When we’re children, we don’t grow up thinking our moms would ever forget. She’s the one who raised and shaped us into who we are today. The one who made sure nothing would go amiss. She reminded us about our lunch before going to school or not to forget to call her if we’re running late. She was the one we could rely on. When Mother’s Day came around, it was finally our time to remember all she has done for us.
As our parents age so much of what we took for granted suddenly becomes seen and appreciated. But when this person near and dear to our heart is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, Mother’s Day stops being one day, but is celebrated every day. For Luminita and Mihaela Serbanescu, since their mother, Gabriela, was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s seven years ago, they know it’s up to them to remember.
Luminita and Mihaela are the ones now keeping their families’ memories of the past alive remembering the days that were. They’re also responsible for remembering the present. “Now we’re the ones to remind her where she’s going and responsible to cook her food, grab the groceries, and schedule appointments,” Luminita said.
While they miss the mother who introduced them to their favourite books and was part of their fondest childhood memories, they’re grateful that she was there when they needed her the most.
“It’s horrible to know that person isn’t there anymore. She really has become a totally different person. It’s hard for us to see mom go through that change, but now it’s our time to be there for her.”
Shortly before the pandemic, the sisters were thinking about placing their mother in the care of a nursing home. “It was a hard decision, but we knew it was the last resort,” Luminita said.
Ultimately, they felt confident that with the help of Carefor’s Carling Adult Day Program and making some changes to their own lives, they could spend more time with mom and give her all the loving care she deserves, at home.
Luminita sold her house and Mihaela retired, both moving into an apartment building a few floors from each other so that their mother could have better mobility. Both sisters split up tasks to ensure mom is well cared for.
Carefor’s in-person program gave mom companionship, care, and kept her mentally stimulated. Now more than a year into the COVID-19 pandemic, the lack of respite has been hard for the family. Despite these challenges, the sisters are grateful to have each other and to know that Carefor is always there for support – whether near or far.
“Mom started attending the program five years ago. She always said Carefor staff are ‘people of quality.’ Now, with the pandemic and mom’s worsening eyesight, they still continue to reach out and show that they care and that means a lot,” Luminita said. “If we were still in Romania, we couldn’t get the support like we do here. We’re lucky to be in Canada to get a lot of help.”
Across Ottawa are the people who cared for us – our mothers. While the world locks down they still need help, perhaps more than ever. Carefor staff are finding creative ways to make a positive impact to keep them healthy and to help them feel less alone at home. Your donation helps us reach out to these families in ways we never have before. Please give today.