My experience as a care giver began in the early 1980's when my father was diagnosed with Alzheimer's. As an only child this was an extremely difficult situation for me. I was working a high pressure job in the graphic arts industry and my mother and I were the only care givers for my dad.
In 1988, my mother suffered a stroke, which meant that dad could no longer live with us and had to be placed in a nursing home. The social workers at the hospital where my mother received care at that time also recommended to me that I place my mom in a nursing home. I chose the alternative of having a home nursing aide to come in to be with my mom while I was at work.
My dad passed in 1990 and I continued care for my mom until she passed in 1994. Because of the stress, I lost my job. I decided to return to school to learn desktop publishing to begin working freelance.
As an only son, I know what it is to be a care giver...receiving calls at work from doctors and nurses...having to rush home
when the doctor told me my dad's heart had stopped...getting a call from a neighbor when my mom suffered her stroke and couldn't talk. Getting calls from mom's nursing assistant at home, telling me she was being difficult.
Did I have a breakdown? Yes, I can admit it after all these years. I hope someone will benefit from reading this. May God bless everyone who is caring for a loved one. Stay strong and think positive.
Jean Kirkley, Founder/Facilitator