Catalina Cruz (65) is caring for her mother Rosa Carada (80). She was referred to Inland Caregiver Resource Center (ICRC) by a social worker. She initially called the agency to find out about services available to her mother who was diagnosed with “Alzheimer’s” in Mexico. She shared that her mother needs help with bathing, walking, toileting, getting in and out of bed, eating and is also incontinent. Rosa has not been cooperating with Catalina recently. She does not want to eat what Catalina cooks, refuses to walk although physically she can and does not want to sleep at night. Catalina has not been able to get her mother treated as she does not have health insurance and does not have an income. Catalina has been caring for her mother for four years. She is an only daughter and does not have the support of family. Catalina is currently very ill with a very bad cough. Her doctor has emphasized she needs to rest to recover. Unable to leave her mother unattended and without in home support Catalina has not been able to rest and take care of herself. She is extremely tired as her mother is now wandering at night so Catalina must watch her consistently. Catalina does not understand why her mother will walk at night and not during the day. She feels her mother behaves the way she does on purpose. Catalina does not know what to do or how much longer she will be able to care for her mother whom she loves. Catalina fears she will end up in the hospital. She feels faint at times and out of breath. She is also experiencing chest pains. Catalina was in tears as she tried to explain the situation she is in. She feels trapped.
There are many many stories like Catalina’s who are often times not heard because family caregivers are often overlooked. ICRC understands the commitment made by family caregivers to care for their loved ones unconditionally. In implementing its mission, the agency provides comprehensive services to family caregivers like Catalina in order to help them meet their needs for physical, emotional, and social support. The agency helps family caregivers cope, adjust and change. Ultimately the agency wants to empower family caregivers to advocate for themselves and the person they care for. Please help ICRC raise 250 of respite to give family caregivers like Catalina a break from caregiving.