Who we’re taking care of

December 3, 2017

our families

Caregiving effects everyone. Our community members are taking care of many different people with many different conditions and ability levels.

Who are you taking care of?

My son. He just turned 18 last week. Autistic. Nonverbal, not toilet trained. He’s 6’5 and 180 pounds but behaves as a two year old requiring constant supervision. – KR

Me. After more than 10yrs of taking care of my Mom. She died in 2015 and evidently I have neglected myself and have some catching up to do with Dr.’s visits and procedures. Don’t forget yourselves people. – LJ

My beautiful 34 yr old son. He has autism, epilepsy, developmental delays and Tourette Syndrome. – DS

My 27 year old amazing son. Had a car accident almost 5 years ago. Has a TBI, non verbal, unable to walk or eat by mouth. total care. – JS

My son…..he’s 33, has mind of a five year old, not potty trained, non verbal, violent, and the absolute love of my life! – CB

I live on our family homestead, and am the full-time caregiver for my 90 year old Mom. She’s still very healthy physically and mentally, and she is still able to do most things for herself, though she’s moving much slower and sometimes a little wobbly. I maintain the homestead, inside and out, and do all of the grocery shopping and cooking. I also handle all of her financial, insurance, and prescription matters, as well as book her doctor appointments and such, and take her to them. – DR

My 15 year old special needs daughter. She is non-verbal, severe cognitive impairment, and has intractable epilepsy. She’s a cool kid, but it’s really difficult and lonely at times. – CS

My 83 yr old disabled mother and I’m a CNA at a day program for the mentally and physically challenged. Believe me, it’s the toughest but also the most rewarding job I’ve had. At the end of the day I literally fall into bed. – BO

My beautiful daughter. She is 13 years old, born with TTC7A, a severe enteropathy and immunodeficiency. On TPN and assessed to be listed for a multivisceral transplant. – KK

I am taking care of my brother after we lost our father in oct 2009 and his mother in December 2009. He has out lived his life expectancy by 17-21 yrs. Out lived both parents, 3 grandparents, babysister with same condition and many other family members. He is 36yrs old and drs said he would not live past 16-21 yrs of age. – SC

I now fill in & oversee my 47year old quadriplegic daughter, she had a rollover accident exactly 6yrs ago today. I was her 24/7 caregiver for 4 & 1/2 yrs. After my doctors told me I could no longer care for her on a day to day basis, we were fortunate enough to be able to provide her with her very first home of her own & 24/7 Care with help from CAPS & Independent Living & personal private duty aids. She’s loving having her independence back & enjoying her privacy again. I miss caring for her on a day to day basis but now it’s time I take care of my self so I know for as long as the Lord sees fit I can continue making sure her needs are met & she is well cared for. We are enjoying being Mother & daughter again! I would do it all over again because it’s brought us to a whole new level of love, trust & respect for each other. – PW

My father in law. He is 85 and has Alzheimers. My husband is in the hospital and I’m missing work bc the caregiver agencies are a joke! – NM

My son….he has cp. His “dad” and I divorced 2 years ago after 38 years of marriage and he has nothing to do with our son now. – RE

My 92 year old Mother who is a narcissistic person and verbally abusive to me. I am only 49 years old and an only child. My Father committed suicide 21 years ago due to health reasons. I have given up my career and any kind of a social life because of her. She is trying to separate my husband and myself after 30 years of marriage so I will move in full time. – CW

My beautiful, radient, ball of sunshine. My 12 year old son who was diagnosed with leukodystrophy back in 2009. It has left him legally blind and wheelchair bound. – FM

My 83-yr old mother who has moderate dementia. I live with her full time and maintain the house, inside and out, drive to all appointments, grocery shopping, etc. – PL

Only my husband now. Lost my dad in February and stepmom in July. Hubby has celiac disease, diabetes, legally blind, heart attack, strokes, and kidney transplant. Sadly kidney is showing signs of rejection. One day at a time. – DL

My husband of 45 years, he is an amputee due to a sarcoma in his calf. He also has Parkinson’s. I retired to help him with his chemo treatments and multiple appointments. – RS

My baby girls.. 11 yr old with mitochondrial disease (no speech or ambulation yet, gtube feedings, strict med schedule-2 years post kidney transplant) and 9 yr old with high functioning autism and adhd. They keep me on my toes.. and questioning my sanity on a daily basis.. but would not trade it for anything in this world. – TA

I am taking care of a few different clients. I have had a lady for over 4 years and she is scheduled to go into assisted living due to her wondering and memory issues. She is the sweetest and funniest lady. I hope to continue to visit and help keep an eye on her for her family that lives 3 hours away.i care for a man that I cook and clean for. Also a lady that has dementia and needs someone to care for her when her husband gets chemotherapy. I organize, clean and take 2 other ladies for errands. I am an eldercare caregiver and love my people I care for. – KW

I am a CNA for my 21 year old son who has Duchenne muscular dystrophy. I will admit that is is difficult sometimes, but I would not want it any other way. We are lucky in that he is a brilliant young man and didn’t/doesn’t have any learning difficulties or behavioural issues…. his poor body just doesn’t work. – SR

My husband of 11 years. Who has bilateral meniere’s disease, tinnitus, depression & anxiety and hearing loss. I decided to make caregiving my career as well so I am sole caregiver for an 84 yr old woman with congestive heart failure, diabetes, depression/anxiety, and is now showing early signs of dementia. I love caregiving and can’t think of anything else id rather do. – JW

My husband with a moderate to severe tbi. It’s been 9 years and I still see improvements from time to time along with a slow decline. Every day seems to be a struggle for the both of us but we are in this together til the end. – BN

Since my mom passed away in May with Dementia, my sisters and I are finally taking care of ourselves. Personally, I would rather still be caring for her. – MD

Right now I’m a caregiver for a lady with Alzheimer’s. I was full-time caregiver for my parents, my mother with Lewy bodies dementia and my Dad with colon cancer, until they passed away 30 days apart. – TS

My daughter. She’s 10, trach & ventilator dependent, bpd w/ bronchial malacia, tube fed, VIP shunt, non verbal, non mobile, and numerous other dx and complexities. She’s my world! – SC

My 36 yr old son. He was very critically injured in a car crash 10 years ago, when his friend fell asleep at the wheel. He was in a coma for 5 weeks, suffered numerous broken bones, had a leg amputated, and suffered 5 massive brain injuries. He requires ‘protective supervision’, and deals with PTSD, survivors guilt, memory loss, judgment issues, and diabetes. – VM

My son, 25, genetic mutation, 2 bone marrow transplants with no cell recovery, almost completely deaf, ADPS, but amazing, and inspiring, and my purpose for being the best version of myself. – LR

My 31 yr old son, mentally 3-6, total care and bedridden 20hrs a day. I am the caregiver and get out of the house 1x a week to get groceries, but now am getting more and more online so i don’t have to get out. – KZ

My son. He just turned 26 on the 14th. He has severe Brain Damage & is profoundly deaf. He is total care. My precious son is my miracle child & I am so blessed to still have him with us. – TF

My 96 year old Great Aunt/Godmother who has dementia and no other diagnoses. Praise God! I am a self-employed CNA specializing in home care but have resigned to bring my Aunt to live with me and care for her full time. We are living very simply off of her SSI. I am alone, exhausted, but blessed to have her with me! – TK

My daughter, 10- rare genetic disorder-non verbal non ambulatory, severely cognitively delayed–before then my son who passed away at almost 16-8 years ago–same disorder as his sister. – KF

My grandson is in a wheel chair, has seizures, has a g tube. – MA

My 3.5 year old son. Feeding tube dependent since two months old, global developmental delays secondary to chromosomal micro deletion, autism-like behaviors (no formal dx yet), epilepsy, non verbal, making progress in the mobility department! He is the happiest little man. I wish I could be 1/10th as happy as he is. I had to quit school and eventually work as well to take care of him. We are on a fixed income as I am his In-Home caregiver. We barely make it every month. It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done and the care alone is exhausting, not to mention the energy it takes to advocate…. I love him I just wish every day wasn’t a struggle. – LP

My mother, she is 91 years old, still strong but can’t walk very much even with her walker. She’s become very abusive towards me and accuses me and my sons of stealing from her, the funny part of it, is that it’s been over 5 years since my boys and their families have visited. She’s losing her short term memory and talking gibberish, inventing situations that never were, etc. Sometimes l am actually afraid she will try to kill me. – ER

My 18yo daughter who became ill 5 years ago. Woke up one day and appeared to have suffered a stroke. Two years in and out of the hospital. Regressed in every single area (became incontinent, physically, mentally deteriorated). National institute of Health was invoked to find she had been misdiagnosed, treated incorrectly, not diagnosed or treated for what actually took her to hospital, then found a rare illness. She has basically left us, the girl she once was, was to be. They medicate her and she is now obese and we are pushing into areas that ‘could’ kill her. I love her more than words can describe. I want her to have the life back that was taken from her. I pray that God continues allowing me to be here to help fight for her. Give me the strength, mind, body, and soul… – FH

My hubby of 24 years. Fibromyalgia, post concussion from domestic abuse years ago causing cognitive issues, depression, anxiety etc. Other things as well. I love this man with all my heart but the days get very long as things will continue to progress in this no man’s land. Work full-time and trying to keep our fourteen years old on an even keel can be very demanding. – KW

My husband, 73. One day in July 2013 went for a bicycle ride (with helmet) lost his balance and our life changed forever. One minute a brilliant doctor, next minute TBI. Today we manage. He suffers from fluent aphasia. Life goes on. – MW

My 87 yr old Father with multiple myeloma (a type of blood cancer), chronic kidney disease and neuropathy and my 83 yr old Mom with a form of leukemia, osteoperosis and arthritis. – MD

My dad. He got his Traumatic Brain Injury when I was 12 and 30 years later, he lives with us and I am his full time caretaker. I’ve only lived apart from him for a few years in total. As he gets close to 70, I cannot even imagine what life would be like without him or caretaking. I literally don’t know. It’s frightening. – AM

My son he is doubly incontinent no speech limited mobility fully dependent 28 yr old with an absent corpus callosum leading to global development delay hard work but wouldn’t change him for anything as he is a happy sociable little lad. – NS

My grandmother who is 91 w/ dementia/Alzheimer’s! Truly i mean this that everyday is worse then a box of chocolates as you NEVER know each day what your going to get! At least with chocolate you can enjoy, with this there is no enjoyment anymore! – DR

I was taking care of my husband till he passed now Im in the process of moving my mother from UK to here to take care of her. – LA

Our 51 yr old son who is Autistic and suffered a TBI in a fall on the ice 3 years ago. – RR

Our daughter since her auto accident 22 years ago. – CW

My 10 year old son w/Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy/Autism and myself now. Was taking care of him, my oldest w/DMD, another son who pretty much took care of himself and my youngest’s father who swears it was the other way around. Much better now that I can care for myself too, but miss my older kids. – JD

My Sister with PLS, my Daughter with ADHD, and my oldest son dying. – ML

My Wounded Warrior husband. OIF/OEF with tbi & ptsd. – LH

My 11 year old grandson who has Autism and ADHD. – VR

A quadriplegic with CP, and a MD/schizophrenic- they are both ladies who live with me and I care for full time, my 12 yr old as of today who is hemiplegic CP and my almost 10 year old who has ADHD I homeschool them. – NV

My husband who has MS. He does pretty well but has trouble walking. I help him by lifting his foot with mine and moving it forward. Works pretty well. Now if I could just get him to drink more water. – JA

Written by Allison Powell
I live off of food from Trader Joe's. I spend my life in a cubicle, a la Office Space. I'm kind of obsessed with the internet. Confession: I take care of people but don't identify as a caregiver.

Related Articles

Popular categories

After Caregiving
Finding Meaning
Finding Support

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

Share your thoughts


  1. I’m taking care of two parents in nineties – frail and one has dementia. Also dealing with dysfunctional family issues and accusations. Extremely stressful and I am doing a good job at the expense of my health and social life.

  2. Both my parents living with me. My Mom for 10 years before she passed from Alzheimer’s. And in my 15th year of caring for my Dad who has Parkinson’s and Dementia.

  3. My 23 year old son. 2 arterial bypasses in the Circle of Willis
    He’s called a walking miracle by his neuro team.

  4. My grandma, my father in-law, my mother-in-law now 6 years stroke with heart failure with dementia.

  5. My care taking days are over!

  6. Both my parents. Mom how is 80 and my dad who is 87. Dad has water on the brain, with dementia and mom has a bad heart and a fused spine. I’m 57 and retired to take care of them.

  7. My 2 parents who are 87 years old and who were living totally independently last January. This was the year everything went downhill. I lived 400 miles away but sold my house and left my life and friends of 35 years to live 2 miles from my parents.

  8. My husband my son my grandson never a dull moment .

  9. My 42 year old daughter. (Intellectual disability)

  10. My 32 year old son who developed schizophrenia 6 years ago.

  11. I took care of my Mom (dementia) and my Dad (colon cancer) until they passed away 30 days apart in 2014. I am now a caregiver for a lady with Alzheimer’s.

  12. My mom just pssed away last Sept. and now taking care my dad who has parkinsons disease..

  13. My dad. It was both parents until mom passed away in 2010. I will have been caregiving for 10 years in February 2018.

  14. My mom

    She suffering from schizophrenia

    I’ve been caring for her for the last 25 years

    I also used to care for my dad who suffered from dementia. He passed away a few years ago.

  15. My husband, when he’s not back in the hospital, as he is now & has been for 9 days. The last 4 days in ICU.


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.