My father, a veteran, is in the end stages of dementia. Because my mother also is in the early stages of Alzheimer’s, she can no longer care for him. Consequently, he has been moved to a nursing home in Hamden.
I work as a server and I cannot bring my father home to live with me because I cannot be home to care for him. In the nursing home, he received no physical therapy, no activity and, as a result, his legs have become so weak that he can barely walk. If I could afford it, I would take him into my home and care for him.
The Veteran’s Administration and the local visiting nurses say it would be no problem to provide him with activity and physical and occupational therapy. But they can only provide that assistance to him if he is discharged from the convalescent home. But that can’t happen as long as I have to work.
If Paid Family and Medical Leave were available to me, the quandary I find myself in wouldn’t exist. I would take time off to care for my father. He would be treated with dignity and respect and his physical health would no longer deteriorate.
The legislators in Connecticut will all age and one day be faced with needing care themselves. I wouldn’t wish dementia on anyone because your last moments with that person are already gone well before they pass away. I don’t think that anyone in the Capitol would want their children faced with my situation: having financial need force them into leaving their parents in a substandard residential facility. To save countless constituents we need a Paid Family and Medical Leave program.
Stefanie Lafferty, Shelton