Taking Care of Mom
Fayna Pearlman , shares her CDPAP story.
When I was a freshman in college, attending CUNY Hunter and working two part time jobs, my Mom, who suffered from eczema her whole life, had a particularly bad outbreak that got infected. She refused to go to the hospital, worried her open wounds and infection would get worse when exposed to a hospital environment. Eventually, since we couldn’t afford to hire a senior home care service, I took a week off school and work to take care of her.
It was incredible difficult at times, for all of us. I struggled with seeing my mom in pain, and she struggled with her inability to help herself. The first couple of days, her anguish at needing to be taken care of made it difficult to do what she wanted me to do. She didn’t like to ask me for things so I was always left guessing at her next need. I know that if she knew I wasn’t taking off of work and my life to care for her, she would have been far more comfortable with receiving the care.
“Emotionally, for me, there was something incredibly rewarding about giving back to my mom, “
who took care of me for so many years. Since she couldn’t use her hands at all, I was there to bathe her, feed her, dress her. Once the initial awkwardness faded, it became an incredibly moving experience to care for her. Washing her hair allowed us both to relive all those bath times when I was a child. We remembered memories we had long forgotten, and it brought us much closer.
At nights, my brother would come home from work and take over to give me some rest. Each day he came home after 8pm, exhausted, but determined to be helpful to both of us. He would check in frequently throughout the day and we discussed many times how much he wished he was able to be there for her more. His helplessness was weighing on him and it made me all the more grateful that I was able to be there. The reward in giving such necessary love and care to the woman who gave me everything was amazing, but it had to end because I needed to go back to work.
When I first learned of programs like CDPAP that Horizon Home Care Services sets up, I was overjoyed. Luckily, for my mom, she was back to health within a few days of my returning to work, but those last few days when I was away, knowing she didn’t have someone to help her, I understood what my brother experienced that week. I just wanted to help her recover, but I had to work. When I first learned of the CDPAP program I thought back to this experience, and how many problems this solves when it comes to home care services. If my mom needed long term care, I would have been able to afford taking care of her and she wouldn’t have to feel like a burden. Furthermore, CDPAP actually lets the person needing care choose who it is that cares for them. It makes a necessary part of our lives – caring for our loved ones – manageable. We don’t have to struggle with time management or feelings of helplessness. There are resources out there for us.