Archive for Caregivers – Page 2

Did Dad’s Dying Kill Mom?

“Dad is going to kill Mom.”

My older sister made that blunt statement on several occasions. I recall, in the way siblings react as the years of a family become decades, that I mostly ignored her. Maybe once or twice I muttered a reply, a weak disagreement. Why argue who’s right or who’s wrong when we were all, each in our own way, struggling to make sense of a senseless experience?

Our father’s slip-slide into dementia had put a huge burden of caregiving onto our mother. Though her situation (slightly) improved when he was placed in a memory care facility, the emotional, spiritual, financial, and physical costs to Mom were relentless.

She took her wedding vow seriously: for better, for worse; in sickness and health.

Was Dad “killing” her? Was she unfairly wearing out because of the commitment to help her sick, aging, stubborn—and yes, beloved—husband?

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When Mom and Dad were younger, they had a plan for the so-called golden years: live in the house they’d lovingly built into a home until both died in their sleep and then be quietly buried in cemetery plots purchased (and paid off) in the mid-1960s.

Except there was a decade’s difference in their ages. That didn’t matter much when they were raising their kids. It did when Dad could count more than eighty candles on his birthday cake. Read More →

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Hospice On A Bad Hair Day

Even the "rich" can have a bad hair day!

Even the “rich” can have a bad hair day!

I was not there.

What I write next is based on the flimsiest of accounts, of me being in the right place at the right time to “overhear” two doctors tell a story about a patient.

And hey, since I’m talking about two doctors and a patient, you might think this is the build-up to a swell (or dull) joke . . . right?

But it’s not a joke, and the “right place” where I heard this was also the place I’m obligated to be several times a week when my hospice holds its team meetings. I wasn’t eavesdropping on a private conversation between whispering physicians, but was one of many listeners in a room of nurses, chaplains, and social workers. Read More →

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