Caring for Mom Shouldn’t Mean Losing Your House

Debra from New Jersey is on the verge of losing her house to foreclosure because she can’t keep up with paying the bills and helping her mom, who has dementia, remain at home. To keep Mom out of a nursing home, Debra is responsible for taking care of her 24/7. This can be a huge juggling act, involving bathing and dressing, preparing meals, managing medications, coordinating activities and more. Add in full-time employment, and life can become quite complicated, even …

4 Tips for Emptying a Loved One’s House on a Budget

When my sister Karen died, almost six months ago, I knew, amid my shock and grief, that I had a huge job ahead of me as executor of her estate. There was the paperwork, of course — her will, finances, home mortgage, etc. — which has been complicated, to say the least. But emptying her home and preparing it for sale have been the biggest hurdles. Her three-bedroom house was packed to the brim, and there was no money in …

Parents Dedicate Lives to Caring for a Wounded Warrior

On a cold March night in 2007, Jeff Brodeur got the phone call that changed his life. His son, Army Pvt. Vincent Mannion-Brodeur, 19, had been searching a structure near Tikrit, Iraq, when a mortar-shell booby trap exploded. His sergeant was killed instantly and Mannion-Brodeur suffered a devastating head injury as well as deep shrapnel wounds to his arm and torso. Jeff and his wife, Maura, sitting stunned in their Cape Cod, Mass., home, were told that their son might …

Journey of Caregiving: Feeding Tubes, Juggling Medication and More

Even with her training as a nurse, family caregiver Joanne Davis says she doesn’t feel equipped to handle certain tasks as she cares for her husband. “I think of people who are in a situation who don’t have that sort of experience and I don’t know how they manage,” she says. And yet, nearly half of the 42 million family caregivers in America perform medical and nursing tasks to care for their loved ones. This can be managing medications, cleaning …

Thank You, Nurses, for ALL You Do

As National Nurses Week concludes, I want to take a moment and thank all nurses — past, present, and future — for all that you do. I know firsthand the importance of nurses not only to patients, but to their families. During the 15 years I cared for my parents, nurses made a huge difference in our lives. There’s no doubt, caregiving takes a team, and so often nurses were a part of my family’s team. I also know that …

When Mom Can Hear and You Can’t

As my mother got older, our roles reversed, as they will when a parent reaches the ninth and even 10th decade. But there was one way in which she grew stronger, while I grew weaker. She could hear, and I couldn’t. In her 80s, my mother’s mind and body succumbed to aging. She developed dementia, she had frequent falls and was often wheelchair bound. She and my father had moved south to a retirement community, so as not to be …