Getting Started

Welcome to my site. I have been a caregiver since I was 16 years old and learned how to drive. It wasn’t until recently I discovered I could get paid to be a caregiver by taking classes to be a home health aide and work for a third party agency. First I had to spend my mother’s assets down which Medicaid calls the spend down program. Once moms assets had been spent on her and the house she lives in I was then able to sign her up to be on the state medicaid program. Once my mother was approved for the Ohio medicaid program I was able to sign her up with the Passport program. This program allows for seniors who live in their communities to be able to stay in their own home without being put in a assistant living facilities or nursing home.

Once she was on the program we were able to start receiving some amazing benefits for seniors. I only wish that I would of known about this kind of stuff when I was younger and taking care of my grandmother. I have had to do a ton of research over the years looking into all the ways I can get help with both my grandmother and mother. It has been a great learning experience.

Now I feel its time for me to start teaching others about all these resources I have found to help me with becoming a family caregiver. As well as providing a support group for people going through caring for their loved one just like me. I hope as I start this blog everyone will be patient with me. I will link all the information I was able to find for Ohio and then I will look into helping others find information based on each state in the USA.

Thank you for being here.

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Happy New Year!

Good morning everyone and happy new year. I know I am a little late with wishing you one but late is better then never in my book. 

So 2018 is finally here. The last few months have been so hard for me. Trying to decide whether to put my moms house up for sale, walk away, or let it just foreclose and force us out. I did learn something, there is a thing called “cash for keys”. So I guess what this is, is to have the mortgage company offer me money to get me to leave. I think this might be option we may try. Don’t get me wrong I would just walk away right now but we don’t have money saved yet to move and we have to fix our credit scores and blah, blah, blah. 

See we lived with my mom. It was her house and luckly in her name only. But we have 52 years of stuff to go through. Lots of memories in this house. I was never attached to it but I am finding that I am some what. I have spent most of my life here. But anyway its a new year with all new beginnings for us. 

So this year we are clearing out the house,  saving up for a home of our own, and I started a new job with a new career. I use to be a hairdresser until I started taking care of mom but with her gone now I am taking care of someone else now. There will be lots of adventure this year from new job to a new home eventually to a much needed vacation to visit my brother in Georgia. It is time to let God or the universe empower me to build a new life. So 2018 lets get going with lots of  fun and exciting adventures for me and my family.  

Merry Christmas 

Just wanted to give a shout out to my readers and wish all of you a very Merry Christmas! 

This has been a very difficult day for my family and me. As we just lost my mother last month before Thanksgiving. 

I wish that my family was all together in my home but this year we were all spread out celebrating in different places. This holiday was not the same.  Every year was spent here in my childhood home. Last Christmas was the last holiday spent in our home. At Easter time mom was in the hospital. When she came home everything had changed. We never did much for Memorial Day or Fourth of July or even Labor Day. But I was always with her. 

Today has been just another day.  My husband and I went with my brother to his daughters house for Christmas this year. I love my nieces for trying hard to make this a special day.  We played a game with dollar scratch off lottery tickets. It was a dice game called “Left, Right, Center”. I won the first round. My great niece won the second round. It was fun coming home with all these lottery tickets to scratch off to see how much I won. No, I didn’t strike it rich but I did win a little bit. 

I pray that everyone had a happy holiday and even though my mom wasn’t here with us I know she is no longer suffering and is at peace with my father in heaven and with Jesus by her side. 

Holidays 

The holidays are upon us and I have no interest in celebrating. I know I should my mother always loved to look at the Christmas tree after I would decorate it. She would tell me how beautiful it was and how I would always do such a nice job in decorating it like my dad use too. Christmas has always been my favorite holiday. When my brothers and I were younger we would always look for our gifts and try to get a peak at them. If they were wrapped we would carefully unwrap it and look at what we got and then we would wrap it backup. Oh we where so bad. LOL!

Mom and I  would make so many cookies. We would start in the beginning of November. My favorite is the Italian Christmas cookies that my grandmother taught me how to make. Here is a copy of  the recipe here:

Italian Christmas Cookies

Italian Christmas Cookie

3 Eggs
3/4 cup of Sugar
2 teaspoons of Vanilla
1/4 cup of Baking Powder
4 cups of Flour
1 cup of Milk
1 1/4 cup of Crisco

Beat eggs and sugar for 20 minutes and add vanilla. Then add flour and baking
powder. Melt the Crisco and add milk to cool it off. then mix it all together.
Add more flour if it is to sticky and chill so it will be easier to roll. Once
chilled roll into S shapes or twist knot and place on cookie sheet.

Bake at 350 for 12-15 minutes or until bottom is a light golden brown.

Icing

Mix

1 cup of Powder Sugar
1 Tablespoon of milk
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla

Let cookies cool and spread icing on them and add little color candies
immediately. To keep soft and fresh place in a Ziploc or can. If they sit out
they get hard for dunking in coffee.

I love wrapping gifts but this year there won’t be any. The tree is not going up the cookies are not made and no one is coming to celebrate.  It is very depressing this year. Every year on Christmas eve we would have pizza, susauge, and salad for dinner. Nope not happening. Using the turkey I should of cooked for Thanksgiving this year instead. My husband, brother, a friend who also recently lost her mother too and I will have dinner together. Christmas day we will go to my nieces new home for dinner. The holiday will not be the same. With mom passing away my brothers made other plans. We will not be all together this year. When my dad died everyone did something else for Christmas eve. Christmas day had stayed the same that year but with mom gone now I guess we will have to make new traditions.

Last Christmas was the last holiday to be held in our home as we will probably be putting it up for sale soon. So many things to do. Clearing out a home that I have spent my entire life in is not easy. So day by day I take a baby step moving forward to a new life,  new career, and eventually a new home in coming year. Lots of new beginnings.

Grieving 

Does the pain and sorrow go away? I find myself still crying everyday. Even though I know she is happy and healthy again, she truely is in better place. I try to let that bring comfort to me as I focus on the happy memories. 

People always say it will take time and for me to take it day by day. I have done pretty good with that. I am slowly writing out the thank you cards. I have donated her clothes, shoes, and jackets, gloves. I have given some of her jewelry to my siblings, along with my nieces and nephew.  Not bad so far. Each day I  try to find something to go through in our home. 

I even managed to get a job. The agency I had worked for called me up and had offered me a job with another patient to take care of. I am/was a Hairdresser. I never thought that caring for my mom would lead me into a career change.  I would say both jobs are hard on the body in a very different way.  Being a home health aide has taught me to be more compassionate.  Caring for my grandmother and then my mother I know now I did all the right things. I did everything God wanted me to do. I have no regrets. I loved these women with my whole heart. They taught me so much. It is because of them I have become this kind, loving, caring, strong woman. I didn’t just loose a mother I lost a friend, and a home. 

Home is what my parents created. It just isn’t a house. It was a home that everyone new that they could go to. It was filled with love. My parents opened our home to everyone. They raised my nephew for the first 11 years. But for my nephew this was always his home. I have three older brothers. I was the baby and only girl. As you could imagine I was spoiled. Spoiled rotten as my family would say. Funny thing was I never felt that I was anymore spoiled then the rest. Sure I got everything I wanted but so did my brothers and nephew.  Mom and dad always found away to make sure. We never went without. Now everything we had wasn’t always new we shared a lot of stuff. I use to wear my brothers old jeans, I would get there old stereo, phone, tv, shirts, jeans. They would get new things and I would take the hand me downs. I loved wearing their old jeans. Bell bottoms were the best. All broken in and nice and long. 

Oh, I  totally got off topic here. LOL

We had a happy childhood. As I clean out the house I will be saying goodbye to a lifetime of memories. Unfortunately,  we only have a year to stay in it. The next 50 years years will have to be made in a new place. Where that will be I do not know yet. Praying that the Lord will guide us to make the right decisions. 

She Lost the Fight!

My mother went to heaven on November 8, 2017. Nine years before her passing she lost her beautiful daughter in law on the same day. They both fought a good battle. Two very beautiful women who had so much love to give. My mother was a gentle kind soul. Who gave her family and friends so much love. My mother is now reunited with my father in heaven after 22 1/2 years of separation. All she ever wanted was to be with my father. He loved her so much and it showed every day. My parents taught me and my brothers the true meaning of loving someone unconditionally. They opened our home to all our friends. Our home was the party place growing up. Everyone loved to hang out here. Our friends could sit and talk to both my mother and father for hours. They made sure we had everything we wanted in life. We never went without. My mom use to always say if there was something we wanted my father went out and got it and we would have by the next day.

My mother was selfless, she always thought of others first. She helped us with our homework, made sure she participated in PTA when were in elementary school. She quit her job to stay home and raise my nephew when he was born so my brother and sister-in-law could work. And when they got divorced, her and my dad took custody of him so he could be put on their health insurance and go to better schools. My mom paid for my braces when I was in junior high so I could have straight teeth. Her love for us is just beyond words.

When my mom had her first stroke in the summer of 1999. I was so thankful it had only took her short-term memory and peripheral vision in one eye. I taught her how to read and write again and how to cook. It was hard for her in the beginning but eventually she was able retain some new memories. The following summer in 2000 she was diagnosed with breast cancer and her breast had become infected and the surgeon had to teach me how to clean the wound and pack it with gauze until it healed. Once it healed I took her to University Hospital in Cleveland five days a week at 7am for the next 8 weeks to get radiation treatments. She was strong, I never saw her cry or complain about having cancer. She didn’t lose hair but it did thin out some. She never questioned why this was happening to her. She would get tired after radiation and I would bring her home and give her orange juice and have her lay down. She was such a fighter.

Missing You! (1)

Mom continued to have Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA) and Transient Global Amnesia over the years and eventually developed seizures where she couldn’t respond to me. It was scary every time it happened. Because of this she developed vascular dementia. Each stage was so different. Every TIA she had would change her personality. We would fight all the time and I never understood what was really happening to her. Eventually, I started to understand more about her illness but I would get so angry and frustrated with her in the beginning of it.

The last two years just kept getting worse with her falling, hoarding, repeating herself. She would hide things like food or candy. Nothing can be worse than watching someone you love slipping away from you right before your eyes. She began having what is called sundowning. She would become more agitated and confused in the later afternoon to early evening. By 6:30pm she would want to go to bed. Then during the night she would get up and think it was morning and she would get up and get dressed and go downstairs to watch tv. I would find her in the family room and have to explain to her it was the middle of the night and she needed to come back up to bed.

She started to use a cane and eventually we made her start using a walker. Around Christmas time of last year she started losing her appetite and was growing weaker. The doctor order physical therapy for her and we had bought special shoes for her to help with her balance but her appetite kept decreasing. In April of this year she was too weak to get out of bed because she was eating and was failing to thrive. For Easter she was in the hospital and had failed her swallow test and we had a PEG tube placed in her stomach. The doctors said she was in entering the last phase of vascular dementia and that we could just let her come to die with hospice. My brother didn’t want to see her just waste away like that. When she came home from the hospital she had become completely bed ridden. I had to feed her threw her tube five times a day. Change and clean her and groom her in her bed. Her tube came out and we had to go back to hospital to have a new one placed in. But for months she couldn’t keep her food down. She continuously threw up daily until the doctor sent her back to the hospital to have another one put in as the second one was clogged. Once third tube was in it was much better but she could only handle three cans a food a day in smaller amounts.

Mom started becoming short of breath and getting sores on her stomach and back. Her skin became so thin and fragile. She would get worn out just rolling her on her side to change her or bath her. A catheter was put in and oxygen was ordered. On the day of her death her body had started filling up with fluids and she became swollen all over. That evening she was gurgling so much in her throat that she couldn’t talk and couldn’t clear her throat. I tried using the suction machine as I saw her choking and gasping for air she stopped breathing and I performed CPR on her. I became hysterical. This my mom and she was dying and I was so not ready even though I knew it was inevitable. My husband had called for the ambulance and I could see in their eyes as they came in and took over as I was trying to revive her that she was not going to make it. I called my family to tell them to get to the hospital so they could say their goodbyes. She had her family around her and she knew she was loved as she took her last breath.

In my heart, I know I did everything I could for her. I know she is my father in heaven and is happy, free from any pain or suffering. She is whole again. Young and beautiful as she had always been. I left my job more than a year ago to take care of her full-time and I don’t have any regrets. I will continue to love her and miss her until we are reunited again some day. Now I need to start living because I know that is what she would want for me.

 

How to Design a Care Plan for Elderly Parents

Every family’s situation is different on how to care for their parents. They may have different issues with different problems and challenges. To properly assist and care for your parents being organized is the key to properly assist with their care. Below is a checklist that will help you.

Checklist

Checklist for the Caregiver

Daily Care

  • What kind of care does your parent need –
    • Hygiene & Grooming
    • Housekeeping
    • Activities
    • Nutrition
    • Medication Reminder
    • Home Health Care
    • Other Assistance

Medical

  • Write down the name and phone numbers of your parents’ doctor(s).
  • Know what medical conditions they have
  • What are the symptoms and effects of the condition(s)?
  • What is the prognosis?
  • What is the recommended treatments?
  • Keep a list of medications and dosage on hand

Transportation

  • Do your parents still drive? How do they get around?
  • What family members are available to provide help with driving them around when needed?
  • What transportation services are available in your community?
  • And which of these services are right for your parent?

Access

  • Do you have a key to your parents’ home and car?
  • Do you know where important information is in a crisis?
    • Medical Insurance
    • Driver’s License or ID
    • Social Security Card
    • Medicare/Medicaid
    • Life Insurance
    • Etc…

Financial

  • Do you need a financial planner to help organize your parents finances
  • Will family members help provide any costs out of their own pockets?
  • What financial means are available to help pay for care or other necessities?
  • Will you seek outside help or governmental help to cover costs?

Legal

  • Do you know who your parent’s attorney is?
  • Do you know where they keep legal documents?
  • Do your parents have the following legal documents made out?
    • Wills
    • Durable Power of Attorney
    • Durable Power of Attorney for Healthcare
    • Living Wills or Trusts

Long Term Plans

  • What will you do if there is emergency?
  • What are your plans for the future?
  • What are the care needs in the future if there are changes to health or finances?

Professional Help

  • Do you need a geriatric care worker to help manage the day activities of your parent?
  • What social workers, therapists or other professionals in your area available to help you?

Caregivers

  • Who will provide care?
  • Will family members provide all the care?
  • Will outside caregivers or home care agencies be hired?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3 Reasons to Become a Home Health Aide

Excellent article that I thought was worth sharing with you. Since I became a caregiver I realized how many people need help. Especially, senior citizens who may not have anyone to help them with their daily personal needs. As we age and lose our family and friends it becomes extremely lonely and depressing. I am glad that I have made a career change where I can still practice my hairdressing skills and provide those in need with help. It can be very rewarding knowing your making a difference in someone’s life. Please check out the article below.

3 Reasons why you should become a home health aide (1)

Please check out the article. https://wp.me/p7Jy9N-3l

 

Healthcare Careers

Working as home health and personal care means working as an assistant for those who need it the most. This is because home health and personal care’s clients are people who are disables, chronically ill, or cognitively impaired, as well as elder adults who need assistance with activities of daily living. They are responsible with bathing, dressing, grooming, and light housekeeping.

If you are interested to take this healthcare job as yours, you need to know several reasons why this job is suitable for you:

1. You are the Hero on the home front
Being a caregiver can be a demanding work sometime. It requires lots of love and endeavor. This makes the work is not suitable for those who are not able to work under pressure. In this job, you have to balance a full-time job or children.

In fact, your responsibility also includes providing the family peace of…

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10 Tips for the Caregiver

10

Ten tips you may not know about. Number three I didn’t even know about till recently.

  1. More than half of the seniors who apply for reverse mortgages are eligible for Supplemental Social Security. Income received from reverse mortgages does not affect Social Security or Medicare, Since these payments are considered a loan, they do not affect Medicaid or Passport eligibility requirements.
  2. Remember to replace the batteries in your smoke detector when you change your clock in spring and fall.
  3. You may be eligible to receive a tax credit of up to 30% of the cost of adult day care or in-home care if you hire someone (and make proper Social Security contributions) to take care of your parent while you work.
  4. Many prescription drug manufacturers make some medications available free of charge to low income persons. Your doctor must make the request to the pharmaceutical company.
  5. It’s important to have three documents done to help protect your loved ones wishes to assume responsibilities of caregiving. Make sure you have general durable power of attorney, a living will and a durable power of attorney for health care. Keep these in a safe place.
  6. Always call your local Senior Center first to see what programs and services re available to you in your neighborhood.
  7. Remember most diabetic and respiratory equipment and supplies are covered by Medicare. Check with your doctor to make sure they are covered.
  8. Homemaker and personal care services are available to perform housekeeping, grocery shopping, bathing, toileting, help in walking or getting out of bed or chair, grooming and feeding, or other errands.
  9. Get in a support group to help with coping with being a caregiver. Talking with others helps. There are a lot of groups on Facebook.
  10. Accept help from others when they offer. Taking care of your own health is important too.

What is 2-1-1 Ohio?

What is 2-1-1?  2-1-1 is a free community service. It provides you with information about social health and government resources that are available to you 24 hours a day. The information they provide to you is:2-1-1 OHIO

  1. Special services for seniors.
  2. Food and shelter providers.
  3. Human service agencies.
  4. Volunteer opportunities.
  5. Child care resources.

By calling 2-1-1 for information helps reduce inappropriate 911 calls. This help ensures that callers are directed to the right agency and helps to reduce frustration of making multiple calls. It’s 24-hour service gets you the help you need when you need it. When visiting the website the interactive map provides 26 counties with it’s own address, phone number and website to visit where you can find out more information on how their services and how they can help you.

More information can be found on their website. Visit http://www.211ohio.net