In May 2013, I was a work from home wife and mother to two young children ages 3 and 7. My mom lived in Michigan, so I called every day because she had Dementia/Alzheimers and one day she never answered no matter the time I called. I called my siblings and aunt, and no one seen or heard from her that day, now we were worried! My aunt received a call from her brother that he received a call from someone at a Family Dollar store. She had been in their store for 3 hours and a sales lady asked if she could so kindly look in her purse. She was looking for a phone book because she knew that something wasn’t right with my mom. She saw a name listed as brother. My uncle picked up and him and his wife immediately brought her back home.
The discussion between my siblings and I was what should we do with mom because she is now wandering off and didn’t know how to get back home. One of my sister’s and her husband who were her care takers at that time, worked full-time and now our mother needed around the clock care. They thought that a memory care facility could be where she is looked after, but she could still come and go as she pleased and I knew I didn’t want her in a nursing home. So, I went to speak with my husband about moving her to Florida and before I could finish my sentence he said, "Move her here. We will take care of her."
My husband worked full-time from home, but I quit my job to be her full-time caregiver. The challenges we had were immediate. My mom repeated herself constantly, which drove us crazy, and she was like a toddler. She was a busy body trying to escape. She would always say, ”I must get home and see my mom." We let our neighbors know that our mom was living with us and if by chance you see her walking without anyone, please stop her and bring her home. She never got away from us at home, but when I would go shopping with her and the kids and if I turned my head for one second she took off walking. She was a fast walker too. We truly didn’t know what we were getting into, but we researched, asked others in similar situations and used our knowledge on how to care and love our elderly loved ones and most definitely prayed constantly. Our lives would never be the same, but we were ready to take on the challenge as a family!
In my Blogs, you can look forward to hearing about my ups and downs as a caregiver, information that would be beneficial in the health and well-being of seniors and speaking with other families who are caregivers.