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Caller Struggling With "Normal" After Losing Mother to COVID-19, Caring for Aging Father, and Husband Losing His Vision.

Hope for the Caregiver / Peter Rosenberger
The Truth Network Radio
August 12, 2020 2:16 pm

Caller Struggling With "Normal" After Losing Mother to COVID-19, Caring for Aging Father, and Husband Losing His Vision.

Hope for the Caregiver / Peter Rosenberger

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August 12, 2020 2:16 pm

What is "normal?" 

As caregivers, we discover that we have to make our own normal ...and trust that we can have meaningful moments and even joy in that "normal of our own making,." 

This caller and I discussed this in this clip from the show.

In addition, as she struggled with figuring out how to care for her aging father, I pointed her to this service that Gracie and I use. We can often use technology offload some (not all!) of the monitoring components of our caregiving responsibilites. 

https://hopeforthecaregiver.podbean.com/e/are-they-safe-are-you-a-easy-reliable-and-secure-way-to-offload-caregiving-challenges/

Peter Rosenberger is the host of HOPE FOR THE CAREGIVER.  Heard weekly on 200 stations, Peter draws upon his 34 years as a caregiver to help strengthen fellow caregivers. 

Hope for the Caregiver is the family caregiver outreach of Standing With Hope.

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888-589-8840, 888-589-8840. Let's go to Julie in Oklahoma. Julie, good morning, Julie. How are you feeling?

Well, a little bit overwhelmed. My mother died of COVID four months ago, and my father has had to come and live kind of with us on our property, and they were married 56 years. And he got COVID the day after she died, and he had it for six weeks. So he is really just kind of waking up and grieving, so every day we go through it.

And I have a husband who just retired right before this. He's got macular degeneration, and the doctor told him, you know, you need to go and travel or see some things while you can. So now, you know, we can't do what he thought we were going to get to do. And so anyway, it's just all kind of changed around for us, and I have extreme adrenal fatigue, which, you know, we manage with some different things. But sometimes it all just hits me so hard, and I can't even, you know, function. And I'm trying to keep, you know, my father, who has no, almost zero social interaction right now because of the COVID, and trying to keep him uplifted and happy, you know, as much as we can and busy. And then my husband, who's been great, but, you know, he's disappointed because we're not doing what he thought we were going to get to do.

So I'm just kind of, kind of feel like I'm in the middle. Where would you like to travel with your husband? Well, we wanted to go see some things like, you know, Yellowstone and just places like that, you know, that would probably take a week or two. And that's got a lot of side effects from the COVID that I just have to kind of stay here and monitor him every day. Are you able to bring someone in to sit with your father while you and your husband take short trips? I hadn't really thought about that. We do have a home health that comes one day a week just to check on him. So I don't know if they, you know, they could do more than that. I don't know if we, you know, could afford that. I don't know what that costs.

Well, there are different services that you can use and so forth. Does he require 24 care? I would say 24 monitoring. I mean, we might be able to leave like overnight.

But, you know, he's just got a lot of side effects that came with the COVID that he's just not recovered from. So there are a lot of technological advances that you can monitor while you're away. And if you can combine that with some human contact to make sure that he's being properly looked after and meals and things such as that. And then you can also supplement that with monitoring through video conferencing and things that are easy things for you to do and easy things for him to do. It does.

It doesn't require him being technologically astute. And so those are those are things that I would I would look into. There's one at my Web site. You can take a look at it.

And hopefully the caregiver dot com and it might be worth your time. It's something I use, but it's it's because, you know, when I leave, if I of course, nobody's traveling a whole lot right now anyway. But if when I leave to go speak or something like that, I have to make provisions to make sure that there's someone close by or with Gracie. I don't I don't feel comfortable leaving her alone.

And so I get that journey. That's not going to that's not going to change. Possibly even for the better, because this is how old is he?

He is almost 80. I mean, it's it's going to require more and more care as he gets older. And I get that your your I saw on here in the prompt, you said, you know, how to try to have a normal life with this. I don't know what a normal life is.

And I haven't known normal in a long time. And I think that the country itself is trying to figure out what normal is and get back to normal. But I don't think we're going to get there. And I go back to what we talked about in our scripture today that, you know, we're saying, Lord, deliver us from this, deliver us from this.

Well, this isn't going away anytime soon. And even if we come up with the vaccine today, things have changed now. And people are going to be the way we do business, the way we eat.

We go out to eat and go to work and stay in hotels and travel and things such as that. All of that's changed. And it's going to be a long time, if ever, if it goes back, because we're not going to eradicate this thing. We may we may get a vaccine and but we got a vaccine for the flu.

And guess what? Millions of people still die from the flu. And so as long as as long as we live in the kind of politically charged world we live in and everything else, things are going to change. But that doesn't mean that we can't live a normal life.

And this is what Jeremiah is saying to these people. Look, go ahead and plant your vineyards, build your houses, live life. And I would say to you and to your husband, and I don't know what this is going to look like, Julie, because you do have restraints. But there are tools and resources available to offset those things. And I would explore them to see if you can't set up some type of video monitoring conference, some type of technological smart home kind of things. Well, we do this at our home.

Makes all the difference. My parents are elderly. They listen to the show every day, but they have, you know, Alexa throughout the house. You know, that kind of stuff. People used to say, well, aren't you worried about giving your private information out? I said, look, this is my mother and dad. They've already got Alexa on the prayer couch right now ministering to Alexa's issues with their parents. You know, kind of thing. I know my mom and dad. So Alexa's already crying and dad, as is his custom, doesn't hand her tissues.

When he was pastoring and he would keep a roll of toilet paper there in his office. Just here, just use this, you know, kind of thing. So Alexa's working through all of her parent issues right now with my mom and dad.

So I'm not worried about that at all. But it's one of those things that it's that you and your husband are not going to be able to get everything that you want to do. But that doesn't mean that you can't do things that are deeply meaningful in this. And I think that's the thing with Gracie and I, our abilities to participate in life are greatly altered.

But we have learned to be creative in our journey. Gracie loves the outdoors. We live in Montana. We live near Yellowstone, as a matter of fact, about 90 miles north of it. And we moved out here from Nashville about a year ago.

And we lived in Nashville for many, many years. But Gracie loves the outdoors. She can't hike. I mean, it's just too painful for us, too hard to her.

But so we offset that. We, you know, we use an ATV or in the wintertime she gets out on a snowmobile. And and she loves those things because she doesn't feel crippled when she's on them. And she can go at my speed or your speed or whatever speed she wants to go kind of thing. And so you just learn to be creative and adapt to these things because we're not called to be sidelined.

And some people can't do any of those things. And we went on a trip this week way up in the forest with our son was up here. And and it was a wonderful trip. And it was a hard trip. I mean, it was painful. She's always in pain. She's not.

That's never going to change. And she said, well, if I want to be in pain, I might as well have some fun. But when we got back, she wouldn't sell this. And we got up to the destination we're going to way back in the forest, this beautiful lake.

And it's a hard trail to get to. And she started crying when she got there. She's a member of a of a group of individuals who live with severe pain on Facebook as a private group she's a part of.

And a lot of these folks can't function very well. And she said, I did this trip for them. And I want them to say and I took lots of pictures of her do it.

I want them to see it through my eyes because I know they're not going to be able to. And so I think there's there's there's a sadness and there's a beauty and a joy that's all wrapped up into one as we do these things. But we find whatever level we can participate.

And I don't know what that looks like for you and your husband, but I don't think you need to worry too much about getting this is my opinion. So I don't like to share my opinion too much because my opinion is worthless. My experience, however, is not. And and I don't even care about my opinion, but my experience tells me that we don't have to be bound by trying to somehow figure out what normal is.

You and your husband are free to make whatever normal looks like for you guys. And nobody else gets a vote in that except you and your husband. Not even your father gets a vote in that or your father in law. Is it your dad or your father in law? It's my dad. Your dad. Not even he gets a vote in that. He gets a vote in what his normal looks like. But you and your husband can forge out whatever that looks like.

And if you have to bring in some technology, if you have to hire somebody to sit with your dad or whatever to do these things. Don't accept that you are somehow in bondage to this, but just learn to thrive in it at whatever that looks like. And Gracie and I have had to make hard decisions in our life, but we've done it and and we continue to do it. And sometimes, you know, normal for us was I remember when she was in the hospital so many times. I mean, just over and over and our kids were little. And this was a long time ago.

I'm going to date myself, but we've been doing this for three and a half decades. And, you know, we I brought in a VCR at the time and a DVD player and all these things. This was a long time ago. And the hospital had all kinds of rules about hooking up equipment to their televisions. And I said, just forget that, man.

I'm just going to deal with I'm just going to do it. We brought our kids up there and we had movie night in the hospital where the kids crawled in the hospital bed with their mother. And we had movie night in the hospital. And I didn't ask for permission to hook up all the equipment to the to the TV in the hospital.

You know, I figured, you know, they're making money off of me. They can get over it. But we had and I'll never forget that both of our children snuggled up with their mother.

She's got her leg in the cash. She's got tubes and everything else. And they're snuggled up with their mother in a hospital bed while we watched a movie as a family. Wow. That was our normal.

I don't know what your normal is going to look like, Julie, but I know that you're free to make it happen and trust God in it. Does this help? Has this has this resonated with you? Very much. Yes, I appreciate that. And I'm going to get on your Web site and look at your resources. And I appreciate that. Just just think it over and then go spend some time in Jeremiah. Twenty nine.

OK, read it in a bunch of translation. Julie, thank you so much for the call. This is hope for the caregiver. This is the show for you as a caregiver. We'll be right back.

Hey, this is Peter Rosenberger. Have you ever helped somebody walk for the first time? I've had that privilege many times through our organization Standing with Hope. When my wife, Gracie, gave up both of her legs following this horrible wreck that she had as a teenager and she tried to save them for years.

And it just wouldn't work out. And finally she relinquished them and thought, wow, this is it. I mean, I don't have any legs anymore.

What can God do with that? And then she had this vision for using prosthetic limbs as a means of sharing the gospel, to put legs on her fellow amputees. And that's what we've been doing now since 2005 with Standing with Hope. We work in the West African country of Ghana, and you can be a part of that through supplies, through supporting team members, through supporting the work that we're doing over there.

You can designate a limb. There's all kinds of ways that you can be a part of giving the gift that keeps on walking at standingwithhope.com. Would you take a moment to go out to standingwithhope.com and see how you can give? They go walking and leaping and praising God. You can be a part of that at standingwithhope.com.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-01-24 11:20:43 / 2024-01-24 11:26:57 / 6

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