Life as a Caregiver: Taking Care of Elderly Family
The Experiment
We all desire a sense of purpose in life. This does not change as we age, but waning abilities leave few options for our loved ones to feel fulfilled.

Life as a Caregiver

How to Avoid Dementia Difficulties on Outings
After Mum’s jokes didn't go over well with airport security, I decided to keep something “up my sleeve” to discreetly inform people of her dementia and help us avoid awkward situations.
The Medication Monkey
Mum hasn’t been herself lately, and it’s been weighing heavily on my mind. Perhaps something is wrong with her medication regimen, or it could be what I dread most: her Alzheimer’s disease is progressing.
A Rest Home Sleepover
We may eventually have to consider transitioning our loved ones to independent or assisted living, nursing care, or even memory care. Of course, many of us have visited these places, but do we truly know what living there is like?
A Perfect Day
Although Mum didn’t remember the details of our picture-perfect day together, she was very happy. With dementia, the memories may not stick anymore, but the feelings and emotions attached to them still linger.
Recognizable Changes
I see Mum fading in and out of reality, sometimes recognizing the severity of her illness and other times not even realizing something is wrong. All I can do is go through the motions with her.
Half-Truths: Sometimes You Have No Choice
Christmas has come and gone, but in Mum’s mind the planning has just begun. When her anxiety returns and her questions become repetitive, white lies are what alleviate her worries.
Constructs of Reality
As Mum’s memory fades, the realities of her everyday life seem to go as well. It’s like acting in a strange play with half of the cues missing.
Hard Stuff
For the last ten years, Mum and I have been navigating a different kind of relationship. Things turn into a kind of dance with dementia, and sometimes it’s awfully hard.
Hydrotherapy with Mum
I could tell Mum was nervous, but with her new bathing suit and some gentle encouragement, her confidence grew. Surprisingly, a day at the pool left her feeling marvelous.

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