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Topic: No longer caregiver, but want to be member of this group

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Subject: No longer caregiver, but want to be member of this group
Date Posted: 3/30/2009 8:35 AM ET
Member Since: 3/26/2009
Posts: 3
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Hi.  My name is Teresa.  Several years ago, I cared for my father in my own home while he was in the later stages of Alzheimer's Disease.  I am no longer a caregiver, but I went back to school shortly after his death in order to train to become a counselor for others in similar circumstances to what I had been.  I started out a high school grad, but after 6 years I am one year away from my Master's degree in Human Services-Counseling Studies.  I hope to one day work with (primarily) caregivers of those with dementia or Alzheimer's disease, either professionally or on a volunteer basis.  I will be 60 y/o this year, so I understand how taxing caregiving can be when you yourself are not all that young; I was in my 50s and going through menopause when caring for my Dad.  As I read your posts, I am hoping this will help me keep up to date on new information.  Caregiving is often a lonely and thankless job, but a necessary one.   Thank you to all of you who work day to day caring for others.

Teresa G.

 

Subject: Caregiving is an ironic gift! Would like to join the discussion.
Date Posted: 4/4/2009 11:17 PM ET
Member Since: 3/25/2009
Posts: 2
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Hi Teresa. Congrats for your success, my friend. My name is Daphne and I also cared for my father who had Alz. who is deceased now. My father's story was a complicated one, but he left my home for a young woman he had been married to previously and found himself dropped in a nursing home. His story went downhill from there. The sorrow of his loss and being in the nursing home and my not being able to help him has been overwhelming at times. I too was an "unconventional student". I started back to school after working several years for the Texas Dept. of Mental Health and Mental Retardation. I was working full time and going to school part time when my dad was admitted to the nursing home. I finally quit my job and continued to go to school full time. I quit my job in June and started to school full time in the fall. In Nov. of that year, my husband had a massive heart attack (flat-lined for 15min.) and survived! Two years later, my father passed away in 2004. The next spring I graduated (same day as my youngest son) with a bachelor's degree in Social Work. I have been working for 3 years now at a nursing home caring for those with Alzheimer's, Dementia and an assortment of ailments and mental health problems. I'm "on call" and/or PRN for a Home Health agency and the local Hospital's Senior Focus Group as a group facilitator. I love my job/jobs! About a year ago I became a volunteer for the Alz. Assn. and am a Support Group facilitator at the nursing home once a month. All of this collage of experience has taught me so much and I feel privilaged to be making a contribution to those who were in a similar situation as my own. May God bless you, as well, for your insights and caring.