SO MUCH HAS HAPPENED this month. It’s been hard for me to keep up.
My blogiversary month is coming to a close.
It’s been a great party!
I shared the stories of 5 amazing millennials who offered their experience and lessons learned on their caregiving journeys as a gift to you. Watch them all here: http://rachelh15.sg-host.com/blogiversary/
I recorded a rap video (#TakingCareofGrandmaRap Coming soon! We’re putting the finishing touches on it now 😘)
Wait, we’re supposed to be looking ahead.
Here’s what excites me and stresses me about the journey ahead.
What excites me:
It seems like a long way away, but the FOURTH Annual National Caregiving Conference is happening in Chicago November 7 through 10, 2019.
At NCC19, I will be presenting
- From Cash Under the table to Family directing Grandma’s Sidekicks
- Helping Family Caregivers Spell Out What R-E-S-P-I-T-E Means to Me
- Our Amazing Difference: The Anthem
- Recruiting Quality Help
as well as receiving the Caregiver of the Year Award.
I launched a support group for family caregivers in Kansas City early in 2018. This year, we are working on filing our 501c3 so we can become a formal organization offering supports to those caring for a loved one in the KC Metro. I’m so excited to see how this unfolds and the opportunities to make lasting change for people like you and me in KC!
Peep us out at https://sandwichedkc.com
What stresses me:
Over the past few months, Grandma has been falling deeper and deeper into dementia.
Sometimes, she doesn’t recognize me. [Read more: I’m Only Rachel, Sometimes]
I know that this will happen more and more frequently, but it doesn’t hurt any less.
It’s really hard watching someone you’ve seen as a superhero your whole life transform into a completely new identity.
My grandma used to be loud and commanded the attention of the room. She never forgot a birthday or missed an occasion to send a card. She was always taking care of me.
Now, she is meek and mild. She barely (if at all) remembers what day it is and is starting to forget where she is in time and space on a regular basis.
While preparing for the ultimate loss that lies ahead, I’m engaged in a daily battle against the course of nature.
Thankfully, I found the Dawn Method, a framework that helps family caring for loved ones with dementia learn the tools and strategies they need to support moments of joy, foster emotional stability in the face of uncertainty, and make it safe to fail. We can let her fade away gracefully, with dignity and respect, .
Cost of Care
Right now we’re waiting on insurance to kick in to cover Grandma’s Sidekicks. The waiting is killing me. I know we’ll be okay, and that I need to practice patience, but in the back of my mind, I’m thinking…. what if this all falls apart? There’s no way we can keep this up long term if the insurance doesn’t kick in.
I’m glad that I’m going through this, though, because worrying about a sustainable financial future is a common experience many families go through.
That Dang Ole Turnover
For some reason, when I ventured out to fund our self-directed care with Grandma’s long term care insurance, I figured I wouldn’t have to deal with the typical problems that providers experience.
Once again, reality has slapped me in the face, as one of our Sidekicks moves on to a full-time teaching job. Instead of looking for a backup Sidekick like I should have been the past few months, I was too busy trying to be famous. Now, I will probably have to pick up one of the outgoing Sidekick’s days for the time being.
Who’s going to take care of me?
As I approach my next birthday and inch closer and closer to my mid-thirties, I can help but wonder what the future lies in store for me.
An only child who’s currently childless and unmarried, if I keep going at the current rate, I will be joining the growing number of Elder Orphans (Read more: https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/ct-elder-orphans-met-20161212-story.html) in my golden years.
I pray that the great leaps and bounds the tech field is seeing will continue, and by the time I’m my grandma’s age, tech will make it possible for me to live the life I want… even if there’s no one around to take care of me 😉
What are you looking forward to most in the future? What freaks you out? I’d love to hear from you. If you don’t mind sharing, drop it in the comments! 👇👇👇👇👇