In A Corner
Ignored
Frustration
Not Being Aware Of Surroundings
Nightmares
Visions
Nervousness
Anxious
Not Listening
No One Wants To Be Around An Old Person
Sitting By Themselves
They Get Emotional, Hurt Feelings


Chapter 28
EMBARRASSMENT AND BEING A CAREGIVER
Awkward Situations
Embarrassment
Apologizing For Rude Comments
Your Embarrassment


Chapter 29
SUPPLIES USED WHILE BEING A CAREGIVER
Supplies
Diapers And Pads
Perianal Cream
Circulation Socks


Chapter 30
EQUIPMENT USED WHILE BEING A CAREGIVER
Tools And Accessories To Make Things Easier
Wheelchairs
Medical Equipment Rental
Durable Medical Equipment


Chapter 31
TECHNOLOGY AND BEING A CAREGIVER
Smart Phones
Didn’t Start Texting Until My Mom’s Last Hospital Visit
Internet
Blogs


Chapter 32
LIFTING AND BEING A CAREGIVER
Lifting
Lifting And The Fear Of Falling
Lifting, Pulling And Helping


Chapter 33
TRANSPORTATION AND BEING A CAREGIVER
Transportation Issues
Being In Public
Cover Them While Moving
In The Car
Mobility
Water
Go-Bag
Maneuvering The Wheelchair
Doctors Offices


Chapter 34
BEING PREPARED AS A CAREGIVER
Be Prepared For Anything
Have A Plan
Medical And Medication Lists
Accessories, Extra Clothes And Clean Up Bag
Have A Disaster Plan
Know What To Do For All Situations


Chapter 35
HEALTH RISKS AND BEING A CAREGIVER
Health Exposure Risks
Germs
Contagious Diseases
Elevators And Confined Spaces
Always Wash Your Hands


Chapter 36
PRECAUTIONS WHILE BEING A CAREGIVER
Don’t Tell You Everything
Don’t Know What Is Safe
Don’t Scold Them
Don’t Put Them Down
Defensive When Told What To Do
You Can’t Be Rigid, You Must Be Flexible
Mental Abuse


Chapter 37
YOUR INJURIES WHILE BEING A CAREGIVER
Pneumonia
Back Problems


Chapter 38
SAFETY AND BEING A CAREGIVER
Your Safety
Furniture Hazards
Unstable Walking


Chapter 39
YOUR HOME AND BEING A CAREGIVER
House Cleaning
Home Maintenance
Clogged Plumbing
Handicap Friendly Home
Home Retrofits


Chapter 40
CONCERNS AND BEING A CAREGIVER
Watch Out For Falls
Bruises
Can’t Taste And Smell
Bad Food
Not Aware Of People
Target For Crime
Taken Advantage Of
Cousin Pushed Wheelchair And Ground Toes


Chapter 41
WHAT TO WATCH FOR WHILE BEING A CAREGIVER
Warning Signs And What To Watch For
Signs Of Trouble


Chapter 42
TAKING RISKS WHILE BEING A CAREGIVER
Self Medication
Self Diagnosis
Staying In Cars
Use To Leave In Car
Doing What You’re Not Supposed To Do


Chapter 43
CHALLENGES AND BEING A CAREGIVER
Unique Challenges
Being Scared
What Do You Say
Doctors And I Agreed Not To Tell My Dad, Then A Nun Did
Moving
Medical Conditions After We Moved
Handling Bad News


Chapter 44
FAMILY VISITS AND BEING A CAREGIVER
Family Visits
Grand And Great Grandchildren Visits
Get Togethers
Played Games With Her
Grandsons Would Come Up Just To Spend Time With Their Grandmother


Chapter 45
DEALING WITH FAMILY AND FRIENDS WHILE BEING A CAREGIVER
Some Family Members
A Pariah
Old Grudges
Siblings
Family Close By
Jealousy
Argued With Siblings
Not A Man’s Job
Let The Hospital Staff Do It
Would Get Upset When She Heard Talk About Putting Her In A Home
How Different Siblings Can Be
Some Family Members Try To Control Others, Think They’re More Important
Forgive And Forget
Ok For Others To Back Their Parents, Not Ok For Me To Back Mine
Had Some Good Friends


Chapter 46
DOCUMENTATION AND BEING A CAREGIVER
Attorney
Estate
Durable Power Of Attorney For Medical
DNR-Do Not Resuscitate
Write Everything Down
Witnesses
Paperwork
Still Able To Sign Documents
They Were The Responsible Party


Chapter 47
ASSISTANCE AND BEING A CAREGIVER
Assistance Programs
Handicap Parking Placard
Financial Assistance
Utility Company Discounts


Chapter 48
PLANNING AND BEING A CAREGIVER
Long Term Planning
No Planning
Deal With Each Situation As It Happens
Average Person Equals No Future Planning
If Your Rich, Maybe Not
Plan If I Died, What Would Happen To Her
Nothing Goes As Planned


Chapter 49
BURDEN OF BEING A CAREGIVER
Burden
Not Going To Change
At That Age, Let Them Have What They Want
Don’t Affect Health
Don’t Try To Limit Them
They Earned It
Takes Over Entire Life
White Lies


Chapter 50
YOUR LIFE AND BEING A CAREGIVER
Y
our Health
Stress
Break Time
Your Hobbies
Time Off And Time To Relax
Getting Normal Sleep
Naps
High Blood Pressure
Your Medical Procedures


Chapter 51
YOUR HABITS AND ROUTINES WHILE BEING A CAREGIVER
Daily Routines
Weather Conditions
Snow And Ice
Hot And Cold-Heating And Cooling
If They Can Be Left Alone
Many More Situations
Explain Using Examples
Pets
Common Sense


Chapter 52
NO SUPPORT WHILE BEING A CAREGIVER
Plan On No Help
No Support, Just Criticism
Still Criticized Today


Chapter 53
FINANCIAL COST OF BEING A CAREGIVER
Costs
Expenses
Utility Usage
Paying For Your Own Supplies
People Have No Clue How Much This Costs
What You Can Afford


Chapter 54
WHAT YOU LEARN BEING A CAREGIVER
A Learning Experience For Both
Things Change As You Learn And Adapt
Sleeping With One Ear Open
Easier For A Son To Take Care Of His Father
Son Taking Care Of His Mother Is Different


Chapter 55
RESPECT AND BEING A CAREGIVER
Respect
Neighbor Would Bring Over Cake And Candy
Other Neighbors Walking By Showed Respect
I’m Old Fashioned And Kids Need To Show Respect


Chapter 56
CRITICISM AND COMPLAINTS
Some Will Say This Is Wrong
Nursing Students Wanted To See How A Proper Cared Parent Looked
Use As What Not To Do, Or As To Do
Nobody Else Cares What You Do
Not Their Concern
People Praise You Because They Are Glad It’s Not Them
Those That Mean It Are The Ones That Offer To Help
Momma’s Boy
Everyone Knows Better
You Become The Villain For Doing What Is Right
Damned If You Do, Damned If You Don’t
Always Criticized


Chapter 57
OPINIONS ABOUT THE JOB YOU ARE DOING
Making It Harder Than It Should Be
Like Usual, No One Wants To Listen
Your Frustration
Some Never Have To Go Through This
Unless You’ve Done It, You Have No Idea
I’m Done


Chapter 58
ADVICE TO OTHERS
Family Has No Clue What’s Coming
Talk To Your Spouse Or Significant Other
Stress On Relationships
No Idea How Much Work It Is
How Much Time It Takes
No One Wants Advice
Taste Of My Own Medicine
People Can Take My Advice Or Not
I Don’t Get Upset
You Will Know And Learn How To Handle Unique Situations


Chapter 59
OBSERVING OTHERS AFTER BEING A CAREGIVER
Some Know Everything
Some Want To Change Them
Some Want To Control Them
No Longer The Center Of Attention
Some Can’t Handle It
Some Call Them Useless
Only Thinking Of Themselves
Selfish


Chapter 60
DOCTORS AND BEING A CAREGIVER
Doctors
Doctors Need To Work With You
Tell Doctors What You Need
Doctors Need To Earn Respect
A Doctor Is Like A Plumber
Firing A Doctor
Doctors Work For You
Doctors Talk Through Patient To You
They Get Upset When Ignored By Doctor


Chapter 61
HOME HEALTH AND BEING A CAREGIVER
Social Workers
Home Nurses


Chapter 62
DEALING WITH MEDICAL FACILITIES AND PROFESSIONALS
Hospitals
Rehabilitation
Physical Therapy
Hospitalization
Bruises From Hospital
Bad Patient
Jewelry And Personal Belongings
Identification
Hospice


Chapter 63
WOUND CARE AND BEING A CAREGIVER
Wound Care
De-Breeding A Wound


Chapter 64
WHEN THE END COMES
The End
Right After The End
Dad Died In The Hospital, Mom Died At Home


Chapter 65
AFTER THE FUNERAL
The Aftermath
Life Moves On
Never Had A Chance To Grieve
Your Future


Chapter 66
MY LIFE WAS CHANGED BEING A CAREGIVER
Your Life Changes
Life Is Never The Same
Loss Of Friends And Family


Chapter 67
WHAT YOU GIVE UP BEING A CAREGIVER
No Social Life
Lost Everything
Lived On Survivor Benefit
Refinanced House Many Times
Unused Retirement
Refrigerator Bare
Don’t Let Others Know
Putting Up A Good Front
Delay In Benefits
Went Through Savings
Monthly Expenses Kept Growing
Trying To Make Ends Meet
Garage Sales
Ruined Credit
I Tried To Earn A Living, She Always Had To Go
Total Cost-Personal And Financial
Nothing To Show For Your Work


Chapter 68
WHAT YOU LOSE FINANCIALLY BEING A CAREGIVER
Work Suffers
Unable To Gain Employment
Out Of The Workforce
Loss Of Health Insurance
Obamacare Fines


Chapter 69
PUTTING YOUR LIFE BACK TOGETHER
Lots Of Sacrifice
My Own Situation
Without Bad Luck I Would Have No Luck
Facing The Unknown
Not Bitter
Trying Quick Fixes
I Have No Life And No Future
It Took Its Toll
It’s A Different World And It Passed Me By
Never Thought I Would End Up This Way
I Am Very Direct, Like Me Or Hate Me, I Stand On Principle
I Have A Purpose, My Life Doesn’t End This Way
Friends Using You Until You Can No Longer Help Them
I Had Plans And They Failed To Materialize


Chapter 70
MOVING ON
Still Fighting
Finally Said Enough
A Failure
Some Say My Life Is Messed Up
I Probably Hurt Myself More By Writing This Book


Chapter 71
THANKLESS BUT REWARDING JOB
Somethings Are Different, Somethings Never Change
Put Yourself In Their Shoes
When I’m Gone
Love And Care
Quality Of Life
I’ve Done It


Chapter 72
KEPT DIGNITY AND PROMISES
Do It All Over Again
Conclusion
Final Thoughts


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