“Caregiving often calls us to lean into love we didn’t know possible.” -Tia Walker

Did you see the 60 Minutes segment last Sunday about a couple struggling with the trauma of Alzheimer’s Disease?

The program followed the couple over several years showing the woman slowly sinking into dementia. Her husband took care of her by himself until the burden became too great and he hired care takers to help. Finally, when it was evident there was nothing left of her spirit in the ravaged body, he put her in a nursing home.

Such a sad story, repeated so many times. I have friends who are trapped in that painful dilemma of giving so much of themselves and feeling guilty when it’s not enough — and it never is.

Perhaps you are a caregiver, working so hard and having to make so many tough decisions. My heart goes out to you, and I give you the only thing I can, my deep admiration and these words: “Caregiving often calls us to lean into love we didn’t know possible.”

And if you were a 24 hour caretaker but could no longer continue? As 60 Minutes showed so poignantly, sometimes selfless love requires turning over the daily chores to others who are more equipped to help. I’m sure drawing that line was the hardest decision you ever made.

Would any of you like to share your caregiving stories?

4 Comments

  1. Coelle Baskel on April 29, 2018 at 10:27 am

    My husband and I were involved in home caregiving after my mother who was living with us at the time had a stroke and was paralyzed on her whole left side with speech affected. After a little over a year of this caregiving with lots of physical challenges, we found a wonderful ‘group home’ that specialized in caregiving in a ‘house’ environment with around the clock caregiving…each resident having their own bedroom…with the different Hospice nurses coming in weekly to see each resident. We discovered these ‘group homes’ were quite abundant in our area giving you choices to interview before selecting a’fit’ for your loved one. In fact they are quite abundant in both CA and AZ. It was so helpful to us and we found much more ‘hands-on=caring’ with personalized care than you find in ‘for-profit’ nursing homes. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend them.

    • Emilie Richards on May 7, 2018 at 11:50 am

      I’m so glad you found a solution that’s working for all of you. I know that took a lot of thought.

  2. Sharon Forbes on May 7, 2018 at 8:16 am

    My husband and I, fortunately, at this point in time, don’t have too serious caregiver issues, but I think it may get harder as time goes on…my mom is almost 85, and his mom is almost 80, my mom has already had a lobe of her left lung removed from lung cancer. His mom is diabetic (insulin dependant), she also has heart disease, and congestive heart failure. Amazingly, they both do very well considering, still live alone, but they are both dependant on us for transportation, and as I have health challenges of my own (I’m disabled, breast cancer survivor, have a colostomy, and very bad arthritis in my knees, hearing inpaired), I often wonder and pray on what the future holds for us all.

    • Emilie Richards on May 7, 2018 at 11:49 am

      Sharon, this might be a good time to look around for solutions for problems that are on their way. You’re dealing with a lot, and I commend you for just putting one foot in front of the other every day. Sending good thoughts.

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