I Was a Struggling Caregiver for My Parents. CDPAP Saved the Day.
You can call me Jane. I was a caregiver for my parents, and I am telling you my story in hopes that it will help you or someone you know to take better care of a loved one.
I am one of four daughters. My dad worked for the same company for as long as I can remember. They gave him commemorative designer pens for work anniversaries and a pension. It’s the kind of career people just don’t have anymore. My mom was a homemaker and did a ton of volunteer work. They had money saved for retirement, the whole nine yards. My dad did everyone’s taxes for years after he retired. Suffice it to say… my parents really had it together.
But, of the four of us kids, I was the only one who lived in the same town. One sister was 2 hours away by car, another 7 hours away, and the other lived on the opposite coast. So when mom started to struggle with her memory and couldn’t cook the same way anymore, I helped. When they needed a shoe box full of prescription pills divvied into an AM/PM organizer once a week, I helped. When they needed to be taken to an appointment and couldn’t drive, I helped.
But I had a full-time job, and as their needs increased, so did my stress. I wanted to be there but it was a LOT.
My sister who lives 2 hours away took on the role of the Designated Representative and I was paid for my services without getting any sort of professional certifications.
Being able to really focus on giving care – without worrying about paying my bills – was a HUGE relief. And to be honest, Dad can be a bit of a curmudgeon. He likes things a certain way and isn’t always polite with new people.
Eventually, Mom and Dad needed more care than we could give at home and moved into an assisted living facility, but giving them a few more years in their own home, with people they know and love and trust was such a big gift… for all of us.
I’m back at work on a normal schedule now, but will always be grateful for the CDPAP program and what it allowed me to give to my parents.
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