Sharing your story of caregiving can help you relate to others experiencing a similar journey. Being a mother is a blessing, a gift and a love that never ends. This Mother’s Day, we honor the mothers who have cared for their children and the children who return that care. This is Robin’s story.

Robin’s father passed away about ten years ago. It was then that her mother, Phyllis, decided to take control of her own health, so she and a friend made a long-delayed visit to the doctor.  

The doctor found something on Phyllis’s lung, and it turned out to be cancerous. In the last ten years, Phyllis has had several surgeries and other significant procedures, including having parts of her lung removed. Phyllis’s health slowly began to decline, making it more difficult for her to get around and complete daily activities on her own. Robin turned to Kindred at Home for assistance.

A photo of Robin

"My mother and I have always been very close, and she is very important,” Robin said. “She has always been there for me, and now when she really needs me, I need to be there for her."

Being prepared for the role of caregiver means taking a lot of different factors into consideration. You have to ask yourself difficult questions about your availability, capabilities and what is best for both your loved one and yourself.

For Robin, that’s meant going back and forth to the hospital for Phyllis’s checks and scans, initially every three months, then every six months, then once a year. She said the trips have taken their toll. Phyllis has been on medications that make it difficult for her to move around.

“It’s difficult for her to go from the wheelchair to the car, and from the car into an office, so having Kindred at Home to come here has made all the difference in the world and has made life a lot easier for her and for me for that matter,” Robin said. “It’s much less worry for me to get her into the care especially when it’s hard for her to move.”

It can be difficult to see a parent growing older and becoming unable to do as much for themselves.

"We chose Kindred at Home, and from the first time someone came over to my mom's house to administer whatever it was that was needed, check her vitals and to give the antibiotics twice a day, she made my mother feel wonderful,” Robin said, “And that she was the most important person, that her well-being and getting well was the most important thing."

Being a caregiver to your own mother can bring up a lot of emotions and sometimes even conflict. The change in dynamic can also be an opportunity to learn more about one another and experience a new kind of relationship.

"You have to drop everything and be there, a matter of having to switch it up,” Robin said. “And realize that they aren't doing it to make you crazy, they need you to do something because they can't do it themselves."

She said Kindred at Home has made this transition much smoother.

"Every single person that we dealt with at Kindred has been wonderful and I wouldn't go with any other company, they have so many qualified people at Kindred," she said.

Robin’s chose to be her mother’s caregiver with the help of KIndred at Home. She said the family is the most important unit. 

“My mother raised three children. We were very close growing up and we had a wonderful childhood,” Robin said. “And now is the time she needs me—she needs somebody—and I’m glad that I’m the one that’s here and I’m able to help her.”

Photograph of Robin's mother and father

Like any holiday, it’s easy to get wrapped up in finding the perfect gift or making reservations at mom’s favorite place. But what Mother’s Day is really about is time – spending it with loved ones and sharing precious memories. Robin said Phyllis is looking forward to the next family event—a wedding that she hopes to be able to attend.

If you would like to share your story with us, email social@kindred.com. If you are caring for yourself or a loved one and are in need of healthcare advice, please call 1-866-KINDRED, where a Registered Nurse can answer questions 24 hours a day, seven days a week.