lorraine burdett caringsoul

Blessings to all.  We all have a story, and mine is about the love for my family.  Sometime ago my dad was diagnosed with Blood cancer and vascular stage 4 dementia.  They call dementia the "slow goodbye".  But I have found the slow goodbye has given me a chance to really get to know dad as he can clearly remember experiences of many years ago (although not recent).  We have enjoyed together sharing his story of his boyhood, growing up, meeting mum, his challenges, learning and growing, his life experiences which have been many (as dad is nearing 90 years of age)!

Mum (who is also nearing 90) and I have been caring for dad in their own home.  I do not live with them, but have my own home and partner.  I  recently planted many new roses in their garden (previously they had very little) right near the lounge window where dad could and look at them and enjoy their beauty.  He also loves wild birds so I fed them bird seed at feeding times (early morning and afternoon).  He would always comment on the different types of birds and their antics which amused him.

As time went on his dementia became very hard for mum and I to cope with but we wanted to keep him at home at long as possible so we continued to care for him and make him feel loved.  However I could see mums distress in knowing she was slowly losing the man she had loved for many years, but like she said she felt blessed to have had a wonderful life with him, many adventures, three children together, lots of love, lots of laughs, lots of good times, they were always there for each other as great friends, best buddies....yes they had a blessed life together.

However, caring for dad had taken its toll on mum her health began to decline and last week she suffered a heart attack.  Thankfully she is improving but faces a heart valve replacement but once discharged from hospital she will need to have peace and quiet and no stress to heal and recover.  So the difficult decision faced us square in the face.....under these circumstances dad would have to go into respite, for how long it is unknown.  So I sourced out and viewed many respite facilities and knew I had found the one where there was many wonderful carers who I knew weren't just carers for a job but genuinely loved people especially the elderly who they treated with such love and kindness compassion and heartfelt desire to make them feel loved and cared for in every way. 

So yesterday I took dad to his new home and told him he was there to have a holiday and to sit back and enjoy his stay.  Everyone made him feel so welcome.  I took his favourite bedspread and pillow and all the little things that brought him comfort (like his favourite jar of strawberry jam because he would eat strawberry jam on everything!).  Everyone made a fuss over him and I knew he would be happy there.  I will visit every day and take mum to visit once she is out of hospital and well again.  As I said "goodbye dad I love you I will be back tomorrow" I had to hide my tears for all I could think of was dad sitting at home at his lounge room window looking at his lovely roses and drinking in their beauty and watching the wild birds that he loved.  But I know he will be happy at his new home  and I am truly thankful and grateful for the carers there who have such love in their hearts that they have chosen to care for the elderly - especially my dad as he means the world to me.  They are truly caring souls!

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