We’re just getting started here so thought it would be good to let you know what you can expect (and not) from our blog. To do so, let me backup.
Our family is changing, evolving and aging–like so many others. My mother, Rosemary (aka Ro), has steadily declining dementia and has been living for the past year in an assisted living community that is well suited for her needs (and personality). My father-in-law, Steve, is a wonderful man battling Lewy Body Dementia. He is currently living with us, our three daughters and our dog.
Sharing Our Experience
Big differences from just a few short years ago. We’re not industry experts and aren’t qualified to give best practice advice. Not even close. But we are a family who has been navigating the world of caring for aging parents for the past four years–and we’re still in the thick of it. We’re experts in our own experiences, nothing more and nothing less.
This blog is about sharing those experiences, the day to day; the life, not just the diagnosis. Because just as we’ve felt the expected emotions, the sadness, the stress, we’ve discovered so many emotions we never expected. There were many things we weren’t prepared, including the pervasive sense of loneliness that accompanies caring for an aging parent–whether they’re sick or not. I laugh (so I don’t cry) when I think about the coincidence, but Lindsay and I started this journey with our aging parents at about the same time.
We were walking the same aging parents needing us road simultaneously, and we still felt lonely! We work as a team–we talk, we vent, we cry, we hug–but still, the sense of isolation, the dreaded, “why me?” can persist.
Educational Info From Experts Definitely Has Its Place
And we know this is not happening just to us, or in some type of vacuum. We have found places which help. There are lots of fantastic blogs out there devoted to all things aging and caregiving. All stocked with educational content to help you navigate the myriad of challenges that come with caring for aging parents.
Need to understand the home care or assisted living or rehab or respite care landscape? There are solid resources online for that. Want to learn what’s covered by Medicare and the ebbs and flows of associated regulations? Loads of good content out there on that, too. Are you looking for disease specific views of the world–for Alzheimer’s or Dementia or Parkinson’s? Great stuff is exists, written by experts–and they’re helpful. I subscribe to many and am glad they’re out in the world.
We’re Not Alone
But the more people we meet, the more we realize the loneliness, the isolation isn’t felt just by us. And information can’t always fix that, but we’re finding communication can help. Can’t bottle it up or it’ll kill us. So we talk. We go to support groups. We read books. We’re open about the situation and stress with our friends (boy are they sorry they asked 🙂 ). We need to take care of ourselves so we can be the best caregivers for our parents.
In a way, this blog is someone else for us to talk to. There’s so much sadness and stress, but we try daily to take these damn lemons and make lemonade. Believe it or not, we laugh often. At ourselves, the situation, and our everyday experiences on this journey.
This blog is about sharing those experiences. Maybe some of you have aging parents in need of care, and can relate. Maybe it will help some feel just a bit less alone.
Whatever you take from it, we hope it helps.