I Am A Care Giver To My Spouse

What have you done to make life easier for yourself and your spouse/friend that has IBM?

jimter27 jimter27
56-60, F
1 Response Feb 16, 2010

My husband was diagnosed with IBM about 5 years ago. Being a very active person, it has been hard for him to adjust and accept the fact that he will be in a wheelchair someday. He will now use a walking stick when we will be walking a long distance. In the grocery store, I have had to let him push the cart since it acts like a walker. We have put in a few handicap items in our house such as handrails, higher toilets, shower chair, a Lazy Boy recliner that helps push him out of the chair and very few rugs. He does have a handicap sticker for parking. When we eat out, we always ask for a table because booths are to difficult and low for him to get out. As a spouse caregiver, I have had a lot of adjusting to do. I always pictured us growing old together, wakling along the beach, taking more overseas trips and being the fun, active grandparents we always wanted to be.I hate seeing my wonderful husband going through this and not being able to help him, except with patience and support. I hope this helps some of you other caregivers.

My husband was diagnosed with IBM about two years ago and his muscles continue to weaken. He now uses a walker and a lift chair. Our comfort height toilet is further elevated by a platform, but now he struggles to get off of it and he cannot use handicap toilets because they are too low. He cannot make a fist, cannot tie his shoes, zip or button clothing and we have to be very careful to use lots of sauces and condiments with his food because he has difficulty swallowing. We have our down days but still have a sense of humor to help us get through it. Would be wonderful to have someone to talk to who understands.

My husband has IBM. He was diagnosed in 2004. To help with the toilet issue we purchased a Neptune Toilet Lift which worked great for five years. We also had a Tush Push Toilet Lift for when we traveled. To help him get up from his lift chair, I put 7" sofa legs on the chair. I put 7 inch bed risers under the bed so he could get up. He went from a cane to crutches to arm crutches, to a three wheel scooter, to a regular wheelchair to a specialized wheelchair. Two years ago we purchased a hospital bed that lowers to 7" from the floor and that has proven helpful when he has fallen and the paramedics had to get him onto the bed. Since he could not turn over in bed anymore we found a rotating air mattress that turns him all night long. He really likes that. About a year ago he fell three times in four days and I decided it was time for no more walking because of the danger of serious injury. So I now use a Tack-a-Long Patient Lift that is small, convenient for using in small spaces and is portable so we can travel with it. We love it. I have even taken it to the surgery clinic when he had his cataract surgery and we needed to transfer him from his wheelchair to the surgical table. Since he can no longer stand to dress I found tear-a-way athletic pants on the internet and they work great for dressing him. We use a computer table for eating and using the computer. I put it at the table for eating regular meals. We found an extra long shower transfer seat. I use patient lift to get him from the bed to the shower seat, then slide him into the shower while he is still on the patient sling. We have done many more things to make life easier and I will be glad to share them with you and answer any questions you may have. Keep your sense of humor and laugh even when it is really not funny. That is what has gotten us through this.