In August of 2014, Mary’s mother Eartha was discharged from the hospital after a short stay — an event that would have lasting consequences. When Mary arrived at the hospital that day, Eartha was ready to go, dressed and sitting in a wheelchair with a list of medications on her lap. Never given instructions on her mother’s new prescriptions, Mary missed out on a key piece of information — one of the medications was only meant to be given for a very short time. This was discovered months later, but it was too late. Eartha’s kidneys had been damaged irreversibly by the medication and were only working at 10 percent. Mary was given the choice to start her mother on dialysis or begin hospice care.
In preparing Mom’s medication, my 90-year-old Pop would fill a syringe using the light of the kitchen window to see if the dosage was correct. He set up the nebulizer on a table with handwritten step-by-step instructions to remind him how to operate it. Today, millions of family caregivers like Pop perform complex medical tasks that at one time would have been administered only by medical professionals.
Roseanne Barr, who tonight debuts as a judge on NBC's Last Comic Standing, would rather be at home on her Hawaii macadamia nut farm, eating food from her garden and seeing her grandkids off to school.
Marcy Gouge loves helping people. In fact, Marcy, the Assistant National Director for AARP Foundation Tax-Aide, also finds herself volunteering for the program throughout Maryland and DC. But this past year, she decided to take her volunteer work "on the road" while vacationing in Hawaii.
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