Life As a Caregiver – Day to Day

Hear how others have learned to adjust their daily lives after becoming Alzheimer’s disease caregivers.

Almost 15 million Americans (family members and friends) provide unpaid care for a person with Alzheimer’s disease or other dementia.

Laura, Caregiver for Mother, 8 Years, California:
You kinda just have to roll with it, you have to adjust, and every day’s new. Every single day you go, I go and it’s something new and different that wasn’t like that the night before, and that’s tough.

Vivian, Caregiver for Father, 4 Years, Pennsylvania:
If we want to go to dinner, it’s like … and I … thank god for text messaging nowadays.  I’m putting out an APB.  I’m looking for someone to come take care of mom and dad.  Just sit with them for a couple hours so we can do dinner with friends.

Joey, Caregiver for Husband, 12 Years, California:
I make all the decisions, what day John’s gonna get a haircut, whether we are going to go down to the harbor and walk which we do very frequently. I write the checks, send out the cards, I just make all of the decisions.

Caregivers are often responsible for managing a variety of tasks.
Managing finances and legal affairs
Assisting with medications
Daily living activities like shopping

Wayne, Caregiver for Mother, 9 Years, California:
She always paid all of her bills up until just a few months ago when she started becoming very lax on that to the point that she wouldn’t even open up the mail when it came, I’d find it sitting on the chair. Sometimes it was a week old, it would just be sitting on the chair unopened so I’d have to open it, write out the checks etc.

Preparing meals
Managing incontinence

Judith, Caregiver for Mother, 4 Years, Texas:
When I go socially now I think about, “Okay, can I take my mom?  What would it entail?”, because it’s almost like me having a kid because I’ve got to make sure I have her bag with all the goodies and change of clothes and everything else I need, because if I take her out anywhere, I’ve got to be prepared.

Claudia, Caregiver for Mother, 12 Years, Texas:
You have to readjust.  You have to decide for the day what’s more important because there were many times that I could call my mother and I could hear in her voice that she just wanted me there.  So I would get in my car and I’d call people and say, “I can’t do what I’m going to do”, and I’d go there and be with her because that’s what was needed.

Judith, Caregiver for Mother, 4 Years, Texas:
It’s a sacrifice and a lot of people don’t understand or have other family dimensions where they don’t understand caregiving to be from the heart that means involving, taking care of, and being an advocate for your loved one.  They just look at it as, “Oh, well, they’re just getting old.  It’s an old folks’ disease” and it’s like, it’s not.

You are not alone.

Content sponsored by Forest Laboratories, Inc.