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Judy

Name: 
Judy Black
Location: 
Portland
Caregiver Relationship: 
Parent
Living Arrangements: 
Share Home
Primary Illness: 
Frail/Elderly

At age 62 I, Judy, became my mother Mildred's full-time caregiver. She was 89 at the time and mentally alert, but physically frail. After locating a suitable home on one level, I orchestrated the move and for both of us and we began to settle in.
During the past, almost three years, I have performed the following caregiving services for my mother: assistance with dressing/undressing, showering, shampoo, trimming nails, applying lotions, setting and cutting hair, transerring from wheelchair to bed and bed to wheelchair, positioning in bed, assistance with walking with a walker 3Xday, preparation of all meals, transportation to medical appointments, shopping for clothing and personal items, laundry and ironing, assistance with telephone and TV remote, general housekeeping and management of finances.
I have remained vigilant about staying strong and healthy with regular Yoga practice and walking 3xweek. However, I still have experienced muscle strain in my back and problems with my arms and shoulders related to handling mother that necessitated seeing a physical therapist. We made a request to Medicare for a hospital bed that would assist mom in sitting up in bed. The request was denied as old age is not considered an "acceptable diagnosis". Caregiver needs are not considered. Because I love my mother and knew I could provide better care than assisted living, I made the decision to become her caregiver. Three important lessons I've learned are: 1)slow down, the elderly do everything at a slower pace. 2)don't argue, it's less stressful to let fixed opinions and behaviors go unchallenged.
3)be compassionate, it's not easy to be old and dependent.
Best regards, Judy

Wish List: 
1. More time to myself 2. A hospital bed