Caregiver Blog, News Feeds, Video Feeds, Useful Links

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Creativity and Caregiving - Reducing Stress by Creative Writing

For a change of pace I am offering some creative writing I did recently. Since I came back from my recent trip to the Oregon coast with crutches, one leg in a velcro cast and the other in several braces, I have been turning to creativity to reduce stress. I always enjoyed creative writing as a child. The Oregon coast was wild and inspiring. Along with slide shows in previous posts here is a bit of poetry about the "wild rivers coast" of Oregon.

The Oregon Coast Spirit
by Kristi Marie Gott
Remember images so soothing,
Such a comfort in the night.
Tall firs along a river.
Bare aspens, mountains beyond.
Wild beaches full of driftwood.
Redwoods for a hundred miles.
No sound but the wind and water.
Birdsong breaks the silence.
Elk graze near a lost lagoon.
Deer take dainty steps in fields.
Snow heavy on the fir tree boughs.
New ice like thin glass on ponds.
A dozen mountain ridges fade to the sky.
Imagine all that peace and freedom.
The spirit loosed from bonds flies high,
The wellsprings of the soul reborn.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Surviving Temporary or Long Term Disabilities -

At people with a disability can join a community of bloggers who share the details of living with a disability. With both my knees in casts or braces after the accident and a set of crutches I am searching for ways to survive alone right now. With no one to lift a wheelchair into the car I am crutching around short distances and learning what it is like to use creativity to do even some of the simplest daily tasks.

Reading the blogs by people experienced with surviving with disabilities has taught me a lot about skills and mental attitude. For instance the blog at by michael_angel-o8, a TBI patient, tells Michael's story. In My Story and How I Make It Each Day he tells how he was almost crushed by a truck in 1980 and how he has coped with the disability.

If you read the blog by Tiffiny you can get insight from her experiences dealing with a personal care aide.

Blogger timpoindexter, who works for disaboom, has an informative post about Brian Sterner, the quadraplegic who was dumped from his wheelchair by a detention deputy. The video of this is also in Tim's blog.

People who are disabled, caregivers for those with disabilities, as well as those of us who have disabling injuries that make take time to heal, can join the community at and share with others as well as learn.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Trading Places - An Accident Puts a Caregiver in the Opposite Position

My switch from caregiver to care-receiver happened like this. My shoe, wet from the rain, slipped on the steps. I suddenly found myself lying in a tangle at the bottom of the steps with my knees twisted. The popping and pain let me know there was a serious injury. Calling for help, being carried to the car, and going through the emergency room were all familiar from my years in the caregiver and health care field, except this time the one who fell was me.

Back home from the travels, it looks like there are several knee surgeries in the future. One leg is in a velcro type cast from top to ankle, the other in several braces, and I'm navigating on crutches. I drove 800 miles home alone with my two dogs in the car, and learned a lot about what it's like to try to open heavy doors to restrooms, hotels and fast food restaurants in this condition.

With one knee not bearing weight and the other bearing some weight my arms are getting a work out on the crutches. I learned to keep the arms straight so they bear the weight.

My rescued lab retriever mix has turned out to be a wonderful therapy dog, and now he is rescuing me. I bought him a dog backpack and he walks next to me and my crutches in stores and carries the milk, juice and a few things out in the dog backpack. He seems to love to work, smiling and wagging his tail, and his spirits are giving me an uplift.

The other rescued dog, a four and a half pound papillon-chihuahua type mix is also doing her bit, licking my hands and face, curled up on my lap, gazing at me with her beautiful eyes.

Best wishes to everyone, more later, Kristi

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

My Traveling Caregiver Experiences - Oregon Coast Slide Show

My traveling caregiver recent experiences include visiting the Oregon coast. It's a long way from the California Central Coast, about 800 miles. The spectacular wilderness, giant redwoods, Stonehenge type rock formations on the beaches, and beauty of nature have been like a dream come true. The windswept wilderness beaches are awesome and inspiring. Below is a slideshow for everyone. Enjoy. Kristi

Senior Meal Delivery Programs Provide a Way for Someone to Check on Seniors Who Live Alone

Carol Bradley Bursack, author of the nationally known book Minding Our Elders, writes on Feb. 4, 2008 at about "Caregiver Isolation: Don't Do It - Reach Our to Your Community!" The article describes a recent news item about a caregiver and her mother. The daughter died from a brain aneurism and the mother, who had Alzheimer's, evidently fell down the stairs, broke a hip, and lay there to die. They were not found for several days because they were so isolated. Many times adult children or relatives have mentioned to me that they signed up for Meals on Wheels or a Senior Nutrition Program that delivers meals so that someone would knock on the door once a day and check to see if everyone is OK.

Especially for a senior who lives alone, this can be an important safety measure. If there is no answer at the door when the meal is delivered, and there is no note on the door to explain why, then the meal delivery person reports this and authorities check to see why no one can answer the door.

Additionally, the meal delivery person visits for a moment and has an opportunity to see if a crisis is developing. For instance, if a senior lives alone and appears to be experiencing a new health difficulty, the meal delivery person can report this.

If there are no relatives close by, and if both the caregiver and the care-recipient are in frail health, having meals delivered Monday through Friday provides one way to check on them. Other ways include daily telephone calls from relatives, church members, or neighbors or members of a senior center who sometimes do this.