While in high school I watched my mom become the primary caregiver for an aging grandmother who had multiple serious health issues including Alzheimer’s, Dementia, and several strokes. Of course, 17-year-old me was oblivious to what an overwhelming challenge it was for mom to be the caretaker to my grandma while also being mom at home.
Now, years after grandma has past, mom is doing her second tour of duty helping to take care of her husband’s mother. While no one experience of caretaking is exactly the same, my mother has years of knowledge to share with any future caregiver. I was able to sit down with her this week and ask real questions about what it is like to provide care to an aging parent.
QUESTION: When did you first realize that grandma needed help?
ANSWER: “The first time I noticed something was not quite right was when she went into the wrong house and kept asking the people in the home where I was. She eventually played it off as a silly mistake, but over the course of the next six months we began to see her become more and more confused. For mom it became clear that she was losing her cognitive ability to live independently much sooner than she lost her physical ability to live at home.”
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If you or someone you know is taking care of an aging parent please tell us what you are doing to make the experience better by commenting below or reaching out to us on social media using the hashtag #Caregiver.