Honoring Your Parents

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Michelle Wheeler, New York

My parents lived together and they received 24-hour homecare because my father was bedbound at home. Unfortunately, on January 26, 2016, my father passed away from pancreatic cancer.

I had to step in and become the caregiver to my elderly mother with mental illness (paranoid schizophrenia, diabetic, and glaucoma). Despite my mother’s aliments she was not qualified for full home attendant services.

I started receiving only five hours, seven days a week. I also placed her in The New Jewish Home Adult Program during the day to engage with other seniors. Her health insurance would only allow two days of the week for her.

I am responsible of handling the bills, the shopping, and house hold supplies. The home attendant assists with her to appointments, cleaning the house, and cooking due to her vision.

I do not want to place my mother in a state hospital, nursing home, or assisted living. I would like for her to stay in her own apartment and I’d like more services given to her.

I feel overwhelmed at times, but I love her dearly and I hope I’m doing the best for her with the limit of resources. It is hard being the only child and I am the only support system.

I do not want her to feel lonely, and unhappy even though my father is not with us. I hope she feels her daughter is trying to do the best for her.

I find the government should give more services to the elderly and disabled.