I fully understand the complexity of
caregiving. I still work as a health educator/advocate. This
spring my husband, who is "retired", and I chose to bring
his mother into our home to live. She has end stage
Alzheimer's disease and suffered two strokes. She needs
full-time care. We do have minimal respite care. Our area is
great about covering elder needs for those who remain active
and independent. However, in our county, transportation and
homecare remain major issues for everyone.
We don't qualify for Medicaid, yet have
to pay private agencies huge amounts of money for personal
care. My mother-in-law does not have enough financial
resources to qualify for a nursing facility. We are stuck in
the middle. Her primary physician won't qualify my
mother-in-law for hospice because she doesn't know the
length of the disease process. Yet, after talking with our
hospital's palliative care team, we may qualify for some
services, especially comfort care.
My husband and I take staycations. We
rent or purchase DVDs, buy some dark chocolate and a bottle
of wine, and enjoy the evening after Mother is in bed. We
have a swimming pool and invite family and friends to enjoy
BBQs. I have a patio garden. We live in the country and have
a lot of song birds and wildlife. Both of us enjoy reading
and puzzles. My grandchildren visit.
But we still need emotional support as
we watch her slow decline. We are suffering grief long
before her passing. She is no longer the mother we remember.
I would appreciate any advice you may
share with us.