Darlene's Story

Submitted November 2020

Hello Everyone,

Looking back, I have been a caregiver most of my life.  My caregiving now is mainly for my husband who has dementia and complicated health issues.

I am grateful that before the pandemic I decided to take my husband on a vacation for multiple weeks because he has been getting sicker and I decided even though we could not afford to go this would be a now or never trip. I even called my husband's sibling (who is a very frugal person) and to my surprise he agreed and said they don't have debtors jail any longer I think you should go for as long as you handle it.

As all caregivers know, being home is challenging and hard enough but traveling with a walker, wheelchair, undergarments, sleep machine, catheters, hoses, medications, raised toilet seat commode, not to mention suitcases and food, is not an easy task. But without adding joy to ours and our loved ones lives what kind of life would either of us have?

I am so grateful for the trip as it was a trip near the ocean and at the end of our trip the PANDEMIC HIT THE WORLD. I am so grateful for making the decision to take the trip and the memories we got to make and all of the photos and videos to preserve those memories.

Since my husband's 11yr battle with multiple illnesses and diagnosis I had joined every support group available in our state for every illness he was diagnosed with. I am so grateful for all of those groups as they have filled our quarantine and isolated days with live concerts weekly, exercise, art classes where they mail us the supplies, bingo where we win gift cards, exercise classes, virtual travel, support groups, lectures, and so much more.

Although the pandemic has brought so much negative to the world, having our groups go virtual has added so much joy and happiness because the pandemic has caused so many things to go virtual it has enabled the disabled and  their caregivers to attend so many more things in a day then were ever possible and for that we are so grateful.

STAY SAFE AND FIND THE JOY IN YOUR DAYS AS CAREGIVERS AND TRY TO ADD JOY WHEN EVER POSSIBLE.

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