Judith from Wisconsin
My life partner passed away 12 years ago. I was his only lifeline, and I am proud to have been the choice. He had family that just didn't care, he was penniless, yet worked very hard, and he was a gift to my life. When a caregiver isn't married to her/his life partner, the caregiver is given no consideration what so ever. It's as though the caregiver existed only to give everyone else a chance to ignore the needs of the caregiver and the invalid. It was a hard road, but I wouldn't change anything about it. I lost my house, job, and savings because of my love for him, and do not have any regrets. As difficult as caregiving is, the caregiver can be satisfied knowing he or she did all she could to make someone else's life easier, better. I cherish the memories that I have of life with Jim and miss him very much. I never knew where there was any help for me, or a chance to change scenery even for a day. No one comes to the caregiver's aid, especially when there is no marriage. I would like to work to change that.