On this episode of Caregivers Stories, I, Kimberly D. Scott, feels blessed to interview Mary Ann Kampfe, author of Dementia Dolls: A Daughter’s Story.
It was 2002 when Mary Ann’s parents moved closer to her home. Her dad who was in his mid 70’s at that had fallen and was diagnosed with macular degeneration. She was thrown into the Sandwich Generation because while she was caring for her two children, she was also her parents’ chauffeur and friend. When her dad passed away in 2013, her mother continued to live on her own in their apartment. Mary Ann thought that everything was doing okay until they visited her and found her iron inside the oven. That was the sign that something was off. For someone who was always in charge of their household, the dementia diagnosis shocked her.
Despite the difficulty and increasing demands, Mary Ann slowly learned to embrace the constant change in the process. She learned to pause, not put too much pressure and value herself while she was taking care of her mother. Her elderly aunt who's in her 90s said to her, that she has to take care of herself as a caregiver because if something happens to her the whole house of cards goes down. That was one of the pieces of advice that stuck to her the most.
Nobody is perfect and no matter how imperfect you are as a caregiver, as long as you are doing your best for your loved one, while not forgetting yourself then that is what is important. Balance everything, if you slip, it’s okay t not be okay but never lose sight of what is important. Seek help and do not be ashamed to reach out to those people that you trust the most.
Listen to the whole interview for Kimberly and Mary Ann’s conversation will remind you of the most import words that you need to hear right now. Make sure to share with your friends, because you will never know who needs to hear their story.
Learn more about Mary Ann and connect with her:
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