A mother’s love, a daughter’s strength
When her daughter was in a swimming accident, life changed for both of them – but Amy views being a caregiver as part of just being a mum.
What is something special that the two of you share together?
“We love watching movies together and to cuddle alone in bed, especially on weekend mornings. I also read her a story at bedtime after I tuck her in.
She would also sometimes stand with me when I pack their lunch boxes for school.”
What does a typical day look like for you and your daughter?
“This is very similar to a normal child’s day, except that I have to provide assistance with getting dressed and feeding.
She has physio twice a week and communication therapy every Thursday.”
How do incontinence products give your daughter a better quality of life?
“It helps her not to have an accident prior to getting to the toilet. She walks with difficulty and takes longer to get to the toilet and sometimes she battles to pull down her pants, which also takes longer. If she has no bladder control, she would constantly have accidents”
What are the biggest challenges with caring for a person with incontinence?
“A big challenge is that I often need to get her to a toilet quickly i.e., when we are on the beach. I will not have her wheelchair with me and then I will have to carry her over the sand to get her to a toilet, which is quite challenging. Even though she can walk, she walks with difficulty and the sand is too hot for her to walk the distance to a toilet.
She also sleeps with a nappy at night time (which she hates!) I normally stock up, but it has happened that I could not find the size she wears and I had to drive from store to store to find her size.”
What is the most rewarding part of being a family caregiver?
“Except for having to juggle quite a few things, I do not really see myself as a “caregiver”. I see myself as a mother doing all things mothers would normally do – so instead of driving my daughter to ballet, I am driving her to therapy. I would still be driving my children around, it is just the venue that is different.
The rewards are in what my children achieve, their smiles and happiness and for all of us to be able to wipe each other’s tears when unhappy. I am not the only caregiver and everyone in the family has to work together as a team.”
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