Angela is a full-time office manager and caregiver for her 84 year old mother Ana, who suffered a massive stroke four years ago. In a flash, Ana went from being an active, independent senior citizen who enjoyed gardening and sewing to someone who required 24-hour care.
After months of rehabilitation at a nursing home, Ana remains partially paralyzed with cognitive impairment.
For Angela, being with her mother is an act of love. But she needs help.
“I will always take care of my mother, until the day she dies,” says Angela, who moved in with her mother to be at her side, leaving her husband behind in their former household.
Ana uses a walker with assistance but can’t be left unsupervised. Through her Medicaid long term care plan, she has a home health aide for 33 hours a week. This leaves Angela, who also works full time, to care for her the remainder of the time, which often means losing sleep to monitor her mother’s night-time wanderings.
“The other day my husband came by to visit and found me in a deep sleep in the living room,” Angela says. “My mother was teetering on the edge of her recliner right next to me. I had no idea. She could have fallen and broken her hip. That’s my greatest fear.”
“I could use more help but I don’t want to ask for it. I feel intimidated or like I’m overreaching because I know there’s so much need in the community,” says Angela, who works for an organization that supports senior citizens.