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Caregiving Throughout the Circle of Life: Present, Patient and Kind
Life blindsided our family in the fall of 2018 when my wife, Pat, was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer that quickly progressed to stage IV. After a torturous 17-month journey of tests, chemotherapy, ER visits, surgeries, extended hospital stays, and clinical trials, Pat went to her heavenly home. But the chaos pancreatic cancer tried to create could not steal our joy of life, kill our faith or destroy our hope for the future.
My bride of over 35 years blessed us with three terrific children. They, in turn, have blessed us with seven grandchildren, ranging in age from 9 to 1 year old. Close geographic proximity and strong relationships allowed us to help care for our six oldest grandchildren together before cancer took Pat’s life in 2020. It is one of the greatest blessings we have ever had. Our grandchildren truly stole our hearts.
I learned a few key lessons from caring for our grandkids that helped me care for my beautiful spouse. Now, I am absolutely not implying to ever treat an adult like a child. Adults who need assistance in daily life deserve respect, dignity and the ability to maintain some type of independence. They have feelings, thoughts and opinions that must always be considered. However, beginning-of-life and end-of-life care share some characteristics.
Pancreatic Cancer Action Network
It's easy to put distance between you and the devastation that happens to others. ...Until it happens to you.
Even AARP’s expert on caregiving was bankrupted by caregiving costs
It’s not easy being a caregiver for a sick or elderly parent or relative. Nor is it cheap.
Family caregivers provide an estimated $470 billion worth of free care to loved ones, according to the Wall Street Journal, and spend an average 26% of their personal income on caregiving expenses.
A third of caregivers use their own personal savings to pay the bills. Twelve percent take out loans or borrow from others.
It’s such a financially perilous situation that AARP’s own caregiving expert, Amy Goyer, filed for bankruptcy protection in 2019 as a result of attending to the needs of her ailing parents.
She simply ran out of cash after more than a decade looking after her mother, who had a stroke, and her father, who had Alzheimer’s.
by David Lazarus / KTLA.com / Published February 21, 2022
Whether in a medical professional setting or personal homes, Caregivers are caring and caring takes energy, wisdom and compassion. This Caregiver Blog is here to give you insight, encouragement and tools, not just to give care but to survive and thrive while doing it.