The Beatles might have gotten by with a little help from their friends, but I couldn't do it without my family - especially when it comes to caregiving for my parents. Knowing my sisters will help is invaluable, whether I'm having trouble coordinating Dad's care and my work schedule or I'm simply feeling tired and overwhelmed. We support Dad and each other through this difficult time.
Most adult children will tell you they think their mothers are superstars, but Pat Seftel really is one - thanks to her film director son, Josh. The two collaborate on a Web series, My Mom on Movies, in which Pat shares her observations about everything from movie stars (she loves Bradley Cooper) to books (she embarrassed herself talking about 50 Shades of Grey) and politics (she says Anthony Weiner is in "deep doo-doo").
Gallup public opinion surveys consistently show that nursing is the most trustworthy profession in America. This recognition comes with a responsibility - to help people manage their health conditions with the confidence that they can do it.
When I became a caregiver for my dad's parents, Grandmother Genevieve had dementia and Granddaddy C.V., 10 years her senior, was struggling to care for her. I remember realizing they were getting by on a meager breakfast at home and a single meal at a cafeteria. Getting Grandmother into the car and Granddaddy driving her to the cafeteria were becoming scary, so I contacted the local Area Agency on Aging and arranged for delivery of Meals on Wheels to their home.
For millennia, the home provided a roof over our heads, a place to raise a family. Later on, pride of place set in and the home became our personal castle. And in recent decades, homeowners counted on rapidly appreciating housing values to help secure some measure of financial security and independence.
The path of grief is a very individual journey - no two people grieve exactly alike. It has been six months today since my mom passed on. For me it has been a very bumpy path, complicated by continuing to care for my dad and support him in his grief as he battles Alzheimer's disease.
You may feel you have stark choices for frail and elderly family members: Keep them at home without the help and support they need, or help them move to an assisted living facility or a nursing home to get those services.
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