The Accidental Caregiver

So now I am the permanent caregiver of my 83 year old sister who has dementia. This came up with no warning, but we discovered she might be in danger living with a family member. We brought her home with us from Bangor two days ago and life has turned topsy- turvy. Leaving aside the details of why, the result is, her miscellany of stuff has been added to ours, and trying to work out the new arrangements with a person who has dementia is quite a challenge. Fortunately, we have a large house. Unfortunately, when it was built in the 1850’s they only put in two closets. The guest room was where we put the overflow but now we were faced with turning it back into a room for my sister. Projects that were in a “someday/maybe” category have taken on an urgency, such as building closets into each room. And then there is the problem of trying to place the belongings of someone who has very little short-term memory. Did I mention setting up her medical care? I have entered into an area with a steep learning curve because dementia was an abstract concept to me before this. The best support I have is my husband of 49 years who is whole-heartedly  behind me in this endeavor.

Harriet Vaughan

About Harriet Vaughan

I am a Senior Move Manager, working with Senior Citizens and their families when it is time to downsize or just make the home safer and more comfortable for aging in place. I help these people make decisions about what to keep, throw out, donate, or sell. I also offer workshops on "Getting Things Done When You Are Over 60". I write about how to overcome memory lapses and how to use your physical energy well. I have a degree in Home Economics from the University of Maine. I live in Coopers Mills, about 14 miles east of Augusta. I have been married for almost 50 years to my husband, Chuck Vaughan. Our business is called Legacy Years Transition Services.