Archive for May, 2016|Monthly archive page

An ‘expert’ source

I revisited the caregiving life recently when I was interviewed for a blog post on OurParents.com titled “Preparing for Dementia.” A writer had found my blog and asked me to be a source for a story she was writing about moving a loved one into long-term care. I thought I’d be one of many people quoted, but I’m the only one. So various components of the story of Bonnie and Emily are sprinkled throughout an article otherwise offering some advice for people making decisions about long-term care for family members with dementia.

The interview was conducted via email, and my answers were lengthy. I like the quotes that the writer selected for her story. I felt some pangs of guilt over the references to Mom still driving after her Alzheimer’s diagnosis and then having an accident (in which no one was hurt) that abruptly ended her driving for good. But then again, what to do about driving is a classic dilemma for families dealing with Alzheimer’s, and maybe our experience could help convince someone to stop the driving before an accident happens.

The writer sent me a link to the story Monday. Today, I feel sort of melancholy. Coincidence? Possibly.

Even if it did make me a little blue, I was glad to do it. There is some joy in recalling that my experience with Mom was quite tolerable as far as these things go – a truth it took me some time to appreciate. The post covers the move to assisted living, and then to the Alz center, and how Mom made friends and adapted well to the changing environments. And I am always grateful for the chance to share my belief that moving a family member to a nursing home does not represent failure or selfishness. It can be better for everyone, including the patient.

These are the closing paragraphs:

“Bonnie Caldwell passed away in October 2015, and Emily considers it an honor and privilege to have seen her mom through her final years, from Assisted Living to Skilled Nursing care.

“‘Moving a loved one to long-term care is not betrayal, but a loving act,’ says Emily. ‘I had so many special moments with Mom, just holding her hand and taking a walk. She was childlike, and very sweet, and that’s how I remember her now.’”

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