Bobbi was the in-home caregiver for her mentally and physically ill father-in-law, Rodger, for seven years. Issues they dealt with included Parkinson’s disease, schizophrenia, heart disease, dementia and severe dysphagia. She wrote the book "Confessions of an Imperfect Caregiver" and also blogs about the realities of caring for a loved one.

Articles

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When the world doesn't make sense to Rodger, I sometimes have to fib to calm him down. The truth is, there's no real consensus among caregivers about the ethical nature of therapeutic lying.

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I used to think that, because I was a caregiver, I wasn't allowed to cry--it was a sign of weakness. Until one day I just couldn't hold it in any longer.

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Does your loved one suffer from mental illness or any form of dementia that causes them to be delusional, have hallucinations or hear voices? How do you handle it?

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Look around. Whom do you see? All across the world, in every country, we are there. We are the caregivers. Yet we are alone.

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I don't get it. Why is it so hard to do good work?

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Navigating my father-in-law's health care over the past few months had been like riding a roller coaster. It seemed like things were getting better, but why was I still so tired, frustrated and hurt?

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I could tell that my father-in-law was off his medication, but to my surprise, his nurses had no idea. My frustration turned to anger as I tried to rectify this and other oversights in his care.

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After yet another setback with my father-in-law’s health, I was determined to go home and decompress. But, as I sat in my car, I began to wonder who this man I agreed to care for really was.

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When someone you love is mentally ill, it can be challenging to figure out who they truly are. I thought I knew my father-in-law after all these years, but a mistake with his medication for schizophrenia left me second-guessing myself.

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Of all the things I wish I had known before becoming a caregiver for someone with schizophrenia, this information tops the list.

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When life's challenges became so very hard, as they inevitably do, I would sometimes think, I want my mother. I want to go home.

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