It is an extremely tough job, and only gets harder. Make sure you seek help.
The truth is, caring for aging parents is an experience that's hard to relate to unless you're going through it. None of us can easily imagine just what life is like with a parent who needs help doing the simplest things like eating, getting in and out of bed or God forbid, going to the bathroom
When you're the main caregiver for a loved one, it's easy to become completely absorbed by all of your caregiving responsibilities. As your day moves along, you're so busy from one moment to the next that before you know it, the sun is setting and you never even stopped for lunch.
Trial and error as an Alzheimer's caregiver taught me that it's better to be patient than to be right. That golden rule and the two magic words 'OK Mom' rescued my sanity on many a day as advancing Alzheimer's tightened its grip on my mother Peg.
Alzheimer's caregiving is the toughest job I've ever known but it also vividly distills what's really important in life. For five and a half years, I cared for my mother, Peg Swiss, as advanced Alzheimer's tightened its grip on her brain.
Two and a half years after my husband George died of cancer, I am still mired in shame and regret because I was such a poor caregiver to him. Images of me angry, yelling at him, continue to haunt me.
A common locus of invisible need is found in the families struggling with Alzheimer's. One single person may have the disease, but the impact is felt by an entire family. And the ripples alter an entire faith community.