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Archive for July, 2008


Finding your way through the legal aspects of caregiving can be daunting to say the least.  When my mom had a massive stroke, neither one of us were prepared, and suddenly we were in a worst case scenario.  I scoured the house trying to find any legal paperwork she may have had- only to come up empty handed.  And to make matters worse, she had lost her speech, ability to write, and even noding “yes” and “no” was inconsistent at the time.  I had no idea how I was going to pay her bills, let alone her mortgage.  A social worker at the hospital told me my only choice was to become her “conservator”.  So there I was sitting before a judge, who was to grant me conservatorship along with a LAUNDRY list of rules.  He also made it a point to tell me not to take off to Tahiti with my mothers money.  Was he kidding???  My mom was sick and in a hospital; I had just left my house, my job, and moved across the country to come home.  Tahiti was the last thing on my mind!  Conservatorship is a system that’s bound in yellow tape with rules designed with the assumption that you are out to steal your loved one’s money (thanks to the people that DID steal money).  The state deemed my mother both incapicated AND incompetent.  This was wrong!  My mom’s abilities to communicate were impaired but she understood perfectly well.  As her conservator, I could barely pay her electric bill without the state breathing down my neck.  The state also made decisions about her health; that meant if something worse were to happen- they would make the decision- not me.  There was NO way I was going to let that happen.  I knew I should have Power of Attorney and a Health Directive. (more…)

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Terms of Endearment. This was a movie that my mom and I watched numerous times while I was growing up.  There is a scene in the movie, where the mom and daughter are hanging out in the mom’s bed, talking, laughing and just being best friends.  One time when my mom and I were watching this, probably when I was about 12, my mom said to me- “I really hope that’s us when you grow up”.  At the time I was too young to understand what she meant.  But over the years, I remembered that moment and I wished too that that was us.  It could’ve been, but it just never happened.  Life… got in the way. 

Until…we got a second chance.  And it happened when my mom was in the hospital.  After dinner at the hospital,  my  mom liked to watch TV.  Well, her TV was attached to the ceiling, was tiny, and really could only be seen from her hospital bed.  That’s when it happened.  I took off my shoes, crawled into her her bed, and layed next to her.  All we did was watch TV. But I felt it.  That closeness to my mom that I always yearned for. In that moment, it was only the two of us.  I felt that no one could ever take away that moment I shared with her and I knew at the time that it was something special.  It wasn’t what I had dreamt of growing up.  It wasn’t perfect.  She was sick and in a hospital.  We certainly weren’t laughing.  And I felt  more like a mom, than a daughter.  But it was something… and it was ours.  In that moment, with all life’s defenses down, we just loved each other.  So I got my “Terms of Endearment” moment, and for that I will always be grateful.

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PART ONE of MY STORY

Hello Caregivers! 

Phew- I don’t even know where to start.  ok, so my name is Sara.  I am a 32 year old caregiver to my mom. I am starting this blog because I myself have had a really hard time finding any great online support out there for caregivers.  I would search and search and find forums that were so scarce – it looked like an online ghosttown!  What is going on?  I know there are soooooo many of you out there.  So with that said I hope you will find me.  I have been through it so I want to help any caregivers out there that I can AND I know I will learn from you guys as well. 

So, onto my story…. My mom had a massive stroke almost a year ago.  I was living out west in Arizona, working, dating- living and loving my life, then….I got the phone call.  Yeah, you know the one.  Like me, I am SURE you still remember exactly where you were, what you were doing, and how in seconds- literally- your entire world fell apart.  I swear, I can still feel that feeling through my whole body when I think about it.  So, there I was, in a state of complete and total lunacy- getting on a plane with one suitcase- home to Connecticut.  Guess what?  I never went back. (more…)

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