Letter from the Editor

Mum and MeThe decision to move my mother from her apartment to our home was both sudden and obvious. Clearly, my sisters and I knew she would fare better living near what’s dear to her – family, familiar food, and her favorite possessions.

My initial thought that my experience working at Disability Action Center would prepare me for this task was proven wrong after having her home for several days. But turning to the Independent Living Specialists at DAC saved the day! They have a wealth of information and experience that solved a number of important issues immediately.

Assistive technology, like a toilet riser, was our first find. That extra 6 inches of height has already prevented several falls.

Next came monitors for when she is seated or sleeping. These were the means for me to regain my sanity, as it is impossible to be constantly on watch, waiting to assist her. Although she finds the alarm annoying, they have also prevented several falls.

Getting her on board with the whole move is a challenge. We have eased her into it, by spoonfuls rather than buckets. Sometimes this means tweaking my language, that her personal assistant is here to help with chores rather than her “care”. And we remind her that with this help, I am able to return to work and make life less stressful. DAC has been wonderful in helping me to set up this in home care.

Caring for Mum is almost a full time job. Medical issues mean weekly trips to the doctors as well as managing the rest of my family’s errands and appointments. This requires careful planning and the ability to work from home.

I’ve learned the key is involving the help of our whole family to ensure the best care. Everyone has been able to pitch in to provide relief care.

There are definitely benefits to caring for Mum. It’s providing a growth experience for all of us. A chance for my own children to create an intimacy with her they otherwise wouldn’t be able to. And I am sure it makes a difference in the quality of life for her!

To contribute an article or comment on an article, please contact me at:
vicki@dacnw.org