Mary from North Carolina
I am a caregiver for my mom who was diagnosed with dementia in 2014. We saw some signs as early as 2009 but didn't realize it at the time. I was working part time due to my own disability when she was diagnosed. I cut back more and moved in with her. Within months of moving in I had to find help because she couldn't be left alone. She was paranoid and hallucinating. We tried a health care facility, but she didn't trust the girls and they changed out too much. As soon as she got adjusted to one a new one would come. And they weren't able to administer her medications, so if I went to work I had to come back to give medicine.
Eventually, I just quit working and stayed home since she needed 24 hours supervision. I then applied for assistance to get paid as her caregiver which took about 4 months through the CAP Choice program. They only pay you for 25 hours a week. It is a very hard job! I have siblings, but we barely see them. She tends to get agitated with me at times because they don't come visit regularly. They felt she should go into a facility, but when I asked Mom in the beginning of this journey if she wanted to go into one she said "no it would be like being in jail. I want to stay home." So that's what I am doing. I would like to be able to take some online classes so that I could better care for her. It takes a lot of patience, and I'm learning - I'm not as stressed and confused as I was in the beginning.