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Caring for Your Parents

Chapter 18: Conclusion [4:28]

"Transformative moments."

All five caregivers share what they've learned from caregiving.

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Transcript  

Chapter 18: Conclusion “Transformative moments.”

NARRATOR:  

CHRISTMAS AT LORRAINE'S DELIVERED A SURPRISING REALIZATION. 

LORRAINE:  

Brought my mom home for Christmas. Then all of a sudden, it was bad weather. We got this idea, "Well why don't we just try to keep her overnight?" So we got permission to keep her overnight. And, uh, the only thing is, my mom has to be turned every two hours. So you had to change the bed linen and all that, and roll my mama's solid body. I call her Bertha Butt and she tea--  I tease her and call her Bertha Butt. I say, "She's all butt heavy." She even said I roughed her up, and she began to laugh, because me turning and rolling and pulling that sheet over to get her body to move over is not the same as three experienced aides doing it. And you know, when people are say, "Merry Christmas," I'm sitting there going... so that was my Christmas present. I got a little, uh, reality check there.

NARRATOR:

It's been a long year, filled with hard work and disappointment. But Lorraine says she and her mother have shared something special. 

LORRAINE:  

We have closeness that we probably would not have had, had this not happened. Frances what's the odds that I would stop working, and I sat down face to face and chat about many of the things and laugh about many of the things that we do now. I probably would not have taken that kind of time to have that kind of intensity of involvement if she had not been in this situation.  

NARRATOR:

THE EXPERTS CALL IT A "TRANSFORMATIVE MOMENT"...A CHANGE, REALLY...AND ALL OUR CAREGIVERS HAVE HAD AT LEAST ONE... 

JOYCE WHOSE KIDS ARE GROWN NOW SAYS THE EXPERIENCE WITH HER PARENTS IS MAKING HER A BETTER MOM HERSELF... 

JOYCE:  

I did have this conversation with my oldest daughter.  I said, "I'm role modeling for you, you know that don't you? (Laughter)"

NARRATOR:

LATELY, AS HAPPY CONTINUES TO DECLINE...PRISCILLA IS SPENDING MORE AND MORE TIME...FINDING THE BRIGHT SIDE... 

PRISCILLA:  

There have been a lot of pluses. This is not all gloom and doom. It's managing a decline, yes, but it's not all filled with sadness. It's filled with a lot of highlights of joy. 

NARRATOR:

LATELY, THELMA'S BEEN ALL ABOUT GETTING HEALTHY...MENTALLY AND PHYSICALLY...SHE'S JOINED A SUPPORT GROUP ...OF OTHER CAREGIVERS 

THELMA:  

Nobody knows what it's like until they live it...and those people know what I'm going through and I know what they're going through. So it's a real good thing to join. 

NARRATOR:

...AND SHE'S DRAGGING HERSELF TO THE GYM TWICE A WEEK... 

THELMA:  

...and I will make sure that I take care of myself...make sure this doesn't take me down. Because she's doin' okay and she could be with me for another twenty years... 

NARRATOR:

AND RICARDO...HE HAD HIS OPERATION...THE PACEMAKER IS INSTALLED...AND GUESS WHO AGREED TO BRING HIM HOME....AND STAY WITH HIM  FOR AT LEAST A FEW DAYS...DIOSA.  RICARDO HOPES HIS LEARNING TO CARE FOR HIS PARENTS...HAS TAUGHT HIM TO CARE FOR WIFE.