Everyday, I find something about life that’s inspiring. It’s one of the ways I invite optimism and honestly, it’s not difficult to find in the life around you, especially working at Tabitha.
Most of all, I’m continuously moved by the families who find themselves in the difficult position of supporting their loved ones through the aging journey. These stories are inspiring and heartbreaking—whether it’s moving Mom from the family home after a fall, supporting Granddad as he’s diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and slowly forgets his family member’s names, or being there as the one you love most starts their end-of-life journey.
Seeing your loved one experience any one of these life stages is hard. Supporting them as their primary caregiver is imaginable. What is it really like to care for an aging loved one?
Linda and her husband, Tom, were just approaching their retirement when the unexpected happened. Tom came home from a softball game scared. “Honey, I don’t know what’s wrong. I couldn’t field the ball,” Linda recalls.
The same week, Tom visited his doctor who suspected ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s disease. The diagnosis, confirmed a short time later, came as a blow to the couple, who were forced into immediate transition for a while new kind of planning for the future.
“We had prepared, saved and looked forward to this,” Linda said of the couple’s retirement years. “But everything changed in an instant. Life as we knew it was over.”
As Tom’s primary caregiver, Linda realized quickly she would need help during his journey through ALS. And Tabitha was there through in-home support services and eventually, hospice care.
“Our caregivers became like family,” Linda explained. “Those were two of the hardest years our family has ever experienced, but thanks to Tabitha they became two of the most memorable. I don’t know what we would have done without Tabitha’s support. They were there every step of the way—for Tom , the kids and for me.”
Whenever I question my own journey, I think of caregivers like Linda who rely on Tabitha’s services for more than just healthcare, but for a helping hand, an understanding touch or a call in the middle of the night when there’s no one else to listen. Caring for an aging loved one is hard, but there are people there to help.
Hear more inspiring stories via Tabitha’s YouTube channel