This post is dedicated to the late Dr. Richard Taylor, advocate Kate Swaffer, and care warrior Leah Bisiani.
“I think I could take a few steps,” Mom said, “even if there’s not too many.”
It was her birthday. September 27, 2015. She’d been “behind bars” for almost three years, during which she had been inappropriately medicated, and forced to remain seated for “her own safety.” She spent most of the daylight hours chemically restrained (with antipsychotics), and physically restrained (in a recliner or a wheelchair), despite the fact sitting still was completely contrary to her nature. She could hardly stand anymore — her gait had become unmanageably unsteady due to the meds, and from sitting most of the time.
Exercise is essential for well being. Everyone knows that. Everyone. So, even though the distances became ever shorter, I helped her to walk each day. Or at least to try to walk. When I missed a day or two for whatever reason (which was rare), it was always more challenging at the next visit. Her legs would be shakier, she wouldn’t be as strong.
But she never gave up. Neither will I.
This video is part of a series extracted from a care conversation with my writer friend Lorrie B. “I’m keen for others to know the reality of my mother’s and my experience of long-term ‘care, and you’re the perfect one to help me do it,” I told Lorrie on Mom’s birthday in 2017.At this point, Lorrie had been the primary care partner to her own parents for three years, and they were still in their own home. She also had (and still has) her own blog called Unforgettable (I wish I were half the writer she is), which I highly recommend following (I do!). The other posts in the series are here.