My husband Marty and I live in Indian Mound, TN on some beautiful property my sister owns. We have a plant and herb nursery. Along with that I write articles on herbs and healing therapies. I have been a health coach and master herbalist for over 35 years. The past several years, I have been taking classes given by dedicated and exceptional holistic doctors on aging and holistic health, dementia, memory loss and Alzheimer’s. These classes are on preventing memory loss, dementia, and Alzheimer’s and overcoming it. I took them to help my father in law and because my husband and I are in are middle 60’s. We don’t want to end up like he did and others I have taken care of. My goal is to share this information with you that your doctor will not tell you about. It is my hope to help readers to save themselves and their loved ones before it is too late.
What most of you reading my blogs do not know is how many years on the side, I worked as a professional and private care giver. I worked as a care giver while I got my business going and to support the many classes I have taken. Those years were the hardest, most heart wrenching, but most rewarding of my life. The ghosts of the people that passed on haunt my dreams and heart. This blog gives voice to their lives and their stories.
My professional experience as a care giver
In the 1980’s was my first experience with agony of the legal aspects of care giving. This couple had no children and were aging. I became friends with the man who was a writer and his wife. He had some paralysis and she was losing her memory. They decided to move into a nearby assisted living/nursing home facility. It was only a few weeks later that bills were not getting paid, there were complaints about their little dog and her memory getting worse. They asked me to become power of attorney for them. That resulted in trying to get them better care from the staff, fighting the staff on everything from cockroaches to flooding of their room. She lost her eye due to infection from flies. She was overdosed on sleeping medication twice. I moved her to the only nursing home in the whole area with good reports after her husband passed away. I could not get them to move while he was still living despite the bad care they were receiving.
IN 2000, I was running a paper which ended due to a company take over. The stress of that finished off my marriage at the time as well. So it was a very difficult time to say the least. I had my holistic health business on the side and taught classes locally but it did not completely pay the bills. I was working in an area where health was not a major concern with the people who lived there. Insurance for the most part does not even today pay for alternative medicine. I was working with poor people who had cultural bad diets.
With not enough steady income coming in, I applied for my first care giving job with an agency. During the eight years that followed I worked on my business to get it online and I took care of patients through different agencies, several private jobs, and as a private care giver in a expensive assisted living facility. What I saw and experienced during those years tore my heart apart from violations in the nursing homes to the general treatment given elderly patients that cannot speak for themselves in many cases.
In 2004, I met my husband whose father was a retired Navy commander His father was a pistol even before dementia set in about 2012. He was a man who demanded things be done his way or the highway. When he issued a no, there was no discussion. He had been drinking all his life, hard drinking. He had been a pro golfer and could still play an amazing game of golf up to several months before he died in 2018 at 94 years old.
In 2015 we took him back here to live with us in TN. He lived with us for a year, then we moved him to his own apartment with myself as his care giver.
In 2018, that became a full time job for me until 5 weeks before he passed away. Those 5 weeks in the lock up unit of the dementia ward still trouble my heart. His father dying taught me the harsh realities of care giving from the legal view and the emotional view of taking care of family members personally, rather than as a agency job. Taking care of family, is a whole different view than taking care of a patient through an agency.
So much needs to be told to you the family who is contemplating what do we do with our parents as they age. So this blog is for you, to help you avoid the pitfalls of dementia Alzheimer’s, memory loss and nursing homes. This blog combines my experience as a professional caregiver, with the education and experience as a health coach. You must learn how to help yourselves and your loved ones to keep and repair their aging brain and memory problems.
I hope you will come back and I had articles and information to this site. Thank You so much for reading!
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