My name is Carole. I am a 60-year old accountant hoping to take early retirement when I am 62. My 89-year old mother, Viola, a widow of less than a year, lives with us. She is completely disabled with osteo-arthritis, but is otherwise healthy and young at heart. God has been good to us though, miraculously providing a part-time lady who comes in the mornings, fixes breakfast and lunch, and attends to all of my mother's needs, including bathing, hair styling, manicures, pedicures, everything. She is as sweet as can be, and seems like a family member. Mother stays alone from 11 AM until I arrive home at 5 PM, watching TV and napping. She wears a beeper-alert in event of an emergency. While we are extremely blessed in our situation, there are frustrations. I worry about losing our paid assistant, about not spending enough quality time with my mother when I am at home, and my husband and I are not free to come and go, but he is wonderful and supportive. I am pretty much homebound when I'm not at work, and commuting a 12-hour day, while cooking balanced meals at the end of it, is fairly exhausting. We live in the country and there are very limited resources and services available, doctors and hospitals being 45 minutes away. Still, we consider ourselves lucky. We can share quality time during my mother's last years, and my children and grandchildren have the advantage of her love and wisdom. While it can be challenging and stressful, we feel fortunate to have her with us.
I would rather not rely on government help since, as an accountant, I realize that the money to support programs comes directly out of our paychecks. I think emotional and prayer support are most important, and find that ties with a church family are extremely beneficial.