Maggie Ornstein honors her grandmother and mother, the care wasn’t one way, there was reciprocity

My mom’s medical event happened when she was 49. I was 17 and my grandmother was in her late 80s. When my mom came home, my grandmother became her caregiver at the age of 92 years old. However, the care wasn’t one way, there was reciprocity. My mother could do physically the things my grandmother was too frail for and grandma could handle the cognitive work that was challenging for my mom. Together, with my support keeping our household together, we were able to make it work. We were all family caregivers in our own way, doing what was needed to function. None of this was recognized or supported by the long-term care system. Looking in from the outside, it would be assumed that my mom was the care recipient, end of story. These complexities must be recognized in order for each member of the caring unit to receive the support that is required and as needs change across the life course