Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Give to the caregiver
…HA’s mother lives a mile away in a group home, but HA and her sister see her three times a week. She suffers from dementia, knows them, but can’t remember who the woman is who owns the home or anything from even 10 seconds before.
…Hanging out with Mom is like being in a Broadway play—she says the same things, makes the same observations, the same complaints, and HA and sis say the same replies. It’s scripted!
…But she is not sick, not in a nursing home, not violent, or any of the other things that may be coming—or not. This has been going on for almost 15 years.
…54 million Americans are caregivers to someone old or chronically ill.
…Does that describe you? Did you know you have a “day”—Nov 25 is National Kiss a Caregiver Day.
…At very least, give yourself some credit. If you feel anger, frustration or depression, you may need a break. If no one offers to pitch in for a day, ask!
…And if you know someone doing all this and not saying much about it (HA’s sister and her tend to vocalize, but you knew that), bake a plate of cookies for them or take over for a day.
…Oh, and there are 364 other days in that caregiver’s year.