Karen McHenry and her Mom

Why start this blog? In October 2012, my 82-year-old father had his aortic valve replaced and cardiac bypass surgery. The night before the surgery (the eve of Hurricane Sandy), Dad was in his hospital bed with his laptop reviewing my parents’ finances with me and telling me all the important information I needed to know. I remember writing everything down in a small green spiral bound notebook. I have kept that notebook to this day.

When Dad came out of the surgery, he was unconscious for days and it slowly became clear that he’d had a stroke during the procedure. That stroke would change all our lives in ways we couldn’t have predicted. It led to my Dad’s long and eventually fatal struggle with vascular dementia.

I was 43 years old and an only child. My 83-year-old mother and I had no idea that we were facing a five- and half-year journey that spanned:

  • Four months of rehab for my Dad

  • Moving Dad home to live with in-home care for three and a half years

  • Transitioning Dad to a memory care facility and my Mom to an independent living apartment for a year

  • Moving both my parents to a skilled nursing facility, where my Dad lived for approximately six months before he passed away in March 2018

My Mom is still living happily and healthily in a skilled nursing facility. I feel like I have lived almost every aspect of senior care. Over the years, I’ve accumulated information and knowledge that I think may be helpful to other adult children who are taking on the caregiving role. I have no commercial or vested interest in any particular vendor or resource. My hope is to honestly recount my experiences and provide practical takeaways for readers in each post.

  • Karen McHenry