Thursday, October 27, 2016

LIFE OF A LONG DISTANCE CAREGIVER




LIFE OF A LONG DISTANCE CAREGIVER


A few years ago I recall defending myself from some other caregivers. They thought I should not consider myself mom's caregiver, reasoning that since I lived far away I did not care for her in the same way that they did. Their words stung me deeply and had me momentarily question myself.

I could feel compassion for their situation, yet I too, had the agony of hearing and seeing my mother disappear in front of my very eyes. One moment she knew my name and the next she had no idea who I was. My heart felt equally broken as theirs and I questioned why would they judge me?

Was I any less of a daughter to my mother because I did not live near her? Unfortunately, I could not just pick up and move to another state, and my mother refused to leave her home. I am my mother's daughter that will never change, no matter how many miles may separate us.

Before moving mom into the nursing home for years I spoke to her caregivers every single day to hear how she was doing and to help plan her day. I questioned what she ate, if she took her vitamins and if she gave them a hard time when she was being bathed. I also delighted in hearing how mom loved to sing along to the CD'S that I made for.

There were moments when mom sounded great and there were other times when I was so frightened yet unable to just jump in my car and rush over to her. I remember when they called an ambulance to take mom to the emergency room after her aides discovered she had bruises (from a fall) that she could not tell us about. Then there were the times she was hallucinating which was due to a urinary tract infection (UTI).

Once, when she was in the rehab hospital I spoke to the physical therapist who told me that my mother was not following instructions. I responded "how could mom possibly remember what you just said since she has Alzheimer's." The therapist answered, “oh I didn't know she had dementia.”

Then there was the time I received a call from a first response team who was not able to reach my brother. Mom's neighbors reported her "just sitting" outside her apartment on the curb. Her caregiver left for the day and because of confusion mom went to sit outside to wait for her. You would think that one of her neighbors would have just brought her back into her home. After all these years of knowing her how could they now just shun her like this?

The time was approaching to place mom into a nursing home my brother and I realizing she needed twenty-four hour care. Talk about feeling guilty and confused. How could we do this to mom? Her wishes were to stay in her home till she died.

Mom now has been in a nursing home for 3 ½ years and my brother and I know that it was the correct thing to do. I still call every day and speak to the nurses to see how she is doing. I may only get to visit her every few months yet the staff knows that I take a very active interest in her well-being. Mom no longer knows where she is living yet my brother and I feel secure with the care that she is receiving.

So with deep thought my question is am I any less of a daughter than the others since I am a long distance caregiver? The answer is clear to me. I am my mother’s daughter and no matter how many miles apart we are the love and concern I have for her is as deep as the bottom of the ocean. She is my mother and I will always be her daughter, which also includes being her caregiver.

 

 
MY MOM MY HERO - A mother & daughters new found love. http://www.amazon.com/Mom-Hero-Alzheimers--daughters-bittersweet/dp/0615773982/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1454248406&sr=8-1&keywords=lisa+hirsch

9 comments:

  1. Lisa, nowadays so much it done by "remote control." I know that you are doing all you can for your mother, and I'm sure your brother so happy that you are "with him."

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    1. Thank you my sweet dear friend. In exactly 2 months from today I get to be with my mom everyday for the entire month of January....

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    2. Lisa, no matter hat anybody tells you, the truth is in your heart. I live in Arizona and try my best to se my Mom twice a year. We do the best we can do. When we visit our Mom's, we have quality time with them. Never feel guilty.

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    3. Thanks so much Helaine yet as a daughter we know that we all can have our moments.

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  2. Lisa,
    Years back I came across your blog and I remember reaching out to you. You wrote back to me and I appreciated your kindness as I was struggling to make sense of my own mother's dementia. Truthfully, I've read only a few of your posts in recent years but only because I was living the pain of my father's unexpected passing and the subsequent need to move my mom away from her own home. I was on a rollercoaster of experiences. To make a long story short, my Mom passed away on October 28th. I'm presently on the last few days of my bereavement leave and I found my way back to your blog today. I want to thank you for your honesty, for your openness, and for sharing your experiences and emotions with the world. I have learned much from you and I believe wholeheartedly that you were placed in my path to help me better understand me and this devastating disease. I have grown so much since I last wrote to you. Thank you. <3 Anne www.viewsfromthedock.blogspot.com

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    1. Anne, I am so sorry to hear about your mom and your dad. I also lost my dad 23 years ago. You have touched me so deeply that I do not know how to really thank you. Unfortunately given our journey's our paths have crossed yet there is some silver lining and that is that we have connected. I am grateful for this.From the bottom of my heart I am always here for you. Sending you some big strong hugs, Lisa

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  3. Dear Lisa,
    It is Carol here. I have been away for a while from the blog but never forgetting it is here when I need it. I want you to know you never have to explain to anyone that you are a caregiver. Of course you are a caregiver just like the rest of us and don't ever question it.You are probably closer to your mother's needs then some who may be in the same city. So I just wanted to say that you are a caregiver and a wonderful writer and we all send you our love.
    Carol

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    1. Carol I love you and all your words of support. xoxo Lisa

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  4. This is a great write up, I was also a victim, having Alzheimer's disease for many years. My journey and diagnosis with Alzheimer's disease began when I was 58 years old. My medical condition was heart broken. The first thing I did was get myself informed. I was subjected to different medications including Donepezil, galantamine, by my doctors for treatment without the assurance of having a positive improvement. Despite my visit to several doctors my health wasn't getting better. Also I keep thinking there has to be another alternative to address this, using herbal remedy, this information reinforced my original gut feelings that I should not give up. I decided to look for another option to help my condition. I’ve made many lifelong friends when I was looking for a natural cure for my ailment. To say it gets better is an understatement. I find hope in the darkest of days when I saw a testimony of people talking about Dr. Charanjit's herbal product. I started having series of thoughts, thereafter I ordered his product and started using it, to give the Alzheimer's disease an aggressive approach, the symptoms progressively got better.
    Luckily, everything seemed to be okay after a few weeks of starting the herbs, this was a pleasant surprise. I promised myself that I would stay strong. You sit living in fear of the reality what you may face, never really knowing what will happen until it does. I am indebted and decided to always share my experience.
    If you have same problem and ready to give a try check out his blog: https://curetoalzheimer.blogspot.com/ or contact him through charantova@gmail.com.

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