My name is Michele. I am married with four children. I am the founder of a private school and work full time. My life is very busy.
I was born and raised in Maryland which is where the rest of my family resides. I lived with my mother who lived in poverty with many medical conditions and addictions so I spent a lot of time with my grandmother. My grandmother bought me clothes, put me in dance classes, and took me to the theatre. She is very responsible for molding me into the person I am today. I love her very much.
My grandmother has three children of her own, one being my mother. They all reside in Maryland. Fourteen years ago I left Maryland permanently and moved to Florida. My grandmother, who was 80 years old at the time, was still working a full-time job. A drug addicted family member was sleeping on the floor of her apartment. Once I got settled in Florida I decided to move my grandmother here. I bought her a small house and moved her here to retire. She did, and was very happy.
Several years later her health conditions began. She had some strokes which changed her cognitive function. Dementia started to set in and has worsened since. Not knowing anything about dementia or what options for care existed, I have made a series of decisions that with more information, I may not have wasted my time on.
Her three children, when it comes to her care, have not been very helpful or supportive. There are many excuses of distance and finances- some true, some exaggerated, some just laziness. They basically feel that once I chose to move her to Florida that she became my full-time responsibility regardless of her health or needs. Reality is, when she lived near them they offered no real help or support either. I certainly understand that it is a lot of extra stress to take on extra responsibility, it’s not financially simple to bare the costs of another person. I get it. Really. I just can’t turn my back on her.
As the founder of a private school, I love education. I love to teach and educate people to help them improve their future. I totally believe that information and knowledge is power. My goal for this blog is to provide information to help people make more informed decisions for their family members. There’s tons of information out there that is hard to sort through. Many people don’t have the time to sort through it. Many people, like me, do not have family members that are able or interested to dedicate time to help them. Everyone has limitations on resources. Hopefully my experiences will help to ease some of your decision-making and help you to be more knowledgable and informed.
If my experiences, mistakes, successes can help one family provide a better quality of care to their loved one I am happy. We are all going to get old and many of us will need help. Having this information and passing it down to our younger generation is what will make the lasting difference.