I was 27 when I left my first full-time job to care for my mother when she was diagnosed with frontotemporal dementia in 2013.
So many millennials are still recovering from the recession of 2008 and have already struggled with finding a job, establishing credit, or buying a home. This is especially true for many folx in the African-American community. Personally, I graduated at the height of the recession and stepped into a job market that was crumbling. I turned to freelance, temp, and contract work to try to get by, continuing to live with my parents. Many millennials rely on gig-economy jobs like food delivery or rideshare services. Our baby boomer parents are getting older and many of them are getting sick. So for many millennials, we’ve found ourselves taking on caregiver responsibilities sooner than we expected, on the heels of job uncertainty. I, for one, did not expect to be dealing with all of this at such a young age.
To be honest, at the time I didn’t realize it would be a long-term situation. I thought maybe it would be for a couple of months. But that was almost eight years ago.
At first, my mother, the poet Anne Atik, had seemed just ordinarily confused. Then, very gradually, the confusion took on a pathological aspect. She...