TWO DAUGHTER'S PERSPECTIVES ON CARE FOR THEIR PARENTS
my father was diagnosed with terminal cancer two years ago, I couldn't
imagine that things would unfold for his gentle care and a peaceful
death of dignity. I live in Victoria BC where I have three school aged
children and I freelance as a musician to earn my living. Even though I
wanted to be a part of solutions and support my siblings and family who
all live in Saskatchewan, nearer to my father, I simply could not be
there. I am grateful for the numerous options that Home Instead
provided for our whole family.
Dad's cancer progressed and his heath declined, we were able, through
Home Instead to set up quality care not just for my father in his
illness but also for my mother as she grew weary holding full
responsibility for his care. Dad's illness made him weak and
irritable. Thankfully he had few actual medical needs. But his and my
mother's emotional needs were many and we just couldn't be with them
enough to help design a life of safety, purpose and hope. The Home
Instead caregivers were able to assist my parents through many
challenges; some big and some small. There were dinner parties they
helped prepare and serve that gave my parents a sense of normalcy when
it felt like life was turning upside down. There was chauffeuring to
appointments like chemo sessions and visits with friends. There were
long chats over cups of tea, listening to precious life stories told for
a final time as well as discussions over details about Dad's care.
Eventually there was personal care for Dad and 24 hour care to give Mom
extra peace of mind as Dad moved toward death, his mobility became
hazardous and oxygen was in use.
not been for the work and system of Home Instead, Dad would have nearly
fallen through the cracks of their medical system. More stress would
have been on us to uproot our families and careers to attend to our
parents, and those logistics would have become very complicated. The
Home Instead staff were a huge source of information about end of life
considerations and issues all of which were new to our family. We would
have been exhausted trying to learn and look after all that information
on our own.
Losing a loved one is
never easy. There's no way around the grief and sorrow of illness and
death. However, easing the stress of the logistics does make the
process easier. Saying goodbye to my father has been a rich experience
for me and our family. As we celebrated his life, we also had peace of
mind that we gave him what my mother called "the care he really
deserved" and eased the load for her in the gut wrenching experience of
losing her life partner of 57 years. I know Dad was happy about how he
was looked after and also happy that he wasn't a burden to Mom nor
anyone in the family and that in this process there was care for Mom
Death is an eventual reality for
us all. Wouldn't it be great if none of us had to dread the
institutionalization, the isolation, the neglect, and the
marginalization of those final moments of life? I wish for more people
to have help from Home Instead and experience aging with dignity.
Thank you Home Instead! Arlene Overman
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