Saturday, December 31, 2011

Ready set dont go part two

Where do you begin to prepare for a child to move away? Is it even possible? As i tried to prepare myself the past two weeks since my daughters final decission i relize one can never prepare for what youve never been through before. Ive always been fortunate in that all my kids and parents live within a couple miles from me. Any major events, and we seem to have plenty, were right here. The thought of 10 hours apart scares the heck out of me and i cant even imagine what changes are about to come. I feel such a loss and emptiness already as we say our goodbyes this evening after a big family dinner. No more weekend sleep overs, last minute dinners or someone to hang out with. No more rushing to her side or rescuing me. Camping, family picnics and gatherings won't be the same.

More than my loss however, is the loss a child will feel. As I struggle to deal with my own emotions I remain strong for her. How will she handle all of this when she relizes what has all happened? I pray for the best and ask for guidance as we all start the new year with a whole new chapter in this journey in our lives.

Here's to new beginnings, strength to pull us all through changes we will endure and the love and patience as we find new ways to stay close.

Good luck in your new adventures. May god keep you safe. Know we love you dearly.

this is where I want to but I wont get in her way, of her and her dreams, and spreading her wings....

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Choking prevention

My grown kids are always teasing me about being overly protective and concerned of choking. I never think we can be alert enough to all the hidden dangers or hear it enough. In an effort to prove my position i ran across this great article i wanted to share.

What can I do to keep my child from choking?
Choking is a very common cause of unintentional injury or death in children under age one, and the danger remains significant until the age of five. Objects such as safety pins, small parts from toys, and coins cause choking, but food is responsible for most incidents. You must be particularly watchful when children around the age of one are sampling new foods. Here are some additional suggestions for preventing choking.

Don’t give young children hard, smooth foods (i.e., peanuts, raw vegetables) that must be chewed with a grinding motion. Children don’t master that kind of chewing until age four, so they may attempt to swallow the food whole. Do not give peanuts to children until age seven or older.
Don’t give your child round, firm foods (like hot dogs and carrot sticks) unless they are chopped completely. Cut or break food into bite-size pieces (no larger than ½ inch [1.27 cm]) and encourage your child to chew thoroughly.
Supervise mealtime for your infant or young child. Don’t let her eat while playing or running. Teach her to chew and swallow her food before talking or laughing.
Chewing gum is inappropriate for young children.
Because young children put everything into their mouths, small non-food objects are also responsible for many choking incidents. Look for age guidelines in selecting toys, but use your own judgment concerning your child. Also be aware that certain objects have been associated with choking, including uninflated or broken balloons; baby powder; items from the trash (e.g., eggshells, pop-tops from beverage cans); safety pins; coins; marbles; small balls; pen or marker caps; small, button- type batteries; hard, gooey, or sticky candy or vitamins; grapes; and popcorn. If you’re unsure whether an object or food item could be harmful, you can purchase a standard small-parts cylinder at juvenile products stores or test toys using a toilet paper roll, which has a diameter of approximately 1¾ inches.

Last Updated 10/20/2010
Source Caring for Your Baby and Young Child: Birth to Age 5 (Copyright © 2009 American Academy of Pediatrics)

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

When caregiving ends

Family caregivers experience a range of emotions and stages in their lives when providing care for a loved one. Several different resources cite levels of caregiving, and while some stages differ depending on the source, one fact remains constant – eventually, the caregiving will end.

If you are caring for an elderly relative, the end of your caregiving days may be marked by the death of your loved one. As a caregiver, you have experienced the ups and downs of caregiving – taking time from your own family responsibilities to provide care, perhaps suffering a financial burden and balancing multiple budgets, and realizing your loved one is not who he or she used to be. You have incorporated caring within the possibly already hectic routine of caring for your own family, work, and other responsibilities. It has been hard and stressful. However, your love for the one you cared for made caregiving worth your while.

It is not uncommon for the post-caregiver to feel an utter sense of loss when caregiving ends. You will experience heartache as you mourn the loss of your loved one, but you also find yourself at a crossroad in your life as to what to do now. No more phone calls for assistance. No more visits filled with playing games, dining together or simply reminiscing about good times. When once you felt worry over your loved one, that burden is gone - leaving behind a void in your life. Your grief is compounded as it overlaps the sense of who you are…and who you are going to become once the caregiving phase has ended. Your entire daily routine is filled with broad gaps that once were filled by the physical and emotional acts of caregiving.

You may find it interesting to know some research shows that many caregivers are better situated to deal with the end of their caregiving days than they realize. The family caregiver has lived this role, possibly for quite some time. Caring for an elderly loved one, especially a mother or father, illustrates the essence of life coming full circle. People in these roles have faced and grieved the loss of their loved one long before physical loss occurs. Once caregiving ends, there is a mourning process but there is also a sense of frightening wonder as to where to go from that point.

However, research shows that once caregivers overcome the immediate sense of loss, they find they are organized, financially savvy and highly efficient. Post-caregivers are also able to identify and balance their own wellbeing better than non-caregivers. These qualities may put them heads above the rest in terms of gainful employment after caregiving responsibilities end. Adjusting to new life may be a change, but their experience as caregivers presents a set of tools that help determine their next steps in life.

This is good news and important for family caregivers to know. While it may be sad for a loved one to pass away, post-caregivers can look back and know they accomplished something meaningful, worthwhile, and made a difference in the life of someone else. They realize how they enriched their own lives through the caregiving process and find comfort in the experience. Once this knowledge takes root, these post-caregivers can set forth confidently, and continue making a positive impact…wherever they may choose to go.


Marla Berg-Weger, Ph.D., LCSW, Doris McGartland Rubio, Ph.D. & Susan Tebb, Ph.D., LSW and Lisa A. Parnell, MSW (2011).
When caregiving is over: the well being of caregivers of parents of dementia.