The crisis of not being prepared . . .

“In theory, I believed I could take care of my mom, keep up with her home, and take care of my family, my kids and myself.  In reality, I’m running Mom to her doctor appointments and my kids to school and sporting events or sleepovers.  I am constantly torn, feeling guilty that I’m not doing enough for anyone, including taking care of myself.” – S.B., San Mateo, Ca.

“I think my son and daughter worried that I would want to move in with them so they could take care of me.  Fact is, I didn’t’.  It was the elephant in the room for the longest time.  I have always valued my independence.  That doesn’t change with age.  But I inevitably ended up needing their help.  I am grateful and don’t know what I would do without them, but it definitely alters their way of living and mine.” – S.P., Richmond, Ca.

“My wife had to be available 24/7.  She also became my chauffeur and needed to help me shower and dress – to help me move at all, really.  It impacted her freedom and her lifestyle.” – M.E., Oakland, Ca.

“My husband had to take time off from his job to help me, more than we expected.  He was frustrated that I had so much pain and felt like he wasn’t helping enough.  I hated asking for so much assistance.” – B.D., Concord, Ca.

“If my sister could take Mom in for just one month, she would understand the day-to-day challenges and responsibility.  I want to take care of her and wouldn’t have it any other way.  But sometimes I just get burned out and feel spread too thin.  I wish my sister could simply give me a little relief from time to time, just for me to take a break.” – J.D., Berkeley, Ca.

“We expected things to change, but the reality of caring for someone 24/7 changes life the way you know it.  It’s nothing like I imagined.” – M.S., Long Beach, Ca.

“I have less time to spend with my husband and my kids.  I have less time to spend with friends.  I miss being home at nights because I’m having to stay day and night with my parents at their home.  It wears me out physically and mentally.” – M.M., Sacramento, Ca.

“I am an only child, and my mother’s plan was to have me care for her.  She became ill during the worst financial crisis of our lifetime.  She is better now, after a year, however we are broke.” – F.S., San Diego, Ca.

. . . and the Value of Planning Ahead…

“ . . . it does allow me to orchestrate his care rather than administer it.  Having a skilled caregiver there to help lift and bathe him, and provide the care he needs allows me to spend my time visiting with him, doing things that mean more to us both.”