I’m caregiving, but I’m not a Caregiver. I’m barely playing the role of caring for my 92 year-old mother and won’t be winning any grand awards for it either. I’ve been trying very hard to accept this role for the past five months. Day after day preparing three meals, changing diapers, cleaning dentures, emptying her feces from her potty, cleaning and changing her bed, putting in and taking out her hearing aids, putting on and changing her clothes, doing her laundry, taking her outside…oh, let’s not forget bathing her. Some days I want to scream. I’m not saying this for you to think, Poor Her. I’m confessing that, even though my mom was a wonderful mother and I don’t have any “mother issues” and she certainly took good care of me, I have a hard time giving back. She’s got Alzheimer’s Disease and, though she’s not severe (as in off-the-wall), I can’t have a normal conversation with her and I see only small peeks into who she was. And they say there are millions of us unpaid caregivers and there are millions with Alzheimer’s Disease, and the trend will increase for both.
My husband is leaving on September 1 to continue work on our house on the farm in Sincerin, Colombia. It’s important that he do that, so I can join him there in November to escape the northeastern US winter. But he has been an unbelievable partner in this caregiving operation and I feel like the CEO of our enterprise just resigned. Somehow I’ll muddle through, mustering up patience to repeat myself to my mother over and over until October when, hopefully, my brother and his wife can take care of her for five months or so. (If I can find someone to help me after Sept. 1, I’ll hire them.)
Growing REALLY old sucks, that’s what I say! When I can’t take care of myself any longer, please take me out and shoot me. What do you say?