We Are All Equal

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God is no respecter of persons as the apostle Peter said in Acts 10:34.

There are a lot of people, who think they are superior to the rest of the human race.  I suppose it is due to their ignorance, unkind spirit, or their swelled heads.

My niece – the Superior One – chose not to let my brother James and I know of our sister Jean’s journey through dementia into death.  How do I know my sister died? Through constant searching every other month on the internet.  Finally yesterday I discovered Jean’s obituary.  Jean passed away March 22, 2016 and my niece chose not to let her mother’s siblings know..

My brother James is in the early stages of dementia and lives in the same town as my sister.  He wanted to go visit his sister, but our niece denied him the privilege of saying goodbye to Jean.  She would not allow James to have any contact with Jean.

Why was my niece so cruel?  My sister did not raise her to be that way.  When will we learn as human beings that kindness and concern for others is what life is all about. I have tried since my brother J.R.’s death, due to dementia, to strive for a happier outlook on life. My years as J.R.’s caregiver were very hard for me emotionally. Just when you begin to achieve a happier outlook on life someone throws you a curve ball that knocks you for a loop!

We are all in this life together and we need to make this world a better place.  God will bless the kind and compassionate people on this earth. ♥

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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

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.

Dementia – Love Me ‘Til My Life Is Done

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Sometimes those with Alzheimer’s/Dementia will wake in the middle of the night, upset and in a rage, wanting to go home.  One gentelman’s wife with dementia did this now and then.  He was so patient, he would dress her, go for a short drive, and return home.  He would take her back to her bedroom, and she was content to be home.

Dealing with dementia patients is not like dealing with an ill person.  For an ill  person you do something “to” and “for” them.  For a dementia person you do something “with” them. (socializing)

Caregivers feel helpless and emotionally drained.  But do not give up on your loved one.  Read this poem written by an unknown author, and have compassion for those with Alzheimer’s/Dementia.

  • Don’t ask me to remember,
  • Don’t try to make me understand,
  • Let me rest and know your’re with me,
  • Kiss my cheek and hold my hand.
  • I’m confused beyond your concept.
  • I am sad and sick and lost,
  • All I know is that I need you,
  • To be with me at all cost.
  • Do not lose your patience with me,
  • Do not scold or curse or cry,
  • I can’t help the way I’m acting,
  • Can’t be different though I try.
  • Just remember that I need you,
  • That the best of me is gone,
  • Please don’t fail to stand beside me.
  • Love me ’til my life is done.

Scientists studying dementia ask us to focus on what our loved ones can do.  Do not focus on the skills they have lost.  Normally long-term-memory and reading skills are less effected.  Even when a dementia patient can’t speak, they can still read if the print size is large enough. Spoken words. ” go in one ear and out the other.”  Those with dementia cannot store the spoken word in their memory.  Give them notes to read and they will not ask again and again where they or going or where something they want is stored.  Scientists know notes work, because they witness that dementia patients reading notes, will smile, and make pleasant sounds.  Those with dementia will stroke photos of loved ones with captions, because they read and then know the person in the photo.

I used baby monitors throughout my home dealing with my brother.  I learned this from a nurse who was caring for her mother with dementia. If I noticed or heard him, on my monitor screen, in a  certain room having problems, I went to help him find or complete a task he was trying to accomplish.  I used drive way alarms pointed at doors to know when he left or entered the house.  I had the receiving units for these alarms in my locked bedroom, but could hear them throughout my home.  These were aides to help me deal with an extreme dementia wanderer.

I know how hard being a caregiver is and that those with dementia do not know how to function correctly. So, just remember that they need you and love them until their life is done.

 

 

Gone From My Sight

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This picture of my brother J.R. was taken a few years ago before he was diagnosed with dementia.  My husband, J.R., and I were on vacation in the Pacific Northwest U.S.  We were camping in J.R.’s motorhome in Hells Canyon on the Snake River which borders Oregon and Idaho.  Two weeks of fun and relaxation.  He called this his, “Indiana Jones” hat.

My brother J.R. is, “Gone From My Sight,” now.  Dementia took him away from me in November 2015.  I will never forget J.R., he was my closest, dearest, sibling

J.R. had a twinkle of mischief in his eyes most of the time.  An over abundance of humor.  He loved to pester me, which I returned in full. He had a hugh smile on his face when he was happy or excited.  He loved people and he greeted everyone with a hearty hello.

J.R. was a wonderful Church of Christ preacher for several decades.  He was a very good locksmith. It upset me when I had to put him in the nursing home after 2 1/2 years as his caregiver. He gave the staff at the nursing home fits, taking their keys and disesembling doorknobs (without tools!?!).

No, J.R. was not perfect, but then who is perfect.  He got depressed or down when tragic things happened in his life.  Several major tragedies happend in his life, that left deep scars of pain and sorrow on his heart and soul.  What others did to him left imprints on my heart and mind.

I was raised with 3 siblings, but I really only had J.R. and he only had me. Funny how some of your siblings drift away and cease to be a part of your life.  I loved my brother J.R. so much and I knew that love was returned. I’ll think of him, get misty eyed from grief and loss.  I will hold his memory in my heart forever.

This new year – 2016 – will be lonely without you J.R.  So, I blow a kiss into the sky, to say a temporary goodbye.  God willing, I hope to see you again one day in Heaven.

God bless all of you who lost loved ones in 2015.

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.

Leaving Dementia Behind

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I had to place my brother J.R. in Hospice Care today and my heart is broken.  J.R.’s body is shutting down, dementia is winning the battle.

J.R. loved the sea and he has always had a fascination for sailboats.  He use to talk of sailing around the world.  I knew he had no sailing experience, but that did not discourage him whatsoever.  He never got to fulfill that dream.  I found this poem which fits J.R.’s wish so perfectly. This last journey toward death is sorrowful for those who love J.R. so dearly. This one is for you J,R. from your sister.

     I am standing upon the seashore.  A ship at my side spreads her white sails to the morning breeze and starts for the blue ocean. She is an object of beauty and strength.  I stand and watch her until at length she hangs like a speck of white cloud just where the sea and sky come to mingle with each other.
     Then someone at my side says: “There, she is gone!”  “Gone where?”
     Gone from my sight.  That is all.  She is just as large in mast and hull and spar as she was when she left my side and she is just as able to bear the load of living freight to her destined port.
     Her diminished size is in me, not in her.  And just at the moment when someone at my side says:  “There, she is gone!”  There are other eyes watching her coming, and other voices ready to take up the glad shout: “Here she comes!”   And that is dying . . . . .  . . . . .               Henry Van Dyke