I can tell you are a great daughter, and I am sending you a virtual hug. You’re amazing getting through this as an only child!

My mom has Alzheimer’s and five children and we’re already surveying options when we can’t handle it on our own. We believe that time will come. Right now we spend every night with her (at least 14 hours each time), where we make sure she eats at least two meals a day and takes her meds. We give her some alone time during the day, at her request, but her best friend and my niece and the five of us check on her frequentky and take her out from time to time. Oh, and we keep her supplied in chocolate, which is her preferred food.

While we have taken her car away (which still makes her angry every day), we do not keep her locked up. She is miserable if she is home too much and while we mask her, try to keep her out of crowds and distanced, we also want her to have some pleasure in her life. She cannot get the vaccine due to a prior drug reaction that nearly killed her.

Still, we’ll continue to do as we do. The truth is that the number of us involved in her care presents risks and we can’t prevent that. While none of the five of us have had COVID (to our knowledge), both of my brothers-in-law and my oldest niece have (my niece twice). The timing of my sisters and niece being around her let us know that there wasn’t a ton of risk. Still, with any one of us that could change. We take a calculated risk. There is absolutely no other choice.

You did the right thing for your dad. He needed care it woukd be impossible for you to provide. The assisted living facilities are trying, but they have to have staff coming in and out. Even locked down, there is a risk. For most people who can’t take care of themselves, there is no way to get around it.

If my mom gets COVID, even if it kills her, there will be no apologies or embarrassment from any of us. We’ve made the decisions we feel are best for Mom in the long run. No one loves her more or knows her better. If anyone has the nerve to criticize, they are clueless, mean people who should be ashamed of themselves.

I hope your dad gets well soon. Regardless, know lots of us understand. As you said, you don’t usually get to pick how you die. Who’s to say COVID wouldn’t be kinder than Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s? My mom has said if it’s COVID that takes her down, that’s the way it goes and she would be happy joining our dad. (She’s 83 today.)

And by the way, if you need me to respond to any of those silly folks for you, I’m in. 😉

I write about people, faith, travel, adventure, justice & life. I love a good story. I blog for fun at kimberleymckinney.com; twitter.com/kimmckinney719