Care giving


#1

My lovely wife and I were blessed to be married in April. We are both in our fifties and our wedding was a beautiful ceremony con celebrated by both of our parish priests.

My question is fairly odd I would imagine, but is an issue I think many of us who marry at a later age face. We attended the Church’s teaching for those who are being married for a 2nd time. The children are all adults and on their own and we are beyond child having age. The problem I have is there was nothing taught or spoken of regarding caring for elderly parents. It all centered on combining families with children.

My mother lives with us. She is 87, has Alzheimer’s and is very difficult at times. We have had numerous meeting with our priest whom we both love and respect. Things have improved, but it’s still difficult. My wife is a true saint for what she tolerates. I don’t know how she does it. She doesn’t want to put my mother in a home, as she isn’t that bad, but the strain of this is visible.

Is anyone aware of a Catholic support group that can help us cope with this situation? We are in southern New Jersey. I looked at the Diocese of Trenton site and nothing is shown.

Thank you and God Bless.


#2

I don't know about Catholic support groups but you might want to find non-Catholic ones first and then ask from there.

www.alz.org/apps/findus.asp

alzonline.phhp.ufl.edu/


#3

George,
Welcome to the long and terrible road of ALZ. I too am dealing with this though in my case it is my Dear Wife who is afflicted.

We were married 16 years 6 months ago. She was 54 and I was 38. While I was fully aware of the potential for ALZ in her family, (her dad had it and died just months after our wedding) I was floored when it began to show it's ugly head in 2002, just 9 years into our marriage.

I have been fortunate in that I have been given a wonderful example in my parents. My own father had Alzhiemers and I watched my mother care for him at home until the day he died. It has given me great strength in my own journey to be able to share it with my mom.

I tell you this because I want you to know that you are not alone in this, even here on CAF.

While I cannot think of any specifically Catholic groups or websites, the Alzheimers Association has a *forum website *that I have found very helpful, and also quite willing to share things on a spiritual level. In other words, God is a large part of many who populate that forum on a regular basis. Also, even if there is nothing pon the web about catholic support groups in your area, you might want to ask around. It may be that just individual parishes have something that isn't on a more general website. I know that the parish up the road from us has just such a support group.

It may also turn out that others in your own parish might be willing to start such a group. Might be worth talking up a bit and checking into.

It sounds as though you have married a wonderful and rare woman who loves both God and you very much. This is a journey that both you and she are going to take together, and it is going to be a rough road. Try to make sure she gets time to herself. Some sort of "Girls night out", or something. Anything that will let her recharge a bit.

Are any of your children living in the area? Perhaps they could help get your lady out of the house for a "recharge".
One more thought. We are very lucky in this area to have a senior daycare that is very cheap and has been a godsend for me. Just something else you might want to look into and see what is available.

Please feel free to IM me anytime. If I don't get back to you right way, don't worry, I will answer.

Peace
James


#4

Thank you very much Bailey,

This site has a lot of information for us. I do appreciate you for sharing it.

God Bless and have a most blessed Christmas.

George


#5

James,

Thank you so mush for the thoughtful reply and assurance that we're not alone. Sometimes it feels that way when people speak of how their parents are vibrant, happy people.

I'm reviewing the forum you linked and will keep your offer to be available for an IM in mind if things get worse and I need someone to share with. It's very kind of you.

Thanks again and may God bless you and your family abundantly this Christmas.
George


#6

Hi George. I don't know if it would be much help to you, but there is a Catholic Caregivers group here at Catholic Answers. I started it, because I too.. am caring for my elderly mother (87), also suffering from Alzheimer's. The group is what I would describe as "semi-active". Many of the members (myself included) who are so busy with the care of their loved ones, that we don't post frequently. Although, there is regular activity. Just not frequent.

The difference in my situation.. is that I'm a single woman.. so mother's care is not a challenge for me, in the midst of the married state.

Your wife sounds like an amazing, caring individual. I'm sure that you've thanked Our Good Lord, more than once.. since she came into your life. That she can so unselfishly take on the care of your sweet mother. I know the difficulties associated with caring for an Alzheimer's sufferer. It can be immense, at times.

They do tend to do much better outside of a Nursing Home environment. But sometimes, it is necessary, due to family circumstances. I commend you both, for choosing to keep her with you.

God bless all of you.


#7

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