Caregiving, (sigh). As our parents age, we find ourselves doing more and more to help them out. As time passes, their needs increase. What started as stopping by to help with household chores can change on a dime to managing medications, doctor’s appointments, maybe even spoon-feeding them and very intimate personal care.
My own failings in caregiving
I can only say that I did my best. When I cared for my own mother during the final stages of her losing battle with breast cancer, I made a lot of mistakes. I didn’t really know what I was doing or that there were better, easier, safer ways of caring for a very ill or aging parent.
Administering medications and the physical care required one set of skills and information, the PAPERWORK and administration of her life required yet another set. My original priority had been to create a beautiful, peaceful environment filled with laughter, cats, and music for her to feel loved while she slipped away. I was completely out of my league. I needed help and was fortunate that my mom had the financial means for me to assemble a 24/7 team that helped me during the 6 months that my 9-year-old son Fritz and I lived with my mom.
Enter The Devoted Daughter
In this episode, Kelli Bradley shares her story of caring for her mother and then launching a senior care business.
Her advice: Start early. Learn about caring for parents before you are hit with a crisis because we don’t make the best decisions when we are worried and stressed.
About Kelly Bradley
Kelli Bradley brings two perspectives to caring for aging parents.
In her personal life, she cared for her ailing mother who at one point had a medical roster of 47 physicians. Kelli learned in the trenches how to juggle schedules, medications, appointments as well as trying to spend time with her own family when her mom would ask if she could please stay another 20 minutes. She quickly discovered that for some adult children it may require a whole team of extra hands to manage an aging or ailing parent.
That experience of caregiving led her to launch and operate a home health care service for 20+ years. Her company worked with thousands of families struggling to balance their parents’ desire to stay in their homes with the grown children’s safety concerns and need for help in creating a working plan for their care.
Kelli has seen everything, heard everything and she has a huge heart with a generous heap of practicality.
On a particularly rough day (we discuss the incident in our conversation), her mother paused and said, “Kelli, you should write a book”. And now she has. Always Her Daughter is part memoir, part caregiver manual.
Now out of the senior care business at 53, Kelli has created a one-stop-shop for resources called The Devoted Daughter.