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Shield HealthCare Spotlight On Alzheimer’s Caregivers: A Daughter’s Story

Gina Flores
Caregiver Advocate | Shield HealthCare
07/12/12  9:59 PM PST

Caregiver Story Spotlight | Shield HealthCare “What Makes Caregiving Rewarding?” Story Contest

Story by Joyce L., Caregiver to her mom with Alzheimer’s disease

“My name is Joyce and I am blessed to be a caregiver for my mother for the past ten years. My mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 1997 and most likely has been living with this theft of a disease prior to that time. My mother lived in Barbados, an island in the Caribbean so we were unable to detect her sickness until she visited us here in the U.S. while vacationing.

Instituting our mother in an elderly home was never an option for us. I quickly started to make preparations for my mother to live with me and to cater to her special needs. Her mobility came to a sudden stop during this time due to a hip injury, making it impossible for her to do anything for herself. I knew that taking care of my mother on my own would be a challenge, but not once did I give it a second thought. Remembering my mother as a robust woman and watching this disease slowly deteriorate her mental and physical state, stealing every memory she ever had is heartbreaking.

Some days I am unaware if my mother even knows who I am, but hearing her singing along to a familiar hymn playing on a gospel station her radio is tuned to, puts a smile on my face. As I quickly run to her side and join her in song, I thank God for this moment of inspiration. Being able to care for my mother at the best of my ability is a blessing. The simple things like braiding her hair, to her three square meals with snacks in between makes me realize just why being a caregiver is such a reward.

I have grown to appreciate and love life a little bit more each day because of my mother. We get so caught up with our daily duties that we don’t take time out for our loved ones. Although this job is a big sacrifice, there isn’t a day that goes by that I ever regret the choice I have made to become my mother’s caregiver and if I had an opportunity to do this all again, with God’s help I would. Without a doubt, caregiving is the most rewarding job ever, especially when the person that you care for is your mother.”

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