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‘It’s love’

Woman’s incredible sacrifice shows how strong mother-daughter bond can be

April 30, 2017

This story is heartbreaking — but also is a testament to the deep bond between a daughter and her mother. Ever since her 88-year-old mother Patricia was diagnosed with dementia two years ago, loyal daughter Sue Jenkins has been providing her with round-the-clock care.

“I have given up my life,” said Sue. “I used to sail a lot. I used to do so many things. I’m a very outward-going person. But I take care of my mother. And that’s it. Love is something that drives you to give up those things. You’ll give up anything.”

Incontinent and wheelchair bound, Patricia grows upset when Sue is not nearby and calls for her incessantly — screaming or even hitting those around her when she doesn’t get her way. Over the past few months, Sue said, her mother’s difficult behavior had driven off 20 professional care providers. Worse than the difficulty of caring for her mother, however, was the cruel reality of her mother’s mental deterioration.

“I’ve lost my friend. My best friend,” Sue said. “She’s there — somewhere inside. But the person I dearly love and dearly want to talk to about so many things has left me already. And the thought of losing her fills me with complete dread. Because my life is very much her.”

Despite the fact that Sue provides her mother with near constant care, Sue says that Patricia will still attack her and scream at her as well. Her husband, she added, left her six years ago when she first started looking after her mother.

“It’s heartbreaking,” she admitted. “There have been occasions when I’ve wanted to run off, thinking I was a useless carer.”

To make matters worse, Sue said that the government had begun harassing her on the phone and over email in an attempt to force her to put Patricia in a nursing home. On two occasions, she alleged, the government had even tried to stop local care services from funding the costs of caring for Patricia at home. But in the end, Sue added, she knew that her efforts were “worth it.”

“It’s love,” she explained. “It’s what you do. It’s deep.”

In the U.K. alone, there are more than 6 million people who provide care for sick or elderly relatives full time. Despite a growing need for qualified homecare — and a proposed government plan to spend more than $2.5 billion on social care over three years — the U.K. Homecare Association has reported that the social care system has begun to “collapse,” with roughly 900 care providers abandoning the profession daily.

Watch video coverage of the story below.

Read the full story at BBC News.


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