Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Tuesday Newsday - caregiving

If you're tired of reading about my caregiving endeavors, I would recommend skipping this post! (Although it's not a downer like some have been.)

Dorothy made the switch to Hospice a few weeks ago and that has been going well. It means there is a nurse at the house for a visit at least twice a week instead of only once every week or two. She also has a physical therapist, a social worker and various other "staff" available to serve her needs.

Hospice has been totally great and have been very proactive on Dorothy's behalf. Since the switch she has gotten a new mattress for her bed (the previous memory foam gave her bedsores - another thing I learned about). This new mattress has continuous air flow and changes pressure points on her body so no one part of her body has total pressure on it all night. It's also (somehow) made it easier for her to recline the bed further and she now sleeps in less of a sitting position and more of a lying down position. Hospice also brought her a table on wheels that we can position over the bed (just like in the hospital) which has also been great and very helpful to her, especially when watching TV (no more trying to aim the remote - it just rests on the table, already aimed). I have been up in the night much less since the new mattress arrived - therefore, I am a BIG fan of it. :)

There have been various other changes but most would probably totally bore you and I probably wouldn't even be able to remember all of them. I set up a new binder for all of Dorothy's caregivers to try to keep everything organized. One section holds the passdown notebook that the caregivers use to communicate. One section holds the log sheets we use for Dorothy's food and medication intake. One section is an area for communication between the caregivers and the Hospice nurses. Heather and I have a meeting with ALL of Dorothy's (five) caregivers set up in a couple of weeks. I'm really anxious to get everybody together and make sure we are all on the same page and all understand the way things are to work around here. (There is one caregiver in particular that I get fairly frustrated with. I feel like I shouldn't have to ASK for a load of laundry to be done during the day, you know? Filling the dog's water bowl should be an obvious task, right?)

As for me... I have my days. This past week has been a rough one for me (and PMS NEVER helps) but things are calming down a little bit now. I have several things to look forward to this month and after this month, we head into the holidays (Thanksgiving is my FAVORITE). I mapped out October's weekends early in the month so I know exactly who is working which Saturdays and how much time I have off. Plus, my anniversary is a week from today (!!) and that means getting out of town. :)

I have scheduled Dorothy's social worker to be here on a day next week when I have the day off work so I can meet with her. I am interested in getting resources for caregiver counseling/support groups/etc. for myself. I'm the type of person who talks things out. I would blog a lot more but by the end of the day I'm just so wiped I would rather go to bed!

One of these days I am seriously going to post a "day in the life" so you can all see how things are around here. :)

Stay tuned for one particularly interesting experience (which actually had nothing to do with caregiving) I had this week!

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