I am Martha, a 57 year old only child caring for my 87 year old mother, Mary. Mom is nearly blind, has recurring bladder cancer, heart disease, diabetes, severe arthritis (and much more). Mom is very good and patient. She's lived with me for 15 1/2 years and has needed intensive care for the last 4 years. My main concern is that Mom will outlive my ability to care for her. As I age I don't have as much energy, don't feel as well as I did. I work 3/4 time. I'm married. My husband helps, as do my kids when I ask. I wish I could have more freedom, but compared to others I've read about, I'm extremely lucky and have lots of resources. I think the hardest thing for me is feeling guilty because I sometimes wish I didn't have this responsibility. Because I'm so fortunate, I'd like to offer any advice or help I can on where to go for help, resources, ideas to help other caregivers have a more enjoyable life. I'm very lucky and I know it and I try to thank God every day. (Sometimes I forget when I get a call at 1:30 in the morning asking me to come downstairs and find something Mom has dropped).
1. House calls by doctors or Physician's Assistants. 2. On the whole Medicare does a good job, but a little less red tape & more sensible, practical decisions. 3. An affordable way to have Mom stay in a nursing home for a couple of weeks 3 times a year so my husband and I could have a little freedom.