The Trials and Tribulations of Caring for a Loved One with Long Term Illness

This blog post is the introduction of the story of dealing with the trials and tribulations of caring for my mother who had Parkinson's Disease.

My father passed away at age fifty- eight years old after a
long bout of dealing with heart and kidney disease. And my mother had no idea
that at age fifty-five that she would be diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease
right after he passed away.  And she certainly did not have any idea that she would die at age sixty- nine from complications of this disease.

When my dad was ill, my mother took care of his affairs
however, when my mother became ill and as her disease progressed it was up to
my siblings and I to take care of her daily and long term needs.  Needs that included help with her finances, dealing with doctors, medications and her activities of daily living. It was a learning process every day and there was no time for a learning curve.  There was so much to take care of, that at
times, I would start hyperventilating and would age by years in a matter of
minutes.  Every day, my brother, sister and I would talk about the future in terms of our mother’s living situation and her finances knowing that at some point my mother would be totally dependent on us. As my mother slowly lost her independence and had to stop working and then had to stop driving, there is one thing that we were really thankful for! 

 My mother did have the foresight to buy long term care insurance. Something she could have only done when she was healthy.  Most people do not
like to talk about the future in terms of getting ill. And they certainly do
not think they will get an “old” person’s disease when they are young.

There are no guarantees in life but what I can guarantee you, that if you have a long term care event and you need long term care, your hard earned assets could be eaten up really quickly by the care you might need. Or more importantly, if you want family members to take care of you, the stress they will be under may cause them to become ill from an emotional, mental and physical overload. It may even cause your family members to die prematurely.

The reason that I am writing this blog is my experiences that I had with my mother, her disease, and my siblings.  In my future posts, I will cover the trials
and tribulations of caring for a loved one with a long term illness(s) and
planning for the future. There are many things I wish I knew then that I know

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

rosemary conte January 04, 2013 at 08:14 PM
Amy, congratulations on your blog and on writing about the very important topic of planning for and caring of elderly, ill loved ones. Because you have "been there", your insight will be most valuable to readers. It's always a very special opportunity for learning when one looks to professionals with "experience" as the best teachers.
Ellen Armstrong January 04, 2013 at 08:54 PM
When there is a story to tell there lies the expert. In going through this experience you can share the importance of why looking in the future for our loved ones and ourselves is so important. Great job Amy....


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