On the Bus to a Better Tomorrow April 14, 2016
Carrie Lange, Kent
When faced with difficult decisions Carrie Lange puts her parents’ wellbeing on the top of her list of priorities. Carrie had been asking her parents to move to Washington from Indiana so that she could support their care and wellbeing. She had always been denied based on her parents’ refusal to accept help. However, when her mom’s health took a turn for the worse after spending nineteen days in a nursing home they knew something had to change. Today, Carrie shares her home with her husband, two teens, five dogs, and her mom. In Washington her mom is able to go to a subsidized adult day program at Full Life in Renton. The City of Seattle also provides the bus service to pick her up and drop her off. This program is very important to the Lange family, Carrie says, “It’s a wonderful program that we would never be able to afford without the help. She goes 5 days a week for 4-5 hours a day. I honestly don’t know what I would do without that program!” It also means a lot to Carrie’s mom because her favorite thing to do is get on the bus to the adult day care center. “She can look out the huge windows, listen to the music. She really likes her bus trip.” It also provides a positive experience for her mom, “When she starts to get bored, we talk about how she’ll be catching the bus tomorrow to go to the senior center. Then she always calms down for a while and relaxes, because she has something to look forward to.”
Carrie takes care of her mom’s day to day needs; although the work isn’t easy she loves her mom. The first seven months her mom moved in Carrie tried to continue to work at her job as well as being her mom’s caregiver. She found that with the workload “everything, including my job, was suffering.” The toll on Carrie was especially difficult, and she remembers the time saying, “It felt like I had been dropped in hell. It was just too much.” In order to provide the best care for her mom she had to leave her job where she was making three to four thousand dollars per month. Today the family is facing a new hardship as Carrie’s husband will be laid off from Boeing April 22nd. Although he has some positive leads the family worries that his age will inhibit him from finding a job. Carrie’s mom does have social security and a small pension but most of the money goes to her direct care. Carrie and her family are faced with hard times, but they remain hopeful as her husband’s job search continues.
–Carrie Lange, Kent