I was in my mid-fifties when my father died very suddenly. My mother was still active and independent, but I knew that would change over time, and I appointed myself as the one to look after her as she grew older. I had some knowledge to bring to the situation. I was a hospice consultant, and I had written papers on quality of care at the end of life. But what I didn’t have was real-life experience caring for an adult during a long period of physical and mental decline. That experience was humbling.
After my mother died, I wrote a memoir entitled Holding the Net: Caring for My Mother on the Tightrope of Aging (Coming to bookstores and Amazon.com in Fall, 2017; published by Green Writer’s Press/Green Place Books). In the book, I tell the personal story of my commitment to make the last years of her life the best they could be. As Mom declined physically and mentally, it got harder and harder to preserve her independence and autonomy while also keeping her safe. Click here to preview my memoir.
Here’s what I learned:
There is no foolproof recipe for caring for an aging parent.
When children are willing to help, and parents are willing to accept help, the experience can be very rewarding.
We can help each other by sharing our experiences.
Everyone I know is living some version of my story. YOU ARE NOT ALONE. This website is a place for former, current and future caregivers to share information and validation of our mutual experience.
VISIT THE BLOG to read about my experience. I’ll also share comments from readers and introduce topics for discussion.
GO TO THE CONTACT PAGE to share your own experience, ask questions, and post comments.