Alexis Baden-Meyer’s mornings are complicated. She wakes up around 6 a.m., ushering herself out of bed just as the Washington D.C. sun climbs over the horizon. Her mother sleeps in the adjoining bedroom, to which the 46-year-old daughter makes a beeline. She bathes and dresses her mother, who’s 76 with Alzheimer’s. Around the house, slowly, others stir. By mid-morning, her husband is cooking breakfast for their young son, and if the timing’s right, he makes breakfast for Baden-Meyer’s mom as well. It’s one less thing for his wife to worry about.
In addition to her full-time nonprofit job, Baden-Meyer is her mother’s full-time caregiver.
“With Alzheimer’s at this stage, there are still moments when her personality shines through,” Baden-Meyer says of her mother, who was diagnosed in 2015. “It’s joy and pain every day.”
Before the pandemic, her mother would attend a daytime care facility on weekdays, giving Baden-Meyer the ability to clock in for a full day’s work. But now that facility is closed. One of their two paid care workers had to stop coming.
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