Sandra Tsing Loh's family life has been an open book for years; an endless source of material for the acclaimed author, actress and commentator. A shrewd and witty chronicle of the life experiences we all share, becoming a caregiver for her 91-year-old father is providing fresh material. Her caregiving journey is fraught with frustrations and unexpected curves in the road. But the experience also has its sweet spots along with the hard won insights. In a recent article on caregiving for The Atlantic magazine, Sandra Tsing Loh let it all hang out.
"This is not to say my father has been completely "well." After age 78, if you asked him "How are you?," he would exclaim: "I'm dying!" At his 80th-birthday party, when he tremulously lifted his centimeter of red wine while watching my girlfriends dance, I mourned his visible frailty. At 82, he was passing out on bus benches, hitting his head, causing his doctors to insist on a pacemaker (which he refused). By 85, battling Parkinson's, he was still hobbling down to the beach to attempt rickety calisthenics and swimming, but "he's barely swimming in those two feet of water," my older sister worried. "It's more like falling." By 89, he was so slowed, like a clock winding down, that, never mind going to the beach, one morning he couldn't even get out of bed."
For more on Sandra Tsing Loh and her father watch Your Turn To Care on Wednesday, May 2 at 8pm.
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