All hopped up on sugar, she was chattier than usual. She thought I was her mother and was so happy I was there with her. I knew she hadn’t been eating much, if anything, most days but this day and this mood offered me some hope that she was not declining.
The time arrived, after 15 months of living with my mother and her advanced state of dementia and declining health, I had to admit to myself that I was compromising my own health and well being by trying to care for her 24/7. I needed to put her into a full time care facility.
I’ve been caring for my mom now for 15 months. She’s 95, has advanced dementia, high blood pressure, atrial fibrillation, is under hospice home care and is, I believe, in the process of dying.
BoomerReviews.com Co-Founder and Senior Editor Shannon Ingram had the pleasure of interviewing blogger Sherri Snelling recently, in conjunction with the release of Sherri’s new book, A Cast of Caregivers – Celebrity Stories to Help You Prepare to Care (Balboa Press). Here is the interview, in Sherri’s own words.
Did you watch the Oscars this year? Whether you watched the show or just glanced at the results, hopefully the French film Amour is familiar to you. It was nominated for both Best Foreign Film and Best Picture. Argo took home Best Picture, but another “A” film, Amour, won Best Foreign Film.
Rarely does a parent come to you and say, “Hey, I need to move into a studio apartment with a pull-cord on the walls that I can crawl to when I fall down.”
Congratulations to one of our wonderful Blog Circle members, Sherri Snelling, who was recognized by Sharecare, the leading online site for improving health, as one of the Top 10 online influencers on Alzheimer’s Disease, specifically through her expertise in content about caregiving and the challenges of caring for people with Alzheimer’s.
My mom has been gone for over two years, but some of her decisions are still haunting me. Recently I received a check from the state issued in her name for an overpayment of payroll taxes in 2010. WHAT? The check was for less than $100; but what a headache trying to get it deposited into an account.
While stress is the number one complaint when it comes to a caregiver’s own health and wellness, finding stress relief is just one more thing caregivers have to do. However, if you do not develop ways to become stress-free, it can seriously impact your ability to continue caring for your loved one.
Whenever I speak to caregivers or other groups, they want to know about the Sandwich Generation challenges. Today, there are more than 24 million Americans who are literally sandwiched between caring for two generations – still parenting children living at home while they also care for older parents who now need more help.
Caregivers often describe their role as “a labor of love.” And while seven out of 10 caregivers also have full or part time work, they also spend on average 20 hours a week caring for a loved one and they are in this role for an average of 4.6 years according to the National Alliance for Caregiving.
Great column about Boomer women in the Orange County Register (and syndicated online) by Jane Glenn Haas
My favorite cartoonist the late Charles Schulz of Peanuts fame wrote, “Happiness is a warm puppy.” I wonder if he knew happiness is just the start when it comes to enhancing the lives of older loved ones in nursing homes or assisted living, terminal patients such as those suffering from AIDS, children with special needs and even caregivers looking to improve their own health.
For the last several years when I celebrate my birthday I think about my “real age.” Whenever I meet a friend for coffee the conversation now turns to our latest health issue (we are at that age) – hurt knees from running, migraines from changing hormones, sun spots on our face, wrinkles on our foreheads, and intestinal rumblings from last night’s Mexican food.