My Mother has always been a handful. She is argumentative, disruptive and abrasive. Yet with all this topical anger and angst, she possesses a love that is so incredibly deep and loyal. Being Irish born and immigrating to the states with her parents so long ago, she lived through hardships and tribulations. She is stubborn in her ways of only acknowledging her inner circle of the very closest of family members. Even that can be a chore sometimes. We came to understand, little by little, where all this negativity and defensiveness originated from. For years she had been dealing with dementia. She was always a little forgetful, but she hid so much more than my siblings or I had ever imagined.
When she found the courage to ask me for help, with tears running down her rosy colored cheeks, shaking in embarrassment and shame, I understood just why she was so angry and frustrated. I had never seen my mother, after 52 years of my life, be so fragile and afraid of the future. This proud, self-sustaining woman, would never let anything defeat her, nor, ask anyone, friend or family alike, for help. It was enough to bring a grown man to tears.
At this point in my career and in my life, I had a full time job, as well as a family of four to take care of. The job was taking up nearly 60 hours a week and my family was as much as I could afford at the time. My wife and my sister would make arrangements to go over to mom’s house and make sure she was ok and help with a few things, such as bath’s or making her meals. What went from once every couple of days, quickly turned into needing someone there every day. But who had the time? Certainly not I, nor my very hardworking wife and mother of my two boys, nor my sister as she had her family to take care of as well.
An assisted living home was out of the question. My mother lived in that home with my father for nearly 70 years. My sister and I joked about the first person that would try to remove her and what a shock it would be to see a little 82 year old woman give a full grown man a good old Irish beating. But we needed a solution, to give our mother, whom we loved so dearly, the care she deserved, while being able to live out the rest of her hard earned life in the home she built.
That is when we came across Angie. She was a home caregiver sent over by an agency my wife had found online. We warned Angie that she may resist request and be argumentative. I’ll never forget seeing Angie turn to me, Irish red hair and all, give a little wink and say, “It won’t be a problem. I’m sure we will get along wonderfully”. Within a matter of three weeks my mother was insisting we have Angie over for family dinners and events. It was incredible to me! Angie was caring and compassionate. She was organized and efficient. And mother, was comfortable and safe.
We are so thankful that there are caring, trained and most of all committed caregivers out there that can give time, attention and personal care to those we love so dearly, when we are not able to do so ourselves. My mother is still battling with dementia, but she is safe, she is comfortable and now she isn’t nearly as frustrated or anxious. My family and I can live our lives with less worry and continue to visit mom, but as her children and grandchildren, not as her care takers and guardians.
Select Home Care in Westlake Village is a leader in offering premier 24 hour care, hospice care, dementia home care, and companionship cares for seniors. Trusted by healthcare professionals, Select Home Care serves a vital role in helping people live more independent lives outside of institutions and keeping them closer to their families. For more information about Select Home Care’s senior care services please call 800-993-1657 or visit selecthomecare.com.