Caregiver Story September 2018

On April 2, 2016 while on vacation in Pompano Beach, I received a call that would change my world. The family member my Mom lived with informed me my Mother could no longer stay with her due to family issues. This is how my caregiving journey began. I went from retired and no responsibilities to speak of to caring for my 93 year old mother with Alzheimer's. 

When my mother first moved in with me it didn't take long to realize there would be challenges. Bouts of confusion, repeating questions, walking without her cane and attempting to perform tasks she could no longer do. Changes in medication seemed to help with some of the confusion. With the help and support of family and friends, patience and time we were having more good days than bad. I started attending Easterseals caregivers support group. This provided me an additional layer of support. 

Feb.1, 2018 my Mom was transported to Silver Cross with acute hip pain, unable to bare weight or walk on her left leg. She was admitted for observation. Mom was hospitalized 9 days. The longest 9 days of my life. Each day brought a new challenge. My Mom's medical condition was constantly changing. A sibling and two other family members that hadn't been present and available for Mom are at the hospital trying to give input relating to her health care. The drama they were bringing was unbelievable. 

On Feb. 20, 2018 with family at her bedside, we watched Mom take her final breath. 

Prior to her hospitalization my mother was mobile and active, attending adult daycare 2-3 times a week. Recognized our faces. Participated in conversation ....often lively conversation. In her last days she was unable to speak, couldn't feed herself and eventually stopped eating. 

Six months have passed and not a day goes by that I don't think of my mother. I miss her warm smile, the sound of her laughter. Waking during the night to the sound of her singing, praising and praying to her Lord and savior. The joy and happiness she got from seeing my four grandsons. The list could go on and on. But what I really miss being able to talk to my Mom. 

My dear mother, Pearl Johnson....Aka ma,momma, Miss Pearl, Momma Pearl, aunt granny ....know you will always be loved and remembered. As we continue to grieve we take solace in knowing you are with the Lord and all is well with your soul.

Denise Johnson


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