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A ride on the caregiving roller coaster

rollercoasterfearWhen I was touring new facilities for my mom, I recall seeing several residents with soft-looking padding around their arms. One of my tour guides saw my perplexed look and explained that the resident suffered from skin tears and the thing that looked almost like a soft-cast protected her tear from worsening as well as getting a new one. I’d never heard of these.

In the course of two weeks, my mom has suffered two skin tears. It seems they are just a new complication to my mom’s health. My mom continues to be a poor eater. I keep nutritional shakes in her refrigerator, along with cans of mandarin oranges and pears for snacks. Every choice is guided by the comfort and pleasure it would deliver to my mom.

I met up with the women who helped me find a new community that would be better suited to my mom’s needs. They knew we were days away from moving my mom when she suddenly declined after receiving pain medication and the swift move into hospice care. When I report that my mom has improved and has just re-qualified to move into the community, a comment is made about the roller-coaster of emotions the caregiver experiences. I was not expecting for my mom to be around for Christmas. However, she has steadily improved in the past few weeks and is surprisingly alert and even recalling appointments for her hair care.

I love a good amusement park, but this is one ride I hope to never find there. Experienced. 

4 comments on “A ride on the caregiving roller coaster

  1. It is indeed a roller coaster. On an up-and-down ride with my mother’s health situation at the moment, so I totally understand where you are coming from. All we can do is hang on tight!

  2. Not only is caregiving a roller coaster ride – for the family member and the loved one with dementia – but the disease itself acts as a moving target. Just when you think you’ve caught up with the new normal, a newer normal appears.

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