Sherry was stuck. She knew there were resources to help her parents – her 75-year-old mom, who has had Alzheimer’s for eight years, and her 77-year-old dad, who is legally blind – but she didn’t know where to turn.
Her dad’s doctor recommended CICOA.
“CICOA has been a godsend,” Sherry said. “Sometimes you don’t even have enough hours in the day. It’s just hard to know what to do. It’s very helpful to have CICOA guide us on the different resources in the community.”
Sherry knows more about healthcare than most. She’s a research nurse at Riley Hospital for Children, yet she didn’t know all that was available for her parents, and she was struggling to find time to make all the calls, the follow-up calls, and the additional research needed. She works 10-hour days, and her days off are spent shuffling her parents to their appointments, running errands and helping her husband with their own household.
Sherry says she and her dad are co-caregivers.
Delbert has been caring for Evelyn, his wife of 50 years, ever since she was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2010. CICOA joined the team more than four years ago, providing four hours of care daily to assist Evelyn with basic needs. Delbert, a retired security guard and machine operator, could do everything else around the house, and was in good health. That is until October 2017, when Delbert suffered a heart attack and had to have open heart surgery.
Sherry stepped up, and so did CICOA. Sherry stays with her parents three nights a week, while CICOA arranges care for four nights, plus a caregiver during the day. She worries that her dad won’t be able to return to providing the care he once did, but she said CICOA remains by her side to help her parents.
She wants to make sure they both can stay in their home together.
It’s not easy watching your parents struggle as they age, she said. Even though Sherry has spent her career caring for patients, it’s different when it’s your own parents.
“Right now, it’s really difficult, because Mom wants me there all the time, and I feel guilty when I’m not there. She doesn’t understand,” Sherry said. “I’m trying to make sure she’s taken care of and trying to go to work.”
Sherry is comforted knowing that her mom is receiving the care she needs so she doesn’t wander off, turn on the stove or harm herself. In addition to helping her bathe and dress, caregivers also help Evelyn do puzzles and color, which keeps her mind busy.
Evelyn was once a caregiver for her parents and her father-in-law.
“I always saw what my parents did,” Sherry said. “They took wonderful care of everyone else. That’s what I want to do for them.”
With CICOA by her side, Sherry is helping honor her parents’ wishes of staying in their home.