Confession: I’m a caregiver, and I have no idea what I’m doing.
Two years ago, I shifted from a 25-year sales career to becoming the primary caregiver for my mother, who lives 3000 miles away. Mom’s been suffering from Alzheimer’s for the past few years, I learned, as I spent more time with her. And she’s aware that she’s slowly slipping, but refuses to acknowledge this, because of her religious beliefs. Disease of any type is a topic we never talk about. For her, to acknowledge dementia would be to admit that it’s real and to believe that God’s plan has been altered.
She doesn’t need overnight care yet, but recently, I hired a paid caregiver to help out when I travel “home” every two months. Home, I’ve found, is not a place. It’s wherever my heart takes me.
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Welcome to Taking Care, a different way to view caregiving. With a slight twist on the standard 140-character tweets, I honor the caregiver’s need for a quick fix — every post will be 140 words or less.
I’ll share my life and caregiving tips through the lens of a fifty-something only child with no children of my own, last living blood relative and long-distance caregiver to my divorced parents. My 84-year-old dad is holding things together pretty well. Mom, an 81-year old with moderate dementia, needs more help. Her religious beliefs do not permit any type of medicine, care or even acknowledgement of disease, a supreme challenge for me. On a daily basis, I’m learning to navigate through the emotional rollercoaster of caregiving — patience, humor, sadness, positivity, anger, success and failure.
Join me on the journey!