Monday, July 26, 2010

How's it going?

I wanted to update everyone and say hello. It's been a busy but good summer here so far. We've had a huge family reunion that stemmed from a 90th birthday party for Mama's sister, and that took up pretty much all of June. We had a blast, and I think my aunt was both surprised and pleased. She's pretty quiet, but the fact that all of us who planned the surprise aren't dead and buried is a pretty good sign that she had fun, and hopefully we're not on her list for making her the center of attention for a day. Time will tell!

It's hot as blazes here--or hot as July, I should probably say. We've been enjoying gymnastics with our granddaughter (Mama loves going to the gym and watching the young children try to figure out all the moves and equipment, and she's always the number one fan for her great-gran.) and we've also enjoyed welcoming home our Marine son, who has received his honorable discharge after four years of active duty, including two deployments overseas. We finally have all the family in the same state for a change, and we've had wonderful chaos for a couple of months. It's settling down at last, but autumn promises to be another busy season. So for right now, I'll just take a moment and enjoy today.

We've celebrated Mama's 85th birthday in style, and that included the traditional first watermelon cutting for the summer. We also grew several cantaloupes in the backyard garden, and Mama is outdoing all of us with her pole beans and okra. I can grow a pretty mean marigold, it appears, but my tomatoes are pretty dismal. The cukes are producing well, though, and the new garden area is actually producing some pretty good-looking cabbage. That's a first for me, and I'm about to begin making a lot of slaw, it would appear.

The main thing I wanted to share was that I've gotten involved in a local support group, and I really want to recommend that to you. If you're not going to a monthly or regular group meeting so far, try to find one if you can. It really helps to hear other people's stories of their caregiving. The successes and trials I hear others talk about helps me put things into perspective, gives me new ideas, and also lets me know I'm not alone. I really appreciate my group. It's is organized by one of our local hospitals and hosted at a local nursing home. That particular hospital has a Memory Disorder Clinic, and the staff brings a lot of information and help to the table each month. Attending the monthly meetings is something I do for me--for my own mental health and to help me in areas of caregiving where I need more ideas or information. I was feeling some burnout, particularly as the bologna in the middle of a busy family "sandwich." Thankfully, attending the support group meetings has helped allay the burnout.

Are you attending a support group? If so, let me know what you know. If the group has helped you, tell me about that. I'd love to hear more.

Blessings, and enjoy your summer!
Joan
Caregiver At Home

2 comments:

  1. That's great to hear that everything is going so well. If you ever need additional help, support, or resources though, please check out www.cooperativehomecare.com. They can provide people to run errands just a few hours a week to full time nurses to help aging parents maintain their independence and take the pressure off grown children trying to manage everything in their already busy lives. Just give it a look at www.cooperativehomecare.com.

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  2. Thank you so much, Paige. I like the services your site offers. Are you available in states other than Missouri? This area of additional "at home" help is one that I'm definitely interested in learning more about, as it would be a welcome alternative to institutionalized care.

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