Gina is a caregiver for her 88-year-old father, Joel, and was also caring for her mother until she passed away last month at the age of 90.
Joel was diagnosed nine years ago with Alzheimer’s. Initially it began with signs of confusion, forgetfulness, hallucinations, and wandering; he even got lost numerous times. Joel is now in the middle stages of the disease and he suffers from several health ailments.
Gina’s mother had Leukemia and suffered from severe arthritis that caused her to be bed-bound. Gina had to take her mother to weekly chemotherapy treatments which was challenging because she could not leave her father unattended. Juggling multiple medical appointments was incredibly difficult.
Because of her parents limited mobility, Gina had to carry and transfer her parents from bed to chair. She did not have any assistive equipment to help with this. On the days that her parents had medical appointments, Gina had to carry her parents up and down the stairs because the landlord did not allow home modifications. Gina’s physical health has deteriorated due to the heavy lifting and carrying, as well as lack of rest.
Gina’s emotional health has also been impacted. Her family has only been able to provide limited support, and the challenges encountered by the family have been exacerbated by living on a fixed income. Although Gina’s mother is no longer around, her father must still be supervised 24/7.
How We Helped
Alzheimer’s LA helped provide emergency respite funds so that Gina could accompany her mother to the chemotherapy sessions and ensure that her dad was safely being supervised. One of our Care Counselors provided Gina with education on how to navigate the health care system. We even showed Gina how to obtain a wheelchair and bath chair for her father through his health insurance. This not only eases the physical demands of caregiving, it also provides her father with increased mobility.
Despite Gina’s exhaustion, pain, and grief over her mother’s death, she remains strong-willed. She continues to provide the best possible care for her father.
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