Visit Your Local PBS Station PBS Home PBS Home Programs A-Z TV Schedules Watch Video Donate Shop PBS Search PBS

Caring for Your Parents

Chapter 12: Joyce, Bert and Mac [2:40]

"It just fell to me."

Joyce explains how she became the lead caregiver, and how caregivers need to take care of themselves.

PBS

Pledge to your local PBS station to support websites like this.

Purchase Video
Transcript
Credits

Corporation for Public Broadcasting

Additional funding provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
Harrah's Fooundation

Major funding is provided by The Harrah's Foundation.

Watch Other Videos

A Conversation About Caring

A Conversation About Caring
Watch a 30-minute discussion with care experts, hosted by medical correspondent Dr. Art Ulene,

Video Podcast

Vodcast interviews with caregiving experts Hugh Deleheney and Elinor Ginzler
Subscribe to the Vodcast.

WGBH Lab

WGBH Lab
Emerging filmmakers tell their caregiving stories at the WGBH Lab
Watch their films.

 

 

 

Transcript 

Chapter 12: Joyce, Bert & Mac “It just fell to me.”

NARRATOR:  

AS THE MONTHS WEAR ON OVER AT THE MCARDLE FAMILY... 

THINGS ARE BEGINNING TO WEAR OUT... 

JOYCE:  

But, you see how these things are? 

ALBERTA:

Yep. 

JOYCE:  

So I don't know if it's this harness...oh look, sure it is, it's all burnt out.  

ALBERTA:  

Oh my goodness. 

JOYCE:  

So you're going to have to ---oh, don't touch that. Okay. 

Do you have any other projects Bob can do while he's up here? He's coming up in about two weeks.  

NARRATOR:

CARING FOR HER PARENTS SEEMS TO HAVE NATURALLY FALLEN TO JOYCE.  

JOYCE:  

It's not like everyone pointed to me and said, "You have to do this because we can't". That's not really what happened. It just fell to me. I mean, I have the luxury of the time to be able to do it. And I like being a care giver. I'm glad to be able to do that.  

NARRATOR:

AND JOYCE HAS ALREADY BEEN THROUGH IT . SHE'S RECENTLY TAKEN CARE OF  HER HUSBAND'S MOTHER WHO CAME TO STAY WITH THEM IN HER LAST DIFFICULT MONTHS...

STEVE:  

You know the thing I remember most about mom, the stories... 

JOYCE:  

Some days were not so good. So I would say to Steve, "Let's go out for coffee." So we'd sit and talk about the problems that arose and how I felt. And he would talk about how he felt. And his sister said that they would help.

Well, that didn't work out. And I got very angry with them. 

The frustration level was higher... 

So what I ended up doing was, I talked to a family therapist.  I was able to sit with someone who was dedicating their focus on me and my feelings. And then I was able to sort myself out, and just move on. And issues remain, but how I dealt with them was much healthier for me and everyone else around me.

NARRATOR:

IT'S BEEN TWO YEARS SINCE HER MOTHER-IN-LAW PASSED AWAY...AND NOW TAKING CARE OF HER OWN PARENTS IS STARTING TO BE A FULL TIME JOB... 

KATHY:  

I think the stress has taken a toll on Joyce.  You know, Joyce's life and schedule is what mom and dad's schedule is...

Who's on the 11th? 

JOYCE:  

On the 11th is Dr. Baharia for dad-- just check his skin thing... You wrote that down as October. You see had my dance card open... 

My brother in law pointed out, "We have to take care of Joyce, cause if we don't take care of Joyce, the whole thing falls apart."  And I'm like, "Oh yeah, I never thought of that."

ALBERTA:  

Ok.  Thank you very much.

JOYCE:  

Ok.  Next.