Maria from Nevada

I am a caregiver. My parents are both 82 years old and live about a mile away. But this is about my friend Gertrude. She is 100 years old. We are not blood related but we are family. I have know her for over 25 years and got acquainted through a Shared Housing Program when I applied to live in their home. Today we tell each other that our husbands willed us to each other as we are both widows.

I am not sure when our friendship transferred to caregiving but today I am her primary caregiver as she has no children and her closet nephew and niece live in Missouri. Gert has macular degeneration and although still a spry 100 yr old, living in an assisted living, I take care of all her bills, her mail, her transportation, making sure she is stocked with her personal items, but most importantly being there for her as a daughter, friend and someone she knows will always be there for her. Our weekly visits are important....to both of us. She has been a great mentor. She is the best.

Challenges include feeling like I am her only outside lifeline. I wish I could visit more often. I worry she will outlive he resources.

Using community resources are important to me such as navigating her bills, her meds, her health care.

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