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About M. Ann Romick

I am Ann Romick’s daughter, Deborah, and am writing about my father’s caregiver, my mother, M. Ann Romick, whose full given name is Mabel Ann. She chooses to use Ann as her pen name because it seems to be less formal and more editor-reader friendly.

The following is a brief summary about my mother which I submitted  in 2010 to Caregiving.com, sponsores of their choice award for  “Caregiver Of The Year.”  I believed she is more than qualified for the nomination.

“Considering all of the other service-oriented activities of which she has been associated: PTA, Scouts, Little League, and church, her caregiving would not be out of the ordinary. However, my father is the fourth family member with Alzheimer’s where she has been the main caregiver, or has directly supervised their in-home care.

“Her first experience with the disease came with my father’s parents. I cannot remember when they were stricken, or what their ages were. I remember their 50th wedding anniversary; my grandmother was 68, and my grandfather 12 years older. They both seemed fine at the event, but shortly afterward my mother began making more and more visits to their home. They lived about 30 miles away and my mother made bi-weekly visits taking them to the doctor, for haircuts, or to make sure they had food in their pantry and refrigerator. My father’s sister lived only a few blocks from them, but because she was a single mother and worked full time, the burden of care fell to my mother.

“She was truly the sandwich generation as I had three younger brother’s still going to school. I know that home and child care were her career. Elder care, though, was something altogether different.  Not verbally chosen, but by unspoken agreement between my father, his sister and herself it was a given that these new and ever-increasing responsibilities would be hers because she didn’t “work” outside of the home. Even though the current social climate touted women’s rights, liberation and the importance of career, my mother’s dreams of being a writer were squeezed in between appointments, errands, care and all the other aspects of her busy life and generous nature. She had no time to think about whether or not she was liberated.

“With the death of my paternal grandparents the needs of her own parents crept in and once again began to take over her life. When her own mother developed the same types of symptoms her in-laws had shown she moved them from “The Little Farm,” their home in the country and two hours away, into a newly purchased home about a mile from her own. Her older sisters were two states away and the total responsibility of her parents care fell on mom’s shoulders. Once again her time was spent in the busyness, stress and exhaustion of caring for an Alzheimer’s patient, as well as my grandfather.

“As her mother’s condition worsened, following a broken hip, they tried a care facility. Its effects were devastating not only to my grandmother, but the separation after 70 years of marriage left my grandfather isolated and lonely beyond description. Luckily my mother found a dear friend who could be a live-in for my grandparents the last few years of their lives. Despite the help, my mother was still totally involved in their care. She was continually at their home helping the caregiver and making sure all of the older couple’s needs were met. Grandma passed on early in 1991, at the age of 90. My grandfather joined his beloved ten months later.

“Following a few years respite, the ugly signs of Alzheimer’s once again appeared in our family, this time afflicting my father. After her experience with her mother and in-laws one might think she would be an expert, but not so. Seeing your parents change into people you no longer know cannot be the same as having your devoted spouse of more than 50 years not recognize you.  Furthermore, he often demanded that she leave his house. My mother has risen to all of these challenges with fortitude, determination and a sense of humor.

“She has become an expert on the holistic treatment of this disease, and in a sense she has won. Whether it is the day-to-day battle or the full war, only time will tell. My father continues to live at home. Each day he takes a handful of pills and vitamins that have allowed him to retain enough of his personality to care for his physical needs and for the most part function as a boy/young man in their home. The war will be over when my father returns to his eternal home. Hopefully that will happen sometime in his sleep and then my mother will be victorious, as she has finished this last act of marital service and love.

“I cannot imagine the emotional pain this has wrought on her, and the torture she has felt as she continues to lose her soul mate bit by bit. Her perseverance and optimism are amazing. Her example reminds me that we are never given more than we can handle. And through this all, she has developed her talents and her career. Alzheimer’s and her life of caregiving have given her a story which she shares on this blog.

“Eventually there will be a book – an example of courage and service for other caregivers and her legacy of service and love to her family.”

To listen to the interview she gave for this award, go to: http://www.caregiving.com/2010/01/

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9 Responses to About M. Ann Romick

  • Pingback: TCV’s Caregiver of the Month – Mabel Ann Romick - The Caregiver’s Voice

  • Libby says:

    Hi there ,

    Good Morning. I hope this Monday morning is treating you well. I noticed your blog about your own coping experience(s) with Alziemer’s. I too (recently) have dealt with the distress and loss of a loved one with this disease. First off, I want to say how nice it is to see someone else who has been through the ups and downs, yet is still staying strong and hopeful while helping others.

    I thought that maybe you would want to take a look at this infographic about Alzheimer’s that my company just finished putting together. It is about the history of Alzheimer’s and the timeline as a search for a cure continues.

    http://www.fedeltahomecare.com/news/alzheimers-research-an-illustrated-history-5/

    If you feel like it is something that your readers may enjoy you can copy and paste the embed code next to the infographic.

    Please let me know If you have any questions, comments or concerns regarding the infographic and its data.

    Thanks for taking the time to give it a look, I hope you liked it.

    Libby Mead
    Killer Infogrpahics Social Media and Marketing Manager

    • aromick says:

      Libby, I typed the information in several times and google couldn’t find anything. Sounds interesting.

  • Hi Deborah,

    I just wanted to say that, working in a care home myself, I encounter Alzheimer’s on a regular basis too and that I find your blog extremely interesting, informative and inspirational. So thank you for all the efforts that you go to to keep us informed and entertained, long may it continue 🙂

    • aromick says:

      Janice, That you so much for commenting, and so pleased you are reading my blog and finding benefit, as well as entertainment, from your investment of time.

      • aromick says:

        P. S. Janice, Deborah is my daughter who helps me out with technical stuff. I’m still a computer dummy who learned keyboard in my 8th grade typing class.

  • Pingback: The Caregiver's Voice Caregiver of the Month - Mabel Ann Romick | The Caregivers Voice

  • Hi! I love your blog. I, too am a caregiver. I’ve been caregiving for my parents, one who is a disabled military veteran. In this experience I have learned that caregivers need to celebrate one another. As a result, I invite you to view my website: http://www.cafepress.com/caregivercurio. Thank you!

    • aromick says:

      Hi, Visited your website today. Very clever of you and what fun. I’m sending the site to my daughter Debbie who is also creative, but I didn’t find your blog. Thanks for reading, and you are right. We as caregivers need all the support we can get. I also took care of my in-laws and my mother, all of whom suffered this dreadful disease. I do hope with all my heart that there will be, at least, treatment for the next generation. Keep up the good work.

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