Do Good to All the People

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Although this photo above depicts serenity, there is much torment and sorrow in this world that needs to be addressed.  It truly takes all of us to help others in need.

I want to aquaint you with a fellow blogger that I follow, Sandra Ross.  She has done research in the field of Alzheimer’s Disease, Demention, Age-related iIllnesses, and Caregiver Support.  She has written books, done articles on drugs, and posted profiles on many famous people with dementia. If you are dealing with Alzheimers/Dementia yourself or are a caregiver, it would help you tremendously to read the articles on her blog.  Here is a link:  goinggentleintothatgoodnight.com

If you are a person, like Sandra, who truly wants to help others perhaps the following quotes would inspire you to do all you can to help others.

“Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as ever you can.”  John Wesley

“The worst sin toward our fellow creatures is not to hate them, but to be indifferent to them, that’s the essence of inhumanity.”  George Bernard Shaw

“Cruelty and wrong are not the greatest forces in the world.  There is nothing eternal in them.  Only love is eternal.” Elisabeth Elliot

SUPPORT Others

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I have recently discovered two bloggers who have inspired me with their strength and determination to win their battles with cancer.  Mark and Michael are remarkable people, they are in the middle of their lives, they should have decades of life to live.

Those with cancer do better in every aspect of their lives with encouragement.  The risk of developing cancer in a person’s lifetime is 1 in 3 women and 1 in 2 men.  Cancer can strike us at anytime in our lives.

I know as a fellow blogger I cannot physically be there for Mark and Michael, I wish that I could.  I can give them moral support.  I am asking fellow bloggers to visit the blog sites of these two men, comment and let them know you care.

https://visionofhope33.wordpress.com  (Michael)

https://fonzandcancer.wordpress.com  (Mark)

It is hard to be ill and overlooked.  I have been there several times in my life and few if any friends ever helped or encouraged me.  I did not have internet during my illnesses.

Many blogger friends have given me encouragement this last year as I dealt with my brother’s dementia.  I thank each of you for your comments and concern.  Please use your blog to reach out to Mark and Michael and encourage them as you did me.  God bless all of you wonderful bloggers.

 

Looking UP

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I have been blogging for a little over a year now.  I have visited the sites of many other bloggers and met some wonderful and interesting people.  This post is not about blogs, this post is about “Looking Up” to the Heavens and asking yourself why God put you on this earth.  How can you make this earth a better place for others.  How often are you “Helping Others” overcome challenges in their lives?

I started this blog trying to help others learn how to cope with being a Dementia Caregiver.  I spent 3 1/2 years caring for, and dealing with the problems of, my brother J.R. who had dementia.  I know I was never the perfect caregiver.  Stress and constant conflict with DHS, lawyers, nurses, doctors, hospitals, and finally nursing homes caused me immense sorrow, and totally overwhelmed me.  I had no life of my own, all caregivers know, you have to give up your life for the one you care for and love.  The worse part of my caregiver journey was watching nursing home doctors and staff use drugs to control my brother the last year of his life.  They were using antipsychotic drugs that were intended for mental issues.  Dementia is not mental, it is the brain slowly dying, slowly shrinking.  I never used drugs of any kind to alter my brother’s brain when I cared for him in my home for 2 1/2 years.

My heart fills with compassion for those who have any type of disease or disability that alters their life.  Life on this earth is hard, and it is challenging, even when you are physically healthy.  We all need to reach out to those who are suffering.

Throughout my “Dementia Caregiver Journey” my strength came from God and my family.  Each morning I would stand at the kitchen window alone, looking up to the heavens. Everyday I prayed to God to help all those who need His care and comfort to make it through another day.

Life’s Frustrations

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I took this photo back in April of this year.  I put it on here, hoping it would inspire me to let the frustrations of life leave my mind.

You think after someone dies the frustrations, stresses, and problems of trying to handle the life of someone with dementia will cease.  I am still looking for an end to 3 1/2 years of frustation concerning my brother J.R.’s affairs.  Bless his heart, he had such a hard time on this journey through dementia and nothing that happened was ever his fault.

Recently I have spent more of my own money to finish paying the pentaly imposed by DHS at the first nursing home.  I have paid what was due upon J.R.’s death at the second nursing home.  I paid to have my brother cremated (this was his request).  I thought I could close his bank account yesterday and get some of the money I spent back.  I thought at my age I knew quite a bit about legal things, but you learn something every day.  I guess in the back of my mind, I knew his bank account was an asset, that I would have to go through probate.  Guess that fact was so hidden in my clogged, overworked mind, that I could not find that information.  So, I must get a lawyer, go through probate in court.  Then by the time the government gets their share and I pay this lawyer, I will owe more than the mere $2,000 in this bank account.  So, I hope the government enjoys their share, perhaps it will help them pay down the National Debt. lol

I am normally not a  mean person, but by the time I told those two young female tellers at the bank what I thought, I stormed out.  They were just in the wrong place at the wrong time when all the frustration came to a head. My husband was there and he laughed, saying, “Those girls looked as if they thought you would leap over that counter and assault them both.”  I would not have done that, I might have hurt myself.  lol

I feel like I have been, a full time secretary, lawyer, caregiver, psychologist, wife, mother, grandmother, counselor, doctor, just to name a few of the hats I have had to wear for years.  Quite tiring, quite mind boggling, extremely stressful, and has taken a toll on my health.

My heart goes out to those in this world who are overwhelmed by frustrations.  I am actually a strong willed person who tries to deal with what I call a “Hard Life,” on this earth.  So, caregivers I say, “Hang In There.”  I actually hate that phrase, but that is about all you can do, if you wish to survive frustrations and stress.

Take Time To Care

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When you wake up each morning do you think how you will utilize this day to your fullest potential?  Most of us just drift through each day.  When the sun sets, do you look back on your day to reflect on what you accomplished?  Do you think – “Today Will Never Come Again?”

I often realize at the end of the day that I wasted many opportunities to encourage someone, I failed to be a true friend.  I did not take the time to be a blessing to a person who needed a champion to help them.  To justify my actions I would think, “Well, there is always tomorrow.”   The tomorrows turn in to today and like a vapor they disappear.

So, today I am going to give each person I meet a big smile, a word of encouragement, a helping hand, and an ear to listen to their troubles.  Then, I will email my friend, send that card to a precious lady who recently lost her husband, and give all my family members a big hug.  I guess I could help my husband by taking the garbage out.  Ha

Everyone have a wonderful day and spread your love and blessings around to help others with the challenges of life.  God will bless your for your kindness.

Going The Second Mile

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The phrase, “Going the second mile,” comes from a verse in the Bible.  Matthew 5:41 “And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain (two).” KJV

Going the second mile with others, to help them, was a common occurrence in past centuries.  In the 21st century the second mile is not as prevalent.  Many people just do what is expected of them and never exert any extra effort.  That second mile often requires more commitment than we are willing to give.  That second mile is often an uphill battle.

You have to put others needs before your own.  It takes a spirit of generosity, love, concern, and compassion to journey that second mile.  Your attitude has to involve staying in the race until the problem is dissolved.

I must admit I have felt there were several times in my life that I dropped the ball and didn’t score a goal.  Times when I let others down and did not go the second mile.  I know that made me feel small, made me think I fell short of succeeding.  Sometimes you simply collapse and yield from the weight and stress.

This 3 year dementia journey with my brother has caused numerous amounts of stress in my life.  I am totally exhausted from the pressure.  When you try your best and bureaucracy keeps knocking you down, you buckle from the physical and mental distress. My brother J.R. is not far from entering the last stages of dementia.  He needs special care from this point forward, help I cannot give him.  DHS is deliberately trying to find a way to deny another year of Medicaid long-term-care.  Nothing has changed with J.R.’s financial situation from last year.  There is no reason to deny Medicaid, but DHS is trying extra hard to find a reason.

DHS has pushed me into a corner, which makes you fight back.  I searched the internet and ask questions of lawyers trying to find a solution.  The answer was, resign as J.R.’s power-of-attorney.  I did just that and there is no one to replace me.  I never wanted to leave J.R. unprotected.  The nursing home is now trying to find a state guardian for J.R., which means they will have to help him.  I understand I may have to go to court and pay all court costs to get a guardian for J.R.  I went the second, third, and fourth miles trying to help my brother.  I feel I have dropped the ball and yet I know that I really did more than my best for my brother.

So, when you are faced with going that second mile for someone, do what Jesus said in Matthew 5:41.  When you have done your best and there is nothing more you can do, you have gone that second mile.  God will bless you for helping others. 

Dementia – “Oh, What A Journey!”

When I first began my blog in January 2015 it was to try to help dementia caregivers.  At that time I had been a caregiver, in my home for 2 years, to my brother with dementia.

I followed and read blogs of caregivers.  I posted comments on their blogs trying to help them in some small way.  What I finally realized was that most caregivers post to release their anxiety.  They fail to reach out, as I did, to learn from the experience of other caregivers.  I also realized, if a subject you post is serious, few people wish to read your posts.  Others do not wish to listen to the challenges and problems you are going through in your life.

Today, I am going back to the subject of dementia.  Recently I connected with a person who is beginning the journey of caregiver.  A person, I so want to help, who is already struggling with the stress of being a caregiver.  I laid awake, in the middle of the night, for hours thinking about her and what she would encounter as a caregiver.

For any beginning caregiver out there who may find the time to read this: I am posting a list of challenges, emotions, sorrows, etc. that you will face on your dementia caregiver journey.  Perhaps this will help someone.

1.) You will never in your lifetime face a challenge as hard as being a caregiver to someone with dementia.

2.) You will deal with more stress than you have endured in your entire life.

3.) The love you have, for your loved one with dementia, will turn to hate.  Because the burden is too heavy to bear.

4.)  You will feel resentment and anger for a person who cannot help it, because they are journeying into the fog of dementia.  A person who will forget who you are.

5.)  You will have anger toward family members who will not help you in your journey as a caregiver.

6.)  It will amaze you and cause you grief and distress to see how society shuns a person with dementia.  Because those with dementia cannot function as normal human beings.

7.)  You find that you have to put your life on hold for another human being.  You have no life of your own anymore.

8.) Long before it gets to the point of considering harm to the person with dementia or yourself to end the misery: Find that support group, seek help from your doctor, preacher, or a close friend.  Believe me I have read many stories of those that were ready to end the dementia journey in a very drastic way.

9.)  Don’t let those in society who do not deal with being caregivers tell you: It’s your duty to finish the job you started as a caregiver.  You can do this, when you know you do not have what it takes to finish the journey.That you should never put someone you love in a nursing home.  That you should feel guilty about having negative thoughts about the person with dementia.  To have those thoughts is simply human nature.

10.)  Do not listen to judgments about you as a caregiver.  Especially  from those who never help you or have any idea what dementia entails.

11.)  Most states require a power of attorney, signed by the dementia patient before they become incapacitated and still understand what they are signing – To place them in memory care, assisted living, or a nursing home.  Seek the advice of a lawyer, who can draw up the necessary forms for you.

When my brother became angry, wandered away time after time, my husband became ill – I hired a lawyer to get Medicaid from DHS for long-term-care to place my brother in a nursing home.  My brother’s case was unique.  His business partner in another state had failed to steal a very small portion of his assets.  He was being penalized for owning a small portion of real estate.  Real estate owned under an unbreakable Joint Tenant Deed, with rights of survivorship.  After a 5 month battle with DHS, and $10,000 of our money, for the lawyer and penalties imposed, my husband and I obtained Medicaid for my brother.

The first nursing home worked for 10 months, but not well.  Constant phone calls, problems, and many meetings with staff.  The second nursing home we placed my brother in has been a God send.

There has still been stress even though my brother is in a nursing home.  He is presently in his one year reevaluation process.  Yes, every year the paperwork is done again to make sure the patient is eligible for another year of Medicaid and has not acquired any new assets for which you will be penalized.

But, at long last I think I can give most of my focus to my life and the health concerns of my husband and myself.