Suzan from Rhode Island

I started taking care of my parents, cleaning,cooking, helping with personal care. Then decided, I could take care of them better if they moved in with me. My mom was diagnosed with alzheimer's and parkinson's shortly after. It was truly an honor to be able to help. She passed away Dec 1st; my dad is still with me - he is 87. With dementia, you have to have a lot of patience and energy. 15 months with 15-18 hour day's - helping, without crying in front of them i think is the hardest. Worrying all the time - scared. Watching the strongest people you know wilt away, slip away and there is nothing you can do about it. Keeping them clean and hand feeding - that's the easy part. Mentally, it is the hardest thing I have ever done. Feeling guilty for being tired - I would do anything to change her, or feed her, just one more time to watch my dad. They were married 63 years - he is lost, lonely, scared. Screaming her name is heart wrenching. I had hospice at the end. But they only give you 1 hour a day. Having someone to talk to would be great. For anyone who has their parents at home 24 hours a day, there is no going out. A sitter would be great. The best part of doing this is helping your loved ones. Not putting them in a home knowing they would not want to be so sick and away from their loved ones. I love waking up to them ( i miss my mom). I know I'm all over the place. But that is how it is. Every day a different struggle. Trying to help them remember basic things. Now i am tying my dad's shoes. Helping him with his clothing, breathing treatment, medication is the hardest - Cumidin now. Keeping that leveled is a struggle. He is very independent. A lot harder than my mom. She was bedridden. He doesn't want to listen (sad face) which makes it harder. Just deep breaths lol. Love is all you can do. love them, help them, and try to rest when you can. there should be a hotline you could call i think just to talk people. who can relate. It is the best and hardest job ever. I miss you mom! i love you dad, and will take care of you until the angels close your eyes to. love suzan

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