The blessing of giving in

The blessing of giving in

I started being a care giver for my wife about five or six years ago. As she slipped into dementia I took over more and more of her duties and took greater care of her. This was a second marriage for me, I had a similar experience with my first wife who died of...
Death on her own terms

Death on her own terms

Debra wanted her affairs to be in order. Her small home was quiet, save for the beeps and vibrations coming from her late-husband David’s cellphone: alarms reminding her when to eat, when to take her medications, when to water the plants. In the mornings and evenings,...
Help! I’m trapped and terribly resentful

Help! I’m trapped and terribly resentful

I am the sole caregiver for my disabled husband of 49 years. He is diabetic, on dialysis three days a week, a double amputee, and has no feeling in arms and hands. Fingers are part amputated and part gnarled. His hands are almost useless. Before he became truly...
Wheelchair Blues

Wheelchair Blues

You’d think I’d have gotten used to it after four years, ten neurosurgical operations, drug-resistant infections and falls in the middle of the night, but it’s lifting up my husband’s wheelchair to put it into the car that I hate the most. The wheelchair’s handlebars...
There for him

There for him

His independence taken by stroke; he fights back and I am there for him.   Near, aware, anticipating his needs, but reaching out only as he calls.   Standing silently by as he struggles to regain all that he has lost   Recognizing little steps, slow...
Ivan & Marcia

Ivan & Marcia

Ivan opens up about his 20-plus year journey as the primary caregiver for his wife following her Multiple Sclerosis diagnosis. On top of his newfound caregiving duties, he delves into the difficulty of facing and channeling his anger, confronting his own notions of...
The Caregiver’s Education

The Caregiver’s Education

On July 26, 2013 I had a good job. I was making good money. I was contributing significantly to my family’s security, and I was stashing away funds for retirement. On July 27, 2013 I was standing at the foot of an ICU bed watching doctors and nurses intubate my...
This quiet hour

This quiet hour

I need to wash my hair And take a shower But here I sit Enjoying this quiet hour I need to put up Meds And tidy up the room But I cherish this time To just be me There will be plenty to do Very soon Right now I float In this peaceful place My mind has brought me to...
How to welcome the Holidays as a Caregiver

How to welcome the Holidays as a Caregiver

After my husband suffered a catastrophic stroke in 2005, the holidays didn’t seem so merry. I found myself yearning for our life before Don became paralyzed from the neck down and had to use a respirator to breathe. Everything about the holiday season seemed to...