Bill and Jean Ahearn

Hi.. this is a hard one to write. My family has always been very proud and pretty private about our affairs, but illness and desperation have a way of humbling you to your core. That is why i have decided to do this. For the two people who have given me everything my whole life so selflessly. I am now at a point where I can feel the helplessness and hopelessness that comes with not being able to do enough seeping in and the all the silver linings we have had up until now, fading away.

About 10 years ago now, my mother Jean suffered a spontaneous brain bleed. Suffering a major stroke and awaking from brain surgery with catastrophic physical impairments, she was left paralyzed. Months of rehabilitation and therapy and we were blessed to get her home where we hired home health aides and along with my father, she was able to receive the care she needed. As you can imagine, home health care is very expensive and believe it or not, is not covered by insurance if you have any income to your name.

My father stayed working as long as he could to be able sustain the finances but staying home to care for my mother became the higher priority as transfers and her care became more critical.

Sadly, we had to sell their home this past November to contend with the financial burdens to begin making sure my mom could receive her care, and they are now in an apartment.

Fast forward to a few months ago, my father Bill began experiencing severe back pain that prevented him from being able to stand upright, weakness in his hands and fatigue. Concerned over these symptoms and recent weight loss, we took him to a neurologist in Boston and have went through a series of tests. We have been given a tough preliminary diagnosis of FTD or frontal temporal dementia.

After a stay at Sturdy Memorial Hospital, he now requires around the clock nursing care.. and also, still, my mother as well. They have been together since they were 15 and 17 and it is our wish to keep them home together, for as long as is humanly possible.

My parent’s circle has become very small over the years. Illness and becoming a caregiver can be very isolating. My parents and our immediate family have navigated a lot of hard times, alone, together. And quite frankly, they both may be upset at me for ever doing this, but we can’t do this alone anymore. It has become bigger than any of us.
and yet, i know anyone who has ever had the pleasure of meeting or knowing my parents knows what genuinely good people they are. Kind hearted, selfless, giving.

Not many positive things have happened for them the last few years, but I’ll be damned if i can’t try to make it a little easier for them now. It’s worth a shot, right?

This goal may seem a little steep, but this is just 1 year of what it costs to care for someone at home…

Any help is appreciated. thank you

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KellI Ahearn-Lucas
West Bridgewater, MA

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