Ramona from Alabama
I am the sole day to day caregiver of my mom Elnora. Elnora is 90 years old, has had a stroke, is blind because of Glaucoma, has osteoporosis which has affected her posture so she cannot stand straight. She is the youngest daughter from a family of 15 and the sole survivor of her sibling. I say this to say she has been used to having someone take care of the big things in her life. She has no problem with me performing tasks like cooking, cleaning, and keeping her household running. My problem comes with personal care. It is becoming more and more difficult to allow her to attend to her daily needs. I became the caregiver because of proximity. I lived next door. I continued to work and live in my own home until it became necessary for a fulltime caregiver. I quit my job and moved in with her in 2016 and my siblings provide me a meager income until it became clear that my own health allowed me to receive my own benefits. In the beginning, I spent many hours surfing the net for resources, informational and monetary. It was very difficult without my salary since my mom's income is way below the poverty line. Her medications usually was half her monthly income. However, I would say that all the struggles and difficulties are worth it because my mother is in good spirits most days, her mind is still sharp on good days, she is able to see all her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren over most weekends, holidays and the majority of the summer. That to me is the most wonderful part of caring for her in her own home. I wish there were resources for medical training for caregivers.