Posts Tagged ‘sunset’

Dare to Care

Many caregivers are forced to make a choice when a loved one’s health makes a sudden decline.

Some have watched a beloved parent, grandparent or other relative battle an illness and then came forward to offer help rather than placing their loved ones in assisted living facilities or hiring strangers to care for them in their homes.

Some work with hospice and some work alone.

clock ten after ten

At a point in time, you made the decision to become a caregiver. You may not remember the exact date or time and you may not remember the details of the situation that led you to the decision. You may not even like considering yourself a caregiver.

For me, the idea of being my mother’s caregiver was difficult to accept.

I’m an editor, a writer and photographer. I’m not a nurse or a caregiver! Am I? How did this happen?

My mother, always so strong and independent, raised eight children to adulthood.

To think that she needed someone to care for her made me extremely emotional.

When she first fell, about eight years ago, no one in the family considered anything other than temporary help during her recovery. After her release from rehab, she stayed with one sister for several months. I spent many weeks with her after she returned home and watched her grow stronger by the day. Her second fall, five years later, didn’t bring speedy recovery.  Her entire left side had nearly crumbled: hip, ribs, shoulder were broken or shattered. Brittle bones splintered and broke as she hit the floor. Her left knee had been replaced years earlier and her right shoulder had been rendered nearly useless from years of folding fabric – similar to tennis elbow.

Her doctors suggested we start looking into nursing homes.

In support of her extreme independence and love of home, the family, instead, had a ramp built onto her small house and hired a “sitter” who  helped with the transition.ramp

For most of those three years, I came home as often as possible to visit and offer respite.

The sitter moved on and family members filled in, doing their best in part-time capacities. They prepared meals, helped with appointments, cleaning, medical needs and socialization. Her overall health has always been excellent, but age makes her frail.

As time passed, her “memory issues” progressed.clock and flowers

Still, we’ve seen the signs that tell us things we don’t want to know. After her second fall, she grew fearful of falling again. She felt less confident in the kitchen, due to her blood thinner, but continues to maintain as much independence as possible, insisting on doing as many personal chores as she can.

 Our occasional visits confirmed our suspicions.

We could no longer ignore the fact that our once strong, powerful, independent mother would eventually need someone to help her with her daily care needs. Eventually became sooner than later.

One day, it became clear. The time is now. The who is “us.”

 Sarasota Sunset

My husband and I made the easiest hard decision of our lives and we became my mother’s

Housekeeper

Activities Director

Nutritionist &

Companions

Each day bring a new adventure, a new challenge and a new lesson. As the entire family adjusts to the new dynamics in our household, we redefine our ideas of family and relationships, we grow closer as mother and daughter, husband and wife, mother-in-law and son-in-law and we deepen our love and respect for one another.

Follow Us