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Home » The Homestead Life

Big Changes for Us.

Submitted by on April 26, 2016 – 6:55 am 31 Comments
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Hi guys,

I wanted to give a quick update since it has been a while since I’ve posted anything on my blog.

Earlier this month my grandfather was released from the hospital after two weeks of battling complications from the flu. He had to be intubated and was in the ICU for several days. By God’s grace his condition improved, and although he developed pneumonia he was able to go home to finish his recovery.

My grandfather is in the early stages of Alzheimer’s, and has been living alone for about a year now since my grandmother’s passing. His mental and physical health have put him in a position that will require 24 hour care for the foreseeable future.

I have been blessed with the opportunity to be his in-home caregiver… at least for as long as I can manage the task. My children and I are living with my grandfather throughout the week, and going home for a break on the weekends. My husband comes and eats dinner with us every night, but he has to go back home afterward in order to take care of the animals. Fortunately, it’s only about a 15 minute drive between homes.

This has been a big change for us, obviously. My grandpa has a huge house in a nice suburban development. It’s very different from our humble country homestead. The kids were fascinated by all of the electronic gadgets, especially in the kitchen. A dishwasher, a garbage disposal, a trash compactor, a microwave, a toaster, an electric can-opener, an ice maker… they wanted to know what everything does! I must admit, it has been nice with everything I’m doing during the day to have those modern conveniences once again. Especially a dishwasher, clothes dryer, and super hot water with amazing water pressure. Although, I’ve found that my taste buds have been spoiled by our old fashioned coffee percolator. An electric coffee pot just doesn’t do coffee justice. One thing I’ve had to get used to is a television being on pretty much 24-7. The kids have already been exposed to stuff I’d much rather they not see, so it has been an adjustment trying to keep them away from the screen.

During the day I homeschool the kids, cook our meals, clean, help my grandpa get to and from the bathroom, make sure he takes his meds, give him breathing exercises and breathing treatments, keep his oxygen cannula in, monitor his vitals, keep him comfy and happy, and let the coming and going nurses in and out.

The kids love having a paved driveway to ride their bikes and skateboards on, and a large finished basement to play in. But they’re still learning the dangers of living in a neighborhood. They can’t just run outside to play in the yard anymore. There are cars zooming by and people walking around all the time. There are so many doors in this house leading to the outside, it was tricky the first few days keeping the younger kiddos in sight. I think they’ve finally adjusted to the rules here though.

My family was concerned that it might be too much for me to take care of four kids and my grandpa. I realize that at some point it will be too much. But I really want to do as much as I can for him for as long as I am able. How long will that be? I have no idea. Maybe weeks. Maybe months. Maybe years. As long as I can be of assistance, I will be here.

I’ll still be doing what I can around the homestead on the weekends. We have many projects in the works. I will post here on the blog every now and then as I’m able, but right now my focus has shifted away from the online community and more toward home. Where it should be.

Say a prayer for me as I embrace my role as caregiver to this precious man. It has already been a blessing to watch the compassion my children are learning from taking care of somebody else. However long we are able to be here, I think this experience will always stick with them.

 

31 Comments »

  • Bonnie Foll says:

    Kendra, Once Again, You Display Your Outstanding Character & Love to the Rest of Us! I took Care of My Mom thru Many Health Problems, So I Know the difficulties in That Alone, WITHOUT 4 KIDS!!! GOD BLESS You Girl, My Prayers Will be with You and your family!!

  • Jay Stec says:

    Hi Kendra,
    I know this sounds a little hippie but after caring for many Alzheimer’s and dementia patients, I found that (since we are all connected) when I cared genuinely for them, I was caring for myself and planting seeds in anyone who may have witnessed that care I gave. I felt in those moments that this was what I needed to be doing as my life’s purpose at that time. I have never regretted a single moment of those days. As difficult as it was for everyone involved, I would go through it again if I felt it would make the impact it did. Keep up the good struggle. You will be stronger for it in ways that are hard to calculate. May the good spirits in this world give you the strength you may need. I will keep your family in my thoughts and prayers.

    • Kendra says:

      Thank you so much for your encouragement, Jay. I’ve been caring for my grandfather for six weeks now, and wouldn’t trade that time for anything in this world. I hope I am able to do this for the long haul! I am already seeing what a blessing this has been to my children as well, as they have had the opportunity to love and serve their great-grandfather.

  • Larry K. says:

    Good luck and God bless you. Wishing you all the best!

  • Kim says:

    Prayers for you and your family as you walk this season. Every day is God’s gift! Hugs~

  • Maridy says:

    Good for you! Though it probably was not the easiest decision to make, it was the right one. We did the same thing nearly two years ago, moving in with my in-laws to care for them. Although we moved 600 miles away, so there is no going home on the weekends. We have been immensely blessed for our sacrifice. And now we are finally in a position to take our parents back to the homestead with us. Looking back over the struggles and trials and triumphs of the last two years, we know we did the right thing. God bless you as you put your grandfathers needs above your own.

  • Tiffany says:

    I applaud you and your desire to care for your grandfather. Too many people in this world see our elders as a burden or annoyance that they like to tuck into a corner or house in a facility. What a blessing you are to your grandfather and the life lessons you are teaching your children. Prayers for you and your family while managing his care, your children, and your homestead. Remember to take the time for yourself when things become overwhelming. Take care.

  • Thomas A. Conley says:

    GOD’s Blessing on You. Will remember you in prayer.

  • Diane says:

    May God bless you and your family! It will be a challenge, but the love and connection to family will be irreplaceable. I brought my Dad out to help take care of him, and it was the best and most challenging things I have ever done. Weeks turned into years, and those years turned into amazing memories! You will do great!

  • Tessa says:

    God bless you, dear! We’ve had similar experiences (especially the struggle with the TV!) but the service outweighed the struggles in the end. That’s family. Sending you virtual hugs for the days when it’s just messes and exhaustion.

  • Lisa says:

    Beautiful and difficult we are praying for your family.

  • Good luck on your new adventure with your grandpa! In so many ways this will be way more rewarding than almost anything you’ll ever do. Hugs for you and your grandpa and kiddos. <3

  • Debbie says:

    praying for you sweet Kendra, you are so amazing

  • Shelle says:

    Family is the most important.The work on the Homestead will always be there, but your grandpa won’t. I’m sure you’ll be blessed for your service to this wonderful man.

  • Olivia says:

    You are amazing for what you are doing, my husbands Grandma was recently purchased in a nursing home against her will (her daughter has POA) she had a garden every year and still made home made ravioli by hand at 94 she us miserable and depressed and our hands are tied because of her daughter. I am happy to hear a compassionate story as yours

  • Kristi says:

    Always admire you, sweet girl, and now even more. Go with God and let Him be your strength as you care for your Grandpa. <3

    Kristi

  • Tom says:

    Kendra,

    You are strong intelligent woman, I know you can handle what ever is presented to you.

    T

  • Julie Pullum says:

    I understand exactly what you mean, my mum had dementia and I was her care giver until last July when she had a fall and ended up in hospital and then a nursing home, she just forgot how to walk! I looked after her for nearly 8 years not too bad at the beginning but towards the beginning of summer last year it was getting too much. I didn’t have small children mine are grown up. So as well as doing all you can for your grandpa don’t forget about your health. Take care you are in my thoughts

  • Kaye Yarbrough says:

    You are in my prayers. May God bless you with the strength, patience, wisdom and all that you need.

  • Zabeth Gallagher says:

    Hi Kendra, I was the primary caregiver for my late Father for the last four years of his life. He had moderate Alzheimer’s Disease and also required daily stomach tube feedings due to throat cancer. Hard though it was, I feel blessed to have had the opportunity to nurture someone who had sacrificed so much for me while I was growing up. We grew very close and, fortunately, he never lost the ability to recognize his family members. There is a lot of helpful information online for children caring for a parent with Alzheimer’s that you might find useful (which you have probably already discovered!). Although it will be difficult for you, given all your other family responsibilities, try to find the time to pamper yourself a bit each week – eldercaregiving can be very stressful on the caregiver. Best wishes!

  • Amy says:

    So sorry to hear the news about your grandfather, but HalleluYah he has recovered. I think this time will be a stretching, strengthening, bonding, teaching & spiritual experience for your whole family. Teaching our children how to love like Yeshua loves outlined in 1 Corinthians 13 is vital; what a beautiful opportunity given parameters. I know you will continue to guard your children’s little eyes & ears as they are in the world but NOT of it. May YHVH bless you all during this time. Big hugs!!! P.s. There are actually Altzheimer’s treatments in other parts of the world that are showing great success…

  • Jessica K. says:

    Our prayers are with you Kendra! Don’t be afraid to ask those close to you for help as it is all too easy to burn out. May God bless you and your family during this time.

  • May God help you to pull love, joy, peace and patience from your indwelling spirit as you do this blessed deed. How wonderful of you, Kendra, and smart of you for knowing to take advantage of this time. Praying for strength and wisdom for all of you.

  • Charlotte Moore says:

    That would be a challenge for sure. May GOD give you the strength young to get through this new role you are doing. It is to easy!

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