Three years ago my parents were living to an apartment which had served them well after selling the family home 5 years earlier. After watching their health decline for about a year, my husband and I urged them that it may be time for them to move on. Between arthritic knees, hips and other health issues the stairs within their apartment pad just weren’t working anymore.
So what do I do? I did what any daughter in her 40’s who has lost her mind, I invited them to come live with us. I jest…I had known since I was in my teens that when the time came, I wanted my parents to move in with me where I could provide care for them as long as possible.
I didn’t see myself as a caregiver until this time last year when my father became gravely ill and was rushed to the hospital. Up until then I’d had the pleasure of watching my parents jump right into our household with a friendly hug for my daughters as soon as they arrived home from school. Dad was rushed to the hospital where my Mum, my sister and I met him. This was the time when I recognized that I am indeed my parents caregiver, many of us miss this as we simply see ourselves as a wife, mother or child of the person we’re helping.
After a night in the hospital, the doctor on the ward took a look at Dad’s history and let us know that he felt there could be one of 3 things going on; blood clots in the lungs, pneumonia or lung cancer. Apparently Dad had what the doctor felt was likely a 3 inch tumour in his lungs. Assuming the doctor’s supposition was correct, this was a terminal lung cancer…These were awfully difficult words to hear. I knew my Dad’s health wasn’t great but it seemed so sudden somehow.
It turned out that my Dad is a strong fighter and beat what turned out to be pneumonia that had threatened his life. This seemed like an impossibility at the time and over the course of that week my Mum, Dad and I had conversations I didn’t expect to be having. We organized their financial affairs, prepared for their funerals and ensured their wills were in order. This was actually a relieving time for them, having me assist them in ensuring that their wishes were laid out and that there would be no financial worries for my Mum set my Dad at ease. If you’re a caregiver who needs to organize finances or legal documents, you may find this article on Elizz helpful.
Elizz is a place to go for all things caregiving – Elizz delivers exceptional services, support and new possibilities for those caring for others. I’ve been reading through the site and am just wishing I’d found it sooner. Having support as a caregiver is invaluable. This is one of my most cherished roles in life and I want to ensure I am armed with the knowledge to support my parents properly.
Elizz helps people to discover more about themselves as a caregiver, and prepare for the journey ahead. The Elizz 5 Stages of Caregiving ranges from helping out with everyday activities to providing 24/7 care and support. Take the 5 Stages of Caregiving Quiz to see where you’re at now. Which Elizz caregiver services are right for you?
Right now we’re in the “Helping” stage of caregiving but things can change quickly and being prepared will make all of the difference. I am grateful each and everyday that my Dad is still here and we’re spending time enjoying having them in our lives, making memories together.