For A Mother, If She Was Yours

Three years ago, at the young age of 64, my dad was diagnosed with Lewy Body dementia. This was a time of confusion, frustration, and a feeling of isolation for our family. For him it has meant the unmitigated advancement of a widely under-diagnosed disease that shares cognitive, physical, and behavioral problems characteristic of Alzheimer’s. The disease that has stripped my dad of his independence, happiness, and dignity will ultimately rob him of his life. 
     The pain we have experienced merely began with my dad's diagnosis. Dementia brings with it a multitude of other problems. Lewy has not only affected my dad. Throughout the progress of his disease, my mom and I became its "secondary victims;" we could have benefited from an expanded support network and better access to information about dementia. More pressing is the trial my mother now faces before the state department of social services.
     Since my dad was diagnosed with Lewy body my mother has cared and stood by him every step of the way as his advocate and caretaker. She has fought tirelessly for his medical treatments and his placement in a nursing home. My mother now faces money issues that resulted from the needed extended nursing home care that my dad requires. Unfortunately, we cannot provide the 24 hour care my dad needs in our home because my mother is still working. My goal of $1200 is merely a starting point and I hope I can increase my efforts to raise more money because my mother is being threatened with a lawsuit, from the nursing home my father will permanently reside in, for $35,000. Furthermore, the state has strict rules over deciding how much income the spouse of an individual in a nursing home can retain of both his/her income and his/her ill spouse's income in order to meet monthly expenses etc. The state decided my mother's fate a few months ago, a decision that has left her negative every month in her checkbook by hundreds of dollars. Her last resort leaves her at the mercy of the hearing officer on her case, and if God does not prevail, she will be left impoverished, forced to allow the nursing home to foreclose on her; a hardworking, young mother.
     It is not easy for me to share this story and ask for a small act of generosity to help my family, but your act can also raise awareness about what needs to be done to prevent this from happening to other families affected by this disease, especially for those who experience the disease at such a young age. I ask for your help through donations, prayers, and thoughts.


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Michelle LaFrance 
Bristol, CT
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