This is the moment we are in: Every 8 seconds, someone is turning 65 in the US. Alzheimer’s disease is on pace to overtake cancer and heart disease as the leading cause of death for Americans in the coming decades. More than 42 million of us are caring for a family member who needs regular care. Yet the options that we have to ensure we all get quality, affordable care aren’t enough.
The care crisis is real, and it’s affecting more of us every day. That’s why we invited caregivers and bloggers to join us in our first ever #Blog4Care blog carnival. We believe that our stories are powerful, and need to be shared so that we can begin to create solutions to the care crisis, together.
A woman who helped care for her father-in-law writes of the struggles of caregiving for someone with post traumatic stress disorder.
“After twelve years of caring for my mom, juggling parenting two children and managing a household, I realized I needed help.”
“I needed to be more available to stay with her so I called my supervisor and told her I needed to take some time off to be with my family. Her response: ‘You’ll have to get a doctor’s excuse.’ ‘I have to get a doctor’s excuse for my grandmother being sick?’ ‘Yes.’ ‘She’s in the hospital. I don’t know when she’s getting out.'”
“Alzheimer’s Disease. Specifically Younger Onset Alzheimer’s Disease. Most people have never heard of this hideous disease. I wish I never had either.”
An eye-opening account of what a caregiver’s day is really like.
A mother to a child with a congenital disease shares her story: “It would be a lie to say that this has been an easy journey… If you are a caregiver, you know the stress that comes with this.”
“My elderly mother was living in her beloved home with the concerted help of friends, family, and home health aides. But after knee replacement surgery, her dementia emerged – fully developed. Our family was completely unprepared for our new reality.”
“My mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2004 and eventually moved into a care facility. As the disease progressed, eating became an issue for her. She’d phone me to say things like, ‘You have no idea how horrible the food is here. These girls don’t know how to cook. I could show them a thing or two about how to fix food with some flavor.'”
A caregiver for her son shares a remembrance of a nurse who showed she cared: “She remembered that we were people – hurting, frightened, and overwhelmed. And she cared enough to stop and give us the help we really needed.”
Tips and Advice for Caregivers
The founder of caregiving.com writes of how caregivers need to overcome isolation and loneliness.
“The desire to find meaning out of every situation that we find ourselves in, which includes suffering at times and definitely love, is so much part of the caregiver journey.”
A caregiving advocate shares why we need to embrace concepts of universal design to address the age wave and meet the needs of aging Americans.