A few years ago, my father, now 70, was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s. His grandfather also suffered with the disease. So, we knew that there was a chance that it would reappear, eventually, in our family. It was a scary realization at the time, that he would inevitably begin to lose his faculties and that his memories would fade. We are fortunate enough to have my mother, a Nurse Practitioner, in the family, to have him seen by some of the best doctors, but it is no secret that a cure does not currently exist.
Like many families, the COVID-19 pandemic has affected us greatly. My parents had moved down to Florida, from New Jersey, shortly after his diagnosis, leaving me behind to continue on my own path. While I had originally planned to visit frequently, travel restrictions have severely limited those opportunities. It had been a full year, the longest time we have ever gone without seeing each other, since I had last been down to be with them for the holidays.
The distance was hard on me, but even more difficult for my father. He makes light of the situation by joking that he may not remember me the next time I come to visit. I would notice some things. He seemed more withdrawn than his usual outgoing personality. He was too timid to tell his ice-breaking jokes to strangers anymore. He appeared to get very flustered and visibly uncomfortable when pressured to complete, what most would consider, a simple task.
It was very unnerving to see my father, my mentor, my best friend, in such a sad state, while he is still fully aware of what is happening to him. My mother shared with me some other examples of his decline that I would not recognize during my brief visit. He can no longer seem to remember where the dishes go in the cabinet, he leaves the milk out of the refrigerator, he sometimes forgets where his destination is when driving, and has sudden unprompted mood swings; enhancing the struggle for my mother and sister who are trying to be patient and understanding.
I can only hope that my experience, in coping with my father’s illness, will help me to better serve our clients at Right At Home. While my circumstance is not ideal, it does allow me to relate to their family’s struggles and understand what they are going through so that I can make the most responsible recommendations for their loved ones’ care. I love my dad more than anything in this world. I can take solace in knowing that he is proud of the work that I am doing to help others in a similar situation.
I take my role as Director of Business Development very seriously. I am often, our clients’ first impression of the quality service that we strive to provide. I am confident marketing our brand, knowing that I have the support of the Right People, the Right Services, the Right Approach, and the Right Mission. It is extremely rewarding to be able to provide senior members of our community with an extraordinary homecare experience, allowing them to age with dignity, Right At Home.