I'd like to share this recent experience with the caregivers who feel guilty when they put their parents in assisting living or another type of care facility, or bring in help to their homes. My mother, 97, is very easy to take care of. No trouble yet with her personal ADLs, no need to lift her, she moves around with a walker. But after a few years of "being on" all the time, you get exhausted without even realizing it. And you feel guilty when you just long to stay in bed in the morning as long as you want to...or you dread her next doctor appointment because you have to get her in and out of the car twice, up and down the ramp twice, probably to the ladies' room at the doctor's office once or twice... I have felt generally pretty bad for at least a year. Then in November I had a health emergency involving two surgeries, a week in intensive care and three weeks in rehab. My mother went into assisted living, as her doctors and mine agreed that I would no longer be able to care for her. I lay there in the nursing facility letting the nurses take care of me and started feeling better and better. Incision and surgery-related pains aside, I felt as if the IVs were pumping me full of something called "good health." Physical rehab went so fast that the rehab staff later referred to me as a miracle cure. All these good things are the measures of how terrible the stress had become before my surgery. And I didn't even realize it. And my situation was much easier than that of many caregivers. So watch yourself. Pay attention to the folks who tell you to take care of yourself. And start looking at local care facilities before your parent needs one, so that you have a plan if the need arises unexpectedly. Good luck and warm hugs to all of you.