Sharon from Tennessee

My Mother was an amazing person. She was the best mother that anyone could hope for. I worked in a gift shop in 2005 when she had 3 strokes in 1 day. So, I took a family leave of absence to take care of her. She made a remarkable recovery. But, years later she had three more strokes. So, when the gift shop closed I became her 24/7 caregiver. The strokes had made it impossible for her to be alone. That was the easiest decision that I have ever made. She helped take care of my grandparents & now it was my turn.

My Mother's name was Ernestine and she always put her family first. She was widowed at 48 and raised my older sister and me by herself. She helped raise grandkids. So, there was no way that I would let her go to a nursing home. After her last strokes, she had some issues but, up until a month before her death she rode her exercise bike 15 miles a day. But, she needed help with walking to the bathroom, bathing, & just getting around.

Nights were hard because she had Emphysema and Asthma. So she had to sleep sitting up. She couldn't sleep very well so, we sat up and talked a lot. She was always saying that she was okay when I knew better and was always easy to please with her meals. When she would go to sleep I would just sit there & watch her. While she slept I would get her medicine set up & anything that I could without going to far from her. And when I had to grocery shop, a friend would watch her. Eventually, I ordered my groceries online & had them delivered. Our pharmacy delivered her medicine. In 2017, she got pneumonia and had to go to the hospital and never dreamed that she wouldn't survive. She passed away in March 2017 at hospice. Taking care of her was tiring but, it was the greatest experience of my life.

Share Your Caregiving Story Here


+ Tips for sharing your story

This is an update to my family caregiving story that I have already shared.

Only one story submission per person and/or per household will be accepted.

I also agree that, only when necessary, AARP or its representative may call me with requests for information, as needed to verify my story.

By clicking “Share Your Story”, I acknowledge that I have read and agree to the terms and conditions of AARP’s Release Agreement and agree to receive emails about AARP activities, events, and membership benefits.