My name is Ginger. I am 56 years old and my husband, Rich, age 58, are the sole caregivers to my father, George, age 91 years. My father is frail and uses a walker at times. He has his own apartment inside of our home. Whenever we take him out, we must use the wheelchair to transport him. He can only use the walker for walking a few steps at a time.
My husband is a pastor and is at home during the day but is usually always gone in the evenings. We homeschool three of our youngest children, ages 16, 12 and 5. We truly feel like the "sandwich" generation, caring for little ones and also elderly ones. We also help care for my elderly father-in-law who lives with my husband's brother. He frequently needs rides to the doctor and my husband also takes care of his bills for him.
My father needs all his meals made for him, and cut up, and needs help getting into and out of his shower. We also must keep a full supply of bed pads and disposable underpants for him in his room. We order by the caseful on-line in order to avoid running to the store constantly for them. We must change his bed sheets for him and do all of his laundry.
The hardest thing about caring for him is the constant needs that must be met on a daily basis and the inability to leave him alone for any length of time. We have no one else that can come in and help him, if we will be away for the day. When we must be away for a meal, we have to set him up with a cooler in his room and a thermos of coffee next to his bed, incl. sugar & creamer. We can't even consider taking a family vacation as we could not leave him alone.
My father frequently falls and at times becomes bedridden and only eats on a bed tray which means I have to keep going in to him every few hours to bring juice, a meal, or coffee & snacks. I check him at night and close his blinds, turn on his lights or turn them off when its late.