I want to share with you some thoughts from my oldest sister about the experience we all have had caring for our elderly mom.
Pictured right is my mom, Thursa Revenaugh, typing fervently in 1948 at Adrian college, Michigan, and a few months ago (pictured below) when I was in California caring for her.
By Adrian Eve Revenaugh:
"Referring to my Mom's challenges as age related brain shrinkage.
The resulting end-stage dementia, as is Advanced Dementia are being discussed recently as a fatal disease worthy of being included in health care delivery systems appropriately.
Everyone needs to be an advocate, cause 'none of us get out of here alive', (who said that? Jim Morrison?).
Many of the symptoms (that our mother is experiencing) are similar to AD. One being the terror of falling, a result from the syndrome of Ataxia, manifesting in the inability to be upright, ie: where gravity and vertigo rule.
Total incontinence makes things 'no damn fun' for the gal, as does a decreasing ability to read; her life long passion. We are now seeing random, spot infections and a nightly fever, though not ill. I've learned these are all classic symptoms of 'end-stage', the end of life in process.
Mom's been bed bound for twenty-one months. Plucky!
We've been very fortunate (all four of us grown children). Being able to arrange our lives and business' around her care is something we never considered possible nor that she would consider allowing.
It's been optimal, though hard. It's something I highly encourage families to consider trying. With additional outside support such as Hospice. Hospice is covered in many states by Medicare, some insurances.
The community where I live, volunteerism is so highly valued as a way to be, we've put together an incredible free Hospice effort from our own community members which include professionals and house calls.
Our turn is coming. Why not make it as good as we're able?"
~Adrian Eve Revenaugh (One of my big sisters).