Caregiving, neither for the faint of heart or the weak of stomach, has been such an enormous part of my life. And I don’t really see a life “after” caregiving. It all started with my mother and a diagnosis of early on-set Alzheimer’s Disease back in the 90’s, and continues today as I work to help my grandmother who is in her 90’s continue to live in her home.
It’s more than an interest, it has become a way of life. And here in West Virginia it is certainly a needed way of life. so much of our elderly community has found themselves alone, forgotten, or just plain out of options. for all of our talk about being a retirement state, there wasn’t much planning put into managing the ongoing lives once the golf, shopping, travel, and dining days were replaced by the darker parts of aging. In a recent conversation with a local elder services director, it was mentioned that our county has a population of almost 15,000 seniors (65+), but they only receive funding to provide services to about 1,000, much less than the demand for their services.
Although many of those 15,000 don’t need help and support, not only can that can easily change, but there are many caregivers struggling to make it through until they, essentially, win the elder services lottery.