Meet fellow Caregivers - Introduce yourself

Welcome to the Caregivers group on Mayo Clinic Connect.
Caring for someone can be rewarding, but it is also very demanding and can be isolating. Let’s use this space to connect with other caregivers, share experiences, talk frankly about the tough stuff without judgement and to provide a virtual shoulder to lean on.

I’m Colleen, and I’m the moderator of this group, and Community Director of Connect. I look forwarding to welcoming you and introducing you to other members. Feel free to browse the topics or start a new one.

Grab a cup of tea, or beverage of you choice, and let’s chat. Why not start by introducing yourself?

@soberhoumom

Hello! My name is Monica and since August (my mother passed away), I'm the primary caregiver to my 86yo father. Life as I know it has changed. I've been able to set aside many of the feelings that have surfaced because I recently sold their home and am now in the final stages of getting everything cleared out. Today I've experienced so many emotions. I've not choice but to feel my feelings because they will come out sideways.
Blessings to all! I look forward in getting to know your stories.

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Hello @soberhoumom Nice to have you here chatting about the challenges of being a caregiver! I am Scott and I was my wife's caregiver for 14+ years during her war with brain cancer. I also lost both my parents during those years.

You are so very correct in saying 'life as I know it has changed'. Loss, grief, and caregiving all carry huge amounts of change to our lives. LIfe is now different as we cope with each of these difficult areas of our lives. I entered being a caregiver as one person and became another. So much changed and along with those changes intense feelings of all kinds of different emotions!

One of the changes I noticed most was my inability to manage my emotions. I wore them on my sleeve so much more than I ever had before — and still do. Our grandsons kid me about not being able to watch any Disney movie without crying these days — and they are 100% correct!

It must have been tough going through your folks home.

Strength, courage, and peace!

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@IndianaScott

Hello @soberhoumom Nice to have you here chatting about the challenges of being a caregiver! I am Scott and I was my wife's caregiver for 14+ years during her war with brain cancer. I also lost both my parents during those years.

You are so very correct in saying 'life as I know it has changed'. Loss, grief, and caregiving all carry huge amounts of change to our lives. LIfe is now different as we cope with each of these difficult areas of our lives. I entered being a caregiver as one person and became another. So much changed and along with those changes intense feelings of all kinds of different emotions!

One of the changes I noticed most was my inability to manage my emotions. I wore them on my sleeve so much more than I ever had before — and still do. Our grandsons kid me about not being able to watch any Disney movie without crying these days — and they are 100% correct!

It must have been tough going through your folks home.

Strength, courage, and peace!

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Thank you so much for your kind words. I am grateful to have found yall.
My parents lived in their home over 40 years. There were boxes of photos that my mom had started going through. There were also bills, paperwork, expired credit cards, and every greeting card my dad had gotten since 1979. I have sworn I would not do this same thing to my children.
I'm sorry to ramble.

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@becsbuddy

Welcome @soberhoumom We’re an online community that shares experiences, stories and helpful advice about our shared health journeys. We’re not doctors so we can’t give medical advice, just suggestions based on our own experiences. We’re you also your mother’s caregiver? It must have been so difficult for you and your father when she died. What have you done to be able to cope with all theses changes in your life?

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Hi there! Thank you so much for your response. My mother was my father's caregiver until May when she became so exhausted she could barely move. Doctor appointments and testing started at that point and I just started grocery shopping and doing random house chores for my parents. She hated that she couldn't care for herself. Thankfully my father had home health care and a private caregiver for an extra 10-12 hours a week so I wasn't thrown right into caregiving. Eventually I started staying with my parents through the week and my brother on the weekends. My mother passed very quickly from pancreatic and liver cancer (10 days after diagnosis). A month later my husband & I moved my dad to our house. I'm very blessed to have a husband who helps in my father's care. I have only recently started taking a short walk 3-4 times a week. I have some health challenges myself so I'm starting slow. I have a tendency to isolate and I actually am experiencing guilt because I don't cry very often because I'm missing my mom. I usually cry when I get mad about my situation. My friend tell me to look at it like "I get to take care of my dad". My son tells me to "feel my feelings" because that's what his mom told him <grin>.
I apologize for once again rambling. Happy New Year 💕

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@arlenejc

My name is Arlene. I am 86+ and the caretaker for my husband Jim who is 87.

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Hello Arlene! I think you're a rock-star! Blessings for you and all you do for your husband. I am 55 and my father's primary caregiver.

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@soberhoumom

Thank you so much for your kind words. I am grateful to have found yall.
My parents lived in their home over 40 years. There were boxes of photos that my mom had started going through. There were also bills, paperwork, expired credit cards, and every greeting card my dad had gotten since 1979. I have sworn I would not do this same thing to my children.
I'm sorry to ramble.

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Happy New Year, @soberhoumom Please do not worry about rambling here! Just look at some of my past posts and you'll get to read some ramblings 🙂 Just this past week I began a plan to de-junk our home to avoid this same thing. I have also told, and written down, that our children have my express permission to take what few things they might want from the house and then hold an estate sale to get rid of all the rest. I am thinking of what, back in the day, used to be called a 'contents of the barn' sale!

Hoping you are doing well so far in this new year.
Strength, courage, and peace!

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I don't think this is "rambling". It is a real concern as we get older on what to do with all the "stuff". I helped clean out homes or apartments of 6 family members as they died or transitioned to care centers. I do not want to leave that task to my children and at 84 years, I'm beginning to sort and give items to people who would like them. Some of my grandchildren think I am planning to die soon, but they don't realize what a difficult task it would be if I left 65 years of marriage stuff for them to sort out as well as all the collections their grandfather had. He is now in a care center with Alzheimer's Disease and vascular dementia and it is time to get this sorted out. Best wishes to everyone in this New Year, and keep looking ahead.

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@tavi

Hi – thank you for the invite. I’m new to the Mayo Clinic Connect and very curious to see how it all works – I used virtual communication a great deal during my work and appreciate the opportunity to cross geographic boundaries! I joined the Mayo Clinic Connect with the specific goal of exploring solutions to a physical problem my husband experiences each night — he has profuse sweating on the upper right side of his body. None of our local specialists have been able to identify a cause or provide solutions… I’m hopeful someone may have ideas for us to try….

It is a great added benefit to be able to participate in this care giver group. My husband was diagnosed with dementia in the spring of 2014 — I had noticed many changes before the actual diagnosis and was able to transition from my career into full-time care giver status by November of that year. With 30+ years together, it has been a blessing to be able to be here with him on this difficult journey. At the same time, I know that I have never faced as great or as many challenges on a daily basis. Each step has involved a tremendously steep learning curve — I look forward to hearing from each of you and sharing my experiences.
Best regards

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My husband has MSA-C. this is a from of PD as nd it is rare. People with this disease use ice to cool.the body. I saw a man with a vest putting ice packs in it. The best is made for this condiction. I recomend looking into this.

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