Having always had a problem-solving and creative nature, I have spent my life seeking answers to things that bugged me. When my parents got sick, I did everything I could to help them. I don't think anyone should be alone and afraid.
In 2003, my family convened for a vacation in Florida. My father, a sharp, funny, engaged guy, loved his southeastern home. He was always thrilled to have his kids come down from the cold northern climes of New Jersey to spend time frolicking in the surf and dining with the Early Birds. But on this particular occasion, we noticed some alarming things about Dad. His energy levels were low. He was forgetful. Things were clearly not as we had believed, and he'd obviously been covering his difficulties for some time. So began my caregiving journey with my parents.
My father died in July of 2004 after a year of doctors, tests, misdiagnoses and treatments. He had a lot of cross-complicating conditions, the worst of which was vascular dementia.
His mental decline took my father from us a year before his body succumbed to congestive heart failure. But before he went, we worked together to set things in motion so we could advocate for my parents when they no longer could. I learned about legal documents, the various kinds of insurance and the types of care and facilities available.
My mother managed on her own in Florida for a couple of years after Dad passed, but my husband and I spent all of our vacations attending to her. We'd take her shopping, get things in the apartment repaired and make sure she was managing well.
By 2009, I had to step in with Mom. She stayed with us on and off until she began hallucinating in our home in December of 2010. Following an interval with in-home caregivers, the need for her to have more care than we could provide became clear. She currently resides in a group home 20 minutes from me where she receives care around the clock in a warm, affectionate setting. And I can pop in, visit, and monitor her care and changing needs on a regular basis.
I've learned a tremendous amount about caregiving. My mission, my passion, is to raise awareness, in parents and children, that these situations do arise. Hoping they won't is not a strategy.
Light of Gray is an amalgamation of all my experience. My graphic arts, design and production skills led me to create this web site. I learn and I teach. I see problems and find solutions. I understand how to use tools for the advancement of goals. Now I'm sharing my knowledge with a wider audience of people so they won't be caught by surprise. Because one way or another, there will likely be an elder care crisis of some kind in your life. Let me help you prepare for it. Contact me today.