What are you doing to take care of yourself?

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by MILVascularDem, Oct 28, 2015.

  1. MILVascularDem

    MILVascularDem Registered User

    Oct 14, 2015
    44
    Deep South in the USA
    Hey ya'll!!

    Ok- this being the 5th and final parent I've helped usher through their terminal illness, if there is one thing I've learned over these years, it's to take care of yourself as the caregiver. And to not feel guilty about that either!! If you are not healthy, you are not an effective caregiver, right?!!

    So, tell me - what do you do to take care of you?? Do you exercise? Yoga? Meditation? Take back up a hobby (if you are a little more homebound now with your loved one) you put down due to time/life getting in the way? What?

    I'm interested to hear what everyone is doing! And believe me - you need to do some of these things and again...NOT FEEL GUILTY!!

    We often say in my house, "...if momma is happy, everyone is happy..."! :) (translate that to: if momma-caregiver is healthier so will your loved one!):)
     
  2. Lindy50

    Lindy50 Registered User

    Dec 11, 2013
    5,239
    Cotswolds
    Hi. MILVasDem :)

    This is a very interesting question! It's so often recommended that we take care of ourselves.....yet I found it hard to accept the necessity, and harder still to actually do something. Not helped by not being 100% fit myself.....

    However, I have found something that suits me. I've become a devotee of MOOCS or massive open online courses. These are short online courses, open to anyone, and with a strong emphasis on online discussion. There's an interesting article about them here:

    http://www.theguardian.com/education/2013/oct/22/study-mooc-top-universities

    I've completed a variety of courses in my own time, and have so far got most from one on mindfulness, which has led me to meditate when I can.

    I'm looking out for something about literature, and in the meantime, I keep my kindle fired up for whenever I can read.

    I wonder what others do....:)

    All the best

    Lindy xx
     
  3. MILVascularDem

    MILVascularDem Registered User

    Oct 14, 2015
    44
    Deep South in the USA
    What a neat thing to do!!! I love this!!

    Yep-like you - I wonder what others do, too!!
    Thanks!!
     
  4. Grey Lad

    Grey Lad Registered User

    Sep 12, 2014
    5,736
    North East Lincs
    #4 Grey Lad, Oct 29, 2015
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2015
    Great idea this thread. I follow with great detail the plight of Coventry City. I joke with Maureen that I am on the staff and am only waiting for a phone call to turn my virtual interest into reality. Well one of my schoolmates, Bobby Gould, did become our manager at one stage. May be a little late for me at partly 70!

    I have also completed a number of MOCC modules. How lucky we are that they are all free. On most days I fit in a bit of meditation and Tai Chi at home. Then of course there's blogging.
     
  5. mrs mcgonnagal

    mrs mcgonnagal Registered User

    May 9, 2015
    153
    Great post, its very hard to do anything when you are in the middle of it all, but I took up sewing, hand sewing as you can put it down and pick it up again later easily. I do patterns and flowers in running stitch and find it very therapeutic.
     
  6. chick1962

    chick1962 Registered User

    Apr 3, 2014
    11,282
    Female
    near Folkestone
    Very interesting thread, certainly makes me think! What do I do for myself???? It's hard when you are a carer because priorities change. I spend all my time with hubs and have very little me time . I enjoyed having had a girly day with my Dils the other day as friend looked after hubs. We had lunch, a mooch through the shops and conversation was just fab ( no mention of dementia at all) :) the sun was out too and I felt relaxed and happy :)


    Sent from my iPhone using Talking Point
     
  7. looviloo

    looviloo Registered User

    May 3, 2015
    463
    Female
    Cheshire
    I love researching my family history and find it very relaxing, because I don't think about anything else while I'm looking at the family tree. It has the added bonus of making me feel more connected to dad's family too, and for a few years we would discuss it, with dad adding memories and events I didn't know about. Of course, that's not possible now, as he becomes ever more self-absorbed :-(.

    Although I know it's important to take care of myself, it's difficult, and even though my dad is now in a care home and you'd imagine I could take more care of myself than before, my mind has other ideas! Worry, stress and, yes... guilt are still there! It is getting easier though.

    I guess the answer is to do whatever makes you feel good/relaxed/energised etc etc. Take care everyone!
     
  8. Pear trees

    Pear trees Registered User

    Jan 25, 2015
    441
    I like to sew and am making a pirate girl costume for my granddaughter, and do crossstitch whilst watching TV. I like to spend lots of time with my granddaughters.
     
  9. chick1962

    chick1962 Registered User

    Apr 3, 2014
    11,282
    Female
    near Folkestone
    I also love spending time with my grandchildren :) got Mia here tonight and we are going ice skating tomorrow . She is 5 by the way :)


    Sent from my iPhone using Talking Point
     
  10. CollegeGirl

    CollegeGirl Registered User

    Jan 19, 2011
    9,525
    North East England
    Great thread, good to hear what other people do. I don't have the practical problems of caring for someone on a daily basis, but do have major issues with sometimes severe anxiety and worrying about everything, and wanting to fix things for my parents even though I know I can't.

    My favourite ways to relax are to have a long soak in a hot bath with a good book, and, when the weather is fine, gardening. Gardening is the only thing I've found that really does clear my mind completely.

    Oh - and bird watching! Hubby and I enjoy taking our binoculars out to various local country parks and RSPB wetland centres to look at the birds.

    I know that, unlike many carers on TP, I'm very lucky to have the time to do these things.
     
  11. Chuggalug

    Chuggalug Registered User

    Mar 24, 2014
    8,007
    Norfolk
    Oh, I love this. I read; sit by the window and look out; I find great comfort in cooking as I find that soothing.

    I am a believing Christian. I watch the news; come on here to chat, (haunt the place, quite honestly), and catch up with other busy things online. Can't do much physically due to arthritis getting very bad, now, but took great pleasure in cleaning the bath last night! I know. Don't say it, hahahahahaha :)
     
  12. Kevinl

    Kevinl Registered User

    Aug 24, 2013
    4,776
    Salford
    Does drinking Vodka count as a hobby?
    K
     
  13. MILVascularDem

    MILVascularDem Registered User

    Oct 14, 2015
    44
    Deep South in the USA
    GREAT responses!!

    I love hearing what folks are doing! AHAHA to Kevinl! My husband would agree with you, but with beer!

    Chuggalug- I'm a believing Christian too, so my faith is a foundation I stand on - struggle a lot lately, but still can stand on it. You are funny - I clean in my anxiety. My husband can't put his coffee cup down for my picking it up and washing it when I'm in one of those moods! HA! BTW- I have RA (rheumatoid arthritis) and am learning about something few know about - it's called Nightshades. I have actually become completely pain/inflammation free from completely avoiding Nightshades. It's a hard commitment, but so worth it to me. It's hard because of what you have to avoid. You have to completely avoid tomatoes, potatoes(sweet potatoes are ok), peppers(that includes spices from peppers like Paprika or Cayenne, etc. but Black Pepper is ok), Eggplant and Tobacco. Go Google it. It's a lifesaver to lots of arthritis sufferers.

    looviloo - I started doing Ancestry too so my MIL could give me information before we totally lost her. But your comment about how your dad becomes more self-absorbed is very interesting.... I thought it would be good for her to walk down memory lane and tell me who is who in the box of pictures we went through, but it only caused more anxiety and hallucinations. So, I can't do that again. But I like doing it on my own now.

    I LOVE to scrapbook. I spend countless hours cutting and gluing and journaling in my books. There was a group of ladies that I met 20+ years ago and we created like the old-timey sewing circle in that we'd come together once a month and sit up and work on our scrapbooks all night! They became my best girlfriends still today! Most of us were working on books about our children or families. It was so wonderful! Now, we are all moved away and strewn about and we come together once a year or so for an entire weekend somewhere. But, now, I'm afraid I can't do it this year due to caring for MIL. (struggle....ARGH!!) so, I've been pulling them out to work on anyway. That helps.
    Also - being more home-bound now with her, I've been cooking a LOT more. And cooking and learning new recipes is relaxing for me, too.(Husband LOVES that!! HA!)
    Yoga for health, walking daily with my dog, my husband lifts weights for his anxiety. I do, too, sometimes.

    I just know that I saw way to many people decline in their own health while caring for their loved one. I can think of three people right off the top of my head that I personally know who all were diagnosed with a debilitating illness right after their loved one passed away. The stress broke them down. I'm sure there are countless more if I researched it just a little. We MUST take care of ourselves!!

    What else??
     
  14. MILVascularDem

    MILVascularDem Registered User

    Oct 14, 2015
    44
    Deep South in the USA
    How Could I forget?

    Oh, and DUH- how could I forget! My husband and I were "empty nesters" for a year before MIL moved in with us. Our sons both went off to college and we were Empty Nesters after raising them for 21 years!! So, unbeknownst to me -one of the things HE wanted to do on his "Bucket List" when we were alone again, was to learn how to Ballroom Dance!!!! WOW! Who knew?? Gentlemen on this forum.....if you want to swoon your lady - learn how to Waltz with her and you'll get anything you want!! AHAHA!! So, we started taking lessons and finding places to dance!

    Well, when MIL moved in, we stopped dancing. When the stress grew, he finally said - FIND SOME BABYSITTERS!! So, I interviewed several ladies, have found some sitters and we now go to lessons and dances again. And like you, Chick1962, our rule is NO DEMENTIA TALK when we are out!!!!

    Ok-I'll shut up......YOUR TURN!!!!
     
  15. Bill Owen

    Bill Owen Registered User

    Feb 17, 2014
    182
    BRIDGEND
    Me time

    im a leather tec repair man . I repair leather sofa / carlasic car seats. This is what i do im my time. I also play snook on sunday night . Me time ..
     
  16. MILVascularDem

    MILVascularDem Registered User

    Oct 14, 2015
    44
    Deep South in the USA
    What is snook? (sorry - dumb yank from the States.......:p)
     
  17. Slugsta

    Slugsta Registered User

    I suspect that is a typo and should say 'snooker', I'm sure Bill will correct me if I am wrong.

    I noticed the mention of Moocs upthread as my friend has done a few of these and they do sound interesting. My mobility and activity level is poor now so I am not able to do many of the things that I used to enjoy but I do aquagym twice a week, sing with a choir once a week and make sure I see friends regularly. It is getting harder though as Mum is getting more dependent, even though she doesn't live with us.
     
  18. MILVascularDem

    MILVascularDem Registered User

    Oct 14, 2015
    44
    Deep South in the USA
    Another Question (Ok- so I am not shutting up......

    Another question -

    So, do you laugh much? Like I said - new territory here for me, this dementia demon. I love to laugh. But I've noticed I'm not laughing. Of course not - you are in a tough situation now. But you do know that laughing releases important endorphin's that our body needs. It's healthy. So is crying. But lets focus on laughing.....

    So do you laugh? Do you find ways to laugh? Like a favorite funny movie? Listening to a comedian? Utilizing your Vodka Hobby, Kevinl, can make you eventually laugh!! AHAH!!

    What say you?
     
  19. Lindy50

    Lindy50 Registered User

    Dec 11, 2013
    5,239
    Cotswolds
    To be honest, MVD, no I don't laugh much now - it's something I've noticed happening over the last couple of years. My face is beginning to settle into a kind of anxious frown that I really don't like.....and I can't expect anyone else to, either.

    You're right, more laughter is definitely needed. Not sure what touches my funny bone these days....and I used to be so positive, honestly!

    Anyone got any ideas???
     
  20. MILVascularDem

    MILVascularDem Registered User

    Oct 14, 2015
    44
    Deep South in the USA

    I've only been at this one for 4 months and I'm noticing my positive attitude taking a nose dive, too....:( That's why I'm asking these questions, too.......but I really, really believe we need to find those outlets. Our loved ones will eventually pass......and then where does that leave us?? I am scared I'll be a hollow shell, or have my own diagnosis WAY to early, when it's all said and done.....
     

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