Palm tree sandy beach sunrise

Every Woman Who’s Caring for Aging Parents Deserves a Break from Reality

When my brother died three years ago, my mother’s mind had begun taking turns down fanciful paths with views far more lovely than the one reality offers. She started to have spells during which she believed that her son was actually two people, one the grown man who had died of an overdose, one a child, a “little guy,” who crawls into bed and sleeps with her at night.

These delusions, occasional at first, soon grew more intense, prolonged and frequent. Eventually she started believing that we’re living in a different house than the one my parents had bought back when my brother and I were young. When her doctor told her gently, as sat I watching, that she “has some dementia issues,” I simply nodded, went home and gave my father the diagnosis we both knew was coming.

Every single woman who is taking care of someone with so cruel a disease as dementia should get a three-day pass to sit in an opulent resort along the sea in the Mexican sun. A prescription to Pacifica should be written and given to all the members of the “daughter care” army, as we’re all being called now, according to the New York Times. The Times article sounded the alarm about the aging American population, the increase in dementia cases that will result from it (3 million more, up to 8.5 million by 2030), and the burden it will place upon women, who minister to elderly parents in disproportionately greater numbers than men. According to the Times, these duties, which are mostly unpaid, tend to isolate us socially, causing problems in marriages and friendships.

Read more in Women’s Day.

This is an external article from our library

Everyone is talking about caregiving, but it can still be difficult to find meaningful information and real stories that go deep. We read (and listen to and watch and look at) the best content about caregiving and bring you a curated selection.

Have a great story about care work? Use our contact form to submit it to us so we can share it with the community!

Related Articles

Tidewrack

Tidewrack

It was two months after Mum died. I would not meet anyone. I would not answer messages. I would not talk about my feelings. I didn’t want to chat. I...

Elderly and imprisoned

Elderly and imprisoned

"Efforts to reduce the aging prison population are driven not solely by compassion but also by the tremendous cost of incarcerating older people....

Popular categories

Finances
Burnout
After Caregiving
Housing
Relationships
Finding Meaning
Planning
Dying
Finding Support
Work
Grief

Don't see what you're looking for? Search the library

Share your thoughts

0 Comments

Share your thoughts and experiences

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Join our communities

Whenever you want to talk, there’s always someone up in one of our Facebook communities.

These private Facebook groups are a space for support and encouragement — or getting it off your chest.

Join our newsletter

Thoughts on care work from Cori, our director, that hit your inbox each Monday morning (more-or-less).

There are no grand solutions, but there are countless little ways to make our lives better.

Share your insights

Caregivers have wisdom and experience to share. Researchers, product developers, and members of the media are eager to understand the nature of care work and make a difference.

We have a group specifically to connect you so we can bring about change.