November: National Family Caregivers Month

Nov 25, 2015
Tagged with: November: National Family Caregivers Month

A couple winters ago, it was time for Nonno (“grandfather” in Italian) to have his back surgery.  So we took him for the procedure; unfortunately, the surgery did not go as well as planned, and Nonno suffered a malicious spinal cord injury.  Now paralyzed from the waist down, Nonno had to adjust and transition into the wheelchair life.

At that time, my parents decided that they were going to take in my mother’s father and allow him to live at our house.   The house my parents owned was a very historic home, so it was convenient that the doorways and hallways were already pretty wide.  However, my dad did have to create a ramp up to the porch stairs and through the front door.  They also purchased an accessible van that extends a ramp, to which; many of us are most likely familiar with.  My parents took the time, money, and thoughtfulness to make Nonno’s environment completely inclusive, and that is something that I treasure so much about them.  They presented such selflessness in providing the appropriate atmosphere and care for Nonno.  (Side note: I have to giggle thinking about how long it took for Nonno to master driving his remote wheelchair.  There was a time when he accidentally drove into the kitchen island and pushed it across the room because he couldn’t control his chair!)

Not only did my parents provide accessibility, but they also provided definitive care.  For countless weeks, my mother would sleep on the couch downstairs outside of Nonno’s room just in case he needed something during the night.  The various types of care she provided for him was incredible, especially to one’s own father.   That was the moment my mother became my hero.  (Eventually, my parents hired another caregiver to help throughout the night and to travel on vacations with us). 

This is a thank you to all of you caregivers out there.   Being a caregiver can include difficult and overwhelming roles; however, the challenges you approach never seem to show limited support.  That makes you a true hero in the family’s eyes.  There are various ways to provide care for someone, and each and every way is most certainly appreciated.  Be sure to take care of yourself in the process too, but know that your generosity is cherished more than you may ever realize.  Many thanks are given for your compassion and patience!


Author: Rebecca Cline

  • bobl07

    This is important that our caregivers embrace their health issues as well. I personally have had family members fail to do this with unfortunate results.