I picked up the Sunday Syracuse paper on line this morning and went to an article on families taking care of the elderly, their troubles, their sorrow and most importantly the depression that many of them suffer.
I can relate to that article.. 5 years after the fact…I am still in a state of depression.
My story started with my father who could no longer able to do what he had to do and who died (at home except for a few weeks) to my mother who was a burden on him… He passed his bourdon to me. Then my best friend of 37 years in Eaton was dying of Cancer…she needed help.
Since I was running between Eaton and Solvay plus Doctors visits in Syracuse and Syracuse to Eaton every day for a number of years …then not sleeping… trying to listen for my mother’s calls…I became depressed. It was like a nightmare you could not escape from. I finally had to put mom in a nursing home. If you think that can relieve the stress think again.
The care facility was terrible…luckily mom had her mind…some of the workers were nice…but most were underpaid, overworked and working with a mental problem and its drugs… proved to be a horrible experience. Once they overdosed her so bad by changing her medicine she was out of control until I took control.
Mom died in January and then my friend died in April at home …where again nights had become long.
It was over I thought….no…it was just beginning.
I am still trying to find my way back to a happy life or to one that seems normal or worthwhile.
Luckily my parents had enough money for me to hire some wonderful young aids while I was in my daily travels back and forth…and both had good doctors care…. but to “honor your mother and father” is a Commandment that takes a large measure of your life away from you. Ironically the same struggle, if done well, that they suffered through bringing you up as a child.
As I reflect on this article and our caregiving system at present I feel we have lost a basic element…the large family…all in one place or area…no spread out. Now we assume that with our lives we can’t return home to our parents to care for them…time and money constraints.
However leaving their care to a system that is overloaded is not a good answer either.
In my depression I have thought about ending all the thoughts and trouble and awful tiredness behind…but I like so many continue on…one thing is for sure…we are living too long!
Health care has become an enabler to unhappiness and poverty of both the people and of the system. The cost of care is ridiculous... to relieve the family of burden it cost almost everything you have. Cancer care costs are outrageous.
I think we should live our days to the fullest while we have them and then be able to go out much like the old Indians who left and wandered into a field or were carried to a field where they chose to die, leaving nothing but a good memory behind. Those that fight "right to die" should look down the road to their end and think again!