Susan’s Caregiving Story
How long have you been a caregiver?
Susan and her mom and dad, Mei and Song
Who do you care for?
My dad and my mom.
What are some of the things you do for them, as a caregiver?
I help them translate important letters they receive, such as health insurance and Social Security letters, because they don’t speak English. I make sure they are taking the right medication and translate the name of the medication and expiration date for them. I also take them to their doctor appointments, Social Security office visits and to run errands like grocery shopping. I help with house chores like cleaning and cooking. I encourage them to stay healthy through exercise and a balanced diet.
What have been some of the greatest challenges in your caregiving journey?
The greatest challenge has been making sure that they receive all the resources and services they need, while at the same time having a balanced life for myself. I have a full-time job, and taking care of my parents is like having a part-time job on top of that. There are times that I have to make career choices based on how convenient it will be to provide care for my parents. I am also seeing that my parents need more help and support as they are aging, and that makes me feel sad.
What are the most rewarding aspects of caregiving for your parents?
Seeing them happy and healthy is the most rewarding aspect of caring for them. My dad is 79 years old and is generally healthy. My mom is 69 years old, and although she’s been diagnosed with diabetes, she has been able to maintain a healthy blood sugar level — she told me that she is able to keep her diabetes under control because of the help I give her.
What advice do you have for other caregivers?
Remember that you need to take care of yourself too! Maintaining good health will help you care for the health of your loved ones.