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Long-term illnesses are very challenging emotionally, physically, and especially financially.  I should know, as I have lived through 3 grandparents, 2 in-laws, and one mother who all needed or still need care.  It is difficult to watch those you love lose the ability to do for themselves, and to experience the toll it takes on family and friends who are thrust into the role of caregiver. 

Some of these situations seem to come out of nowhere after a stroke, a fall, or a surgery gone awry, while others are slow and progressive, like Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, or cancer.  Regardless, if you are thrust into the situation over night or if it happens gradually, it will affect your spouses and children in many different ways:  Families will differ on the course of care that should be given: whether or not to keep a person at home or move them to a facility, who is available to provide the care or should they hire a professional to provide the needed assistance?  If a spouse is still able and willing to provide care, what toll might that take on them both physically and emotionally?  Is there someone at home who can help administer needed medications?  So many questions and details to manage!

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