I called my grandmother Estelle, Nanny. I was her caregiver for a number of years, while also caring for my grandchildren. We lived in a three-family house where the basement apartment was mine, the top floor was my mother’s, and the middle floor was my grandmother’s. She had many health problems that needed looking after, but it was her desire to live at home and not in a nursing home. I took care of her medicine – getting refills, putting it in her weekly pill box and dispensing it to her. She took up to 20 pills a day plus prescription eyedrops. I also had to test her blood sugar levels using a glucometer. I accompanied her to all of her doctor’s appointments and it usually was an eight-hour day getting her ready, fed, to the appointment, home, fed again, and into bed. I made her meals for her and took care of her housekeeping, laundry, and bills.
In 2015, at the age of 98, my grandmother passed away after becoming unconscious at home. I did CPR while waiting for the paramedics to arrive. After working on her for at least 20 minutes, they got a pulse back and took her to the hospital, but she passed away in the emergency room. Although it seems like my grandmother was very weak, in hindsight I can see that she was very strong because she made it to the age of 98 with her mental capacity intact, despite all the health problems that she had. We were five generations living in one house and she had seven great-great-grandchildren who brought her a lot of joy.
Source: AARP Caregiver Stories
We want to hear your story! Why? Because your story matters. Have you ever listened to someone talk about their life and thought ‘Oh, someone else has been through that, too? I thought it was just me!’ Every story shared is a chance to aid another caregiver and help them feel less alone.
We hope this information is helpful to you in the important work you do as a family caregiver.
For more resources, subscribe to our free eNewsletter!