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Saturday, February 23, 2019

Life As A Caregiver

We are soldiering on day by day caring for my 97 year old father.  It's hard to see him so slowed down and nearly helpless after growing up under his parenting.  He was an energetic, brilliant man who could do almost anything he put his mind to.  I learned so much from him.

Now he isn't sure what day of the week it is and needs help with everyday basic tasks.  We do whatever we can to make him comfortable and happy, whether it be putting on his favorite TV shows (Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy) to serving him his unending love for another bowl of strawberry ice cream.

We've had doctor visits, a night in the hospital when we though he had a stroke (he didn't) and have a visiting home health nurse and physical therapist several times a week to closely monitor his health.

When the weather cooperates, we have him outside enjoying the sun and fresh air for a change of pace.  We get him out to various places as much as we can but it really tires him out so we have to be very careful.

The bottom line is we will keep him here at our home as long as we can, glad to be able to provide a safe and warm environment for him.  As for our life, we have put it on hold, we have only limited days with him and would not want to look back and be sorry for not doing enough for him.

The Journey patiently awaits in a nearby storage lot.  I try to get over every other week to check up on it.  At least once a month I start up the generator and engine and drive it around the storage lot in circles for a bit.  When I have more time I take it for a long drive up and down the nearby interstate.

The house batteries are starting to show their age as the are over five years old.  I have a list of items I want to take care of this coming spring to get things up to 100%.  First on the list is an overall wash, it is amazing how dirty the Journey gets just sitting.  At least there are no new bugs stuck on the front.

We are planning a trip in June with the Journey to Disney World's Fort Wilderness with our daughter and grandsons Andrew and Owen.  It will be good to get out on the road for a bit.  We have been making arrangements for my brother to take my Dad for the time we're away.  Haven't quite figured out how we'll juggle him back and forth from SC to NJ and back but we'll find a way.

We've had occasional thoughts of downsizing the Journey to a smaller RV, but at this time  it just doesn't make sense.  We'd never get a return on the money the Journey cost (ah the joys of a depreciating asset) but we do like the large room and sleeping space (8 beds!) for our Disney visits and trips with the grandkids.   So we'll continue to hang on to it.  Hard to believe it's 12 years old already, seems like just the other day we drove it brand new off the dealer's lot.  It's got a little wear and tear on it but there is a lot of life and miles left in it.  Hopefully I have the same!  :c)



  1. Good to hear from you two!! Eldercare and family care is all part of life. Your Dad is so lucky to have you two doing that for him. We do know it can take its toll on the caregivers, but we're with you in not wanting to look back with regrets!!

    Hope the Disney trip works out and you get to enjoy the Magic!!!

  2. Nice to hear from you and really appreciate what you are doing for you father. It will be nice to get out and a road trip for the journey with the family.

  3. As Our Awesome Travels said, it's good to hear from you and we wish you all the best as you guys care for your father--you are a godsend to him!

  4. Good for you caring for your father. At 97, he has certainly had a great life even though it's frustrating to see the deterioration.

    The house batteries are starting to show their age as the are over five years old.

    Our Trojan T-105's will be nine years old next month, and they get a lot of use!

  5. Am I sure your dad appreciates all you are doing for him. I have not had to do what you are doing now, but I know from what my sister has been thru with my mother and aunt that it takes a personnel toll. At my age I am most likely going to be the one who needs help rather than providing it. What you are doing is a really great thing!

  6. Time with your Dad is so very precious and many people don't realize that. It's not easy - in fact it's really hard - but oh so worth it. I am really happy you are going to be able to take a trip with family. I hope you have a fantastic time.

  7. You may not realize it but down deep your Father knows you are taking care of him. Enjoy as much time as you can at this time as you mentioned the timer is ticking.
    You might just use the Journey to bring your Father to NJ and Back. He can rest while you're putting on the miles.
    Nice hearing from you after a long absence.
    Be Safe and Enjoy the Family outing to Disney.

    It's about time.

  8. I feel for you. I completely understand what you are going through. Your Dad sounds like he is where my Mom was a year or two ago and it sounds like he still has some quality of life. Hang in there.

  9. I can understand why you put your own lives on hold to take care of your father. That’s what happens when we go to Turkey, though in our case my mom is still rather active, despite her Parkinsons. Enjoy the time with your cherished father.

  10. We too have our lives on hold while caring for Mom. There have been times we've wanted to give up the RV and get a home where we all could live. I'm not sure we'd survive that :) Right now Mom is doing great and appreciates that we're here in the area for her. God bless the caregiver! Glad you're able to get away in June for some grandtreasure time.

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