Outside looking in, from a caregivers perspective!
Dementia (and the fact shes 95 years old) are taking over a grandma I still love but don't really know anymore. She has lived with my aunt for 2 years, but was on her own still in her own house. Pretty Cool! Anyway, my mother her brother and his wife and the aunt she now lives with are all local and help out. Thank goodness! One sister lives 4 hours away and comes when she can. Here's the problem, taking care of someone weather it be terminal, age related, or whatever is by far the most emotional, physical, and non routine work ever! I have cared for cancer patients and spent nights (Sleepless) and understand to some extent what my aunt is going through. The difference is I went home whenever needed got refreshed then went back. My aunt, even with help, doesn't get that luxury. Often people tend to give opinions on how our care could be better(not from a professional) how were to stern, or my favorite, why are we laughing at her. Heres the deal, every person and situation is different and finding the groove that works for all caregivers involved can be hard but with support, compassion, and humor I find this to be the greatest job ever! My aunt is doing wonderful and yes, gets frustrated on the no sleep, asking same question over and over, or clean up every 2 second days but is a trooper. I might get a bit of her,leftover, (lets call it) outbursts but know its not personal. If people re not familiar with the down and dirty of how this type of care can be they tend to be very misled on what can or cant work and how and how not things should go. Humor is a tension breaker and a must for us. One of my cousins was very hurt and felt I was making fun of my grandmother, I tried to explain that when she comes up with an off the wall comment or makes a statement that was pulled out from who knows where and I continue on with her and by the end I had to make a comment that usually makes both us laugh, is not making fun of her. She did not choose for this to happen nor to have her mind taken over at times by a cruel disease. For those few short times when we get her back its awesome but more and more shes disappearing. Hard to see this happen! I understand from the outside looking in it looks easy and people must throw in their 2 cents, but for the most part i think most of us doing this type of care have a handle on things and if help is needed we surely will seek it! My admiration and thanks go to all of you who have decided home care is best for you and your loved one. I Thank my family, for all your love and support for grandma! I love you all so much!