I am married with a teenaged daughter, we have been caregivers for the last 6 years with very little to no other family support, only the 3 of us, my daughter is now 17 years old and getting ready to graduate high school and surely off to college, I left my full time job 2 years ago when my grandmother needed someone to take care of her, of course nobody came forward, knowing that we already were caregivers, my mother had a stroke which left her immobile and very weak on one side, that is total care, so that was what we needed and knew to do, be all that we can be as the best caregivers, and make her as comfortable as we would be ourselves. Even though we had jobs, bills, a child and all the other responsibilities as adults. So I got information the best that I could be educated, Or how to share was someone did some research on products to use for bathing, cleaning and also found information on agingcare.com, finally, We moved out of our master bedroom and turn it into basically a rehab area for my mom. There all of the things we needed to utilize to better take care of her, her hospital bed, hoyer lift, wheel chair, so everything would be more accessible for us to get things done effectively. We collect care information anywhere we could, we trained each other and applied it for her care and ours, so that we can us our time more efficiently, so we had a routine we had everyone able to do everything with or without the assistance of each other in case something comes up, so we covered each other. It’s our back up plan, it was a good plan, for my husband and I we have each other. We may get my sister to sit for a few hours or maybe a couple of days on a weekend, one weekend and three days of separate occasions out of the 6 years we were able to plan and just get a break.
We are seeing that our daughter is willing to help and have been there with all the way, she needs to enjoy her life as we did, but respectfully she obediently does what is asked of her and does it well, because we trained her and taught her to do what we do to care for mom, we realize someday she’s going to be leaving us and we will have to make a team effort to finish what we started. We are middle aged adults with three adult sons that would come by sometimes or not, we don’t count on that, however, my mother also besides myself has 2 living sons and 2 daughters. 1 daughter that will cover every now and then, when asked in advance, but 2 grown sons with wives, grown children and grandchildren will not call, come, or check on their mother.
Out of the last 6 years we have invited them to come, many times, the door has been always open, there were no excuses, except they don’t want to share some of their time with their mother. I haven’t forgot who she is, my husband is just her son in law, didn’t really have to assume the responsibility to care for some other man's mother like this, while her sons are living and breathing and seems to be enjoying their lives, while we can’t go, or barely plan to go anywhere like everyone else, but he chose to stay and help me to make a normal out of just caring which is the easy part. We love care for mom, she needs everything done for her, she cannot do anything, but what is not easy to make sense or see normalcy in how one can live and know a parent lives here on earth and not see them, look in their eyes, touch them, tell them I love you, assume that they are getting cared for even if I’m not there to do any of the hands on care.
Though everyone are not caregivers to that degree, everyone can care enough to do whatever they can to assist the ones who are so that they continue to be cared for. Not hide or ignore them because you are so ashamed to see someone else doing it with everything and all that they have, and had done it without you, the longer you stay away, the more stupid you look or feel by not doing anything, thinking that time and life is waiting on how you feel, everyday you wake and suck air you have a chance to right a wrong, and to be brave enough to admit that the route that you’re taking isn’t the right one. Turn around, redirects and get on the right path, not because of your emotions of knowing you was on the wrong path for years, just keep going anyway is the most immature and cowardly thing I’ve ever heard of.
I’m glad I was brave enough to do the right thing when it was time to stand for my mother, I was moved by what anybody else had to say about it or what they thought. Also if either one of my siblings had stepped up for my mother before me, they knew that they had to do better and thoroughly care for her and exceed what we are doing. They knew, we would not only assist and do our part at any level of care to see that she would be cared for, I feel they weren’t going do it, and they knew I was going to be there to maintain integrity for the care for my mother. They knew I wasn’t going to assume she's being cared for, I would come lay my eyes on her, touch her, let her know I love her.