Getting Lynn home again, and seeing how her physical condition had deteriorated, I decided I needed help. I started interviewing home care providers. Lynn was not on board with this so I had to be firm in my decision. It was harder to get her around physically, but with the short term memory issues, Lynn would forget her limitations. She would fall occasionally because she would forget she needed help to get up and get around. I know she didn’t like being so dependent, and I admire her fighting to keep her independence. I loved the fight in her concerning everything she was going through. I told her many times that she was my hero.
The other side of this was creating many problems for me as her caregiver. I just couldn’t do everything, and that made me feel angry and inadequate. I couldn’t stand to see this person I loved so deeply struggling with daily activities. Even some simple things became problems for her. She couldn’t figure out how to use the TV remote. Some mornings she would get up early thinking she had to go somewhere. She would try to get up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom without waking me and would fall and not be able to get up. She couldn’t use the phone, even to call 911. I tried many things including leaving notes on 8 x 10 inch paper reminding her about things or how to do something. I don’t know why, but nothing seemed to help. She loved to read and loved her daily runs, but couldn’t do either anymore, Maybe Lynn didn’t want to give in, like it was defeat, so she was going to keep trying to do things on her own. This was a very difficult time for both of us.
We decided on a home care provider and started them on a part time basis. There were a couple of nice young ladies that would come in and help with just about anything. Lynn became comfortable with then and my life was a little less intense. Palliative care visits were resumed as were the physical therapy appointments. I didn’t like the idea that strangers were in the house taking care of Lynn. But, I also couldn’t be home all the time and Lynn was not safe on her own. Neither of us had family closer than 800 miles, so there was no choice. Over some time, we both came to appreciate having someone here to help. They would do light cleaning, cooking, laundry and just sit and talk or watch TV with Lynn. I don’t think we ever became completely comfortable, but having them here was becoming a real help to both of us.