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Long Distance Caregiving

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Beyond the Stethoscope:
Caregiving through a Doctorís Eyes

By K.L. Anderson, Staff Writer

(Page 3 of 3)

Secondly, I have an increased awareness of Alzheimerís disease and how it truly affects families. I have now seen the full spectrum of my motherís dementia from the early stages of confusion and unexplainable behaviors to her need for 24-hour supervision and daily assistance with her personal care. I marvel at how my father was able to remain fully committed to caregiving through these very difficult years and I have an even greater empathy for the caregivers I serve.

This experience has drawn me closer to my parents, especially my father, and has strengthened our family bonds as we have tried to pull together to provide the best of care. It hasnít been easy and we have had to resolve some past family conflicts that surfaced during this time. Fortunately, we have been able to focus on honesty and the importance of making decisions that will benefit the whole family. 

Lastly, I appreciate the delicate nature of life and have realized that I cannot take life for granted. I have a greater understanding of the larger picture of caregiving, the impact on family relationships and the patience and diligence it requires. I am also struck with the importance and value of asking for help and realize that our situation could have been dealt with more directly if my father would only have asked sooner. I feel a sense of relief that the pieces are falling into place and that we now have a plan, yet, I am saddened at the fact that my parents will no longer live independently. I have had to get beyond my own denial and face reality as I ponder my parentsí increased needs as well as the end of their lives. I am once again a long distance caregiver for my parents and will continue offering support and monitoring their ever-changing needs along with those of my patients and their caregivers.ď

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