As a Care Advocate and former caregiver, I realize that caring for a loved one can be challenging. Over the years, I have had numerous discussions with different families with each having their own unique caregiving situation. One caregiver’s story has stayed with me and I consider her a caregiving role model.
My discussions with Robin started when she needed home care options for her mother who had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease several years before. Her family had multiple conversations that included her mother about what to do when mom could no longer live on her own. The family contemplated several options; place her in a facility, have her move into one of her children’s home, or have someone move back to the “family” home, but most of these discussions ended with disagreements, arguments, hurt feelings, and anger.
Eventually it was decided that Robin would move back home to help care for her mother. Robin and her mother greeted this new life phase and transition with a sense of adventure. At the beginning it was an adjustment learning to live together after having lived separately for so many years. However, soon being “roommates” became natural.
As Robin’s mother’s diagnosis progressed, her capabilities changed and adjustments to her care had to be made. However, Robin still managed to find ways to keep up her mother’s quality of life by playing music in the home, whistling or humming, seeing and being around children, and laughing together.
The time Robin spent as her mother’s caregiver wasn’t always easy, but she was able to spend quality time with her and provide help when she needed it the most in her life. While Robin allowed her mother to stay in her home as her condition changed, Robin’s mother showed her the true meaning of compassion, caring and patience.
Not all caregivers are able to make a move like Robin but caregivers of all types should remember to try and find the best in every situation and know that it is okay to ask for help and take assistance when it is offered.
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