Have you seen the wonderful ads that AARP & the Ad Council have teamed up to create yet? If you haven’t, click “play” below -- it’s well worth one minute and six seconds of your time, I promise.
Okay, so the message is clear: caregiving is really tough. Tougher than Danny Trejo, which is pretty tough. And yet, millions of Americans make that choice every single day: to care for their aging parents or loved ones in their own homes.
And, yes, many of them are men. My husband, Kevin, is among them, as is my father-in-law, Bob. They both work hard to care for my mother-in-law, Theresa, as she spirals further and further into Alzheimer’s and dementia and all that comes with that path.
We’re doing all that we can to make sure Theresa is cared for and loved and stays at home as long as possible. We’re modifying their home so she can stay there. We make ourselves available as needed to talk, to listen to Bob, because he needs a judgment-free outlet. Kevin goes down to spend a few days with them when he can. And then I’m the listener -- every day, several times, and every night. I love Theresa, but I worry about my husband and the added stress of caring for his mom and worrying about his dad. But it’s okay. It’s what family does. So I will do my part, keeping our child and our house and our business running when he has to be away, and being available as much as possible to him.
Caregiving is absolutely tougher than tough. But I believe that we are making it easier for everyone involved, most especially Bob and Theresa, by keeping them in their own home. Theresa needs her familiarity, her routine, her things, her space, her Bobby. I’m glad we chose to make sure their home is age-at-home ready and appropriate so that she can comfortably stay there for as long as possible, with her caregivers at her side.