Isolation seems like an unavoidable part of caregiving. When juggling a job, other family members and responsibilities on top of the loved one’s care, there is no time left for anything else. My photo journal became my connection to the rest of the world. I could share information with other caregivers and learn from them, while also keeping my family up to date on my mother’s condition. It was my way of saying, “She is still here.”
Sometimes friends and family can’t handle the pain of seeing someone decline. They drop out, explaining, “I prefer to remember her as she was.” The caregiver doesn’t have that choice. The caregiver still has a person who needs to be hugged, loved, bathed, clothed, fed and kept active. Even though they forget us, we can't forget them.
This photo and text appeared in the exhibition, "Two Belts," at the David Geffen School of Medicine, UCLA, January-March 2013.