“My mother spend three and a half years in a nursing home as a result of Alzheimer’s disease. At that time, I was working and raising a son, so I had to place her under institutional care. I did, however, spend one to two hours with her every evening, getting her ready for bed. The nursing home was so understaffed that her comfort needs were not being met.
I made these daily visits, not as an obligation, but as an offering. I would not allow my mother to become victimized by her disease, isolated from society, forgotten, or given substandard care. Not that most of the nursing home staff wasn’t caring – it’s just that the organizational structure and lack of funding resulted in difficult working conditions.
I also felt that the end of life is a time of spiritual connections. As the Alzheimer’s symptoms increased, my mother spent more time in “conversation” with beings that I could not see of hear.
As my mother gazed upward, and shifted her gaze as though addressing different people, she would talk in clear sentences, although by now she had stopped communicating verbally with the rest of us.
There was much to weep about during my mother’s last three and a half years. But despite all the difficulties, the inner connection between us survived. What my mother taught me was the power of love”.
— Elanne P., caregiving daughter