Sunday, August 26, 2007

Caregiving: economics & a helping hand

Home caregiving is an economic free fall. For us, ‘upwardly mobile, double income’ to ‘functional poverty’ has been an ever tightening screw over 22 years of living with Multiple Sclerosis as a family.  It impacts every step of the journey for every member of the family. Savings and resources are steadily exhausted to supplement shrinking income. This reality is not specific to MS and callously and steadily devours most home caregivers.


Increasing demands on any caregiver’s time reduce earnings. With spousal caregiving family income and benefits are devastated when a partner and income earner becomes a dependent. In other situations should divorce disrupt or end child support and/or medical benefits the result is catastrophic.


No Biblical parable needed here, it's simple "choose your master” – family or money.


Grants and gifts are an oasis. Without help some things would simply not be possible.


In Saturday's mail was a check for $700 from Central Penn Chapter of the National MS Society, a financial assistance grant for Patti which represents two monthly payments on our wheelchair accessible van.


That wheelchair accessible van is Patti’s portal to the outside world.


I want to express our gratitude to Syria Harrell, Information and Community Specialist with the Central Penn Chapter office who genuinely seems to ‘get it’ about living with chronic progressive MS.


Thank you, Syria and the Central Penn Chapter of NMSS for helping to make living with MS as a family and Patti’s freedom of movement a bit more possible.       


Caregivingly Yours, Patrick Leer


  1. What a nice feeling you must have had when you got that check!! I know it will certainly make life a little easier! It'll be great when it's paid off, tooooo!!

  2. what a great surprize:)


  3. ..what a lovely surprise and quite useful too ! Now how about quarter of a million to do the few other things like education, vacation time,etc.

  4. Every little bit does make a difference. I'm happy for you and Patti to have the extra hand up. Your a loving husband trying your best to make sure she gets to see the most of life from whatever vantage point she can. (Hugs) Indigo

  5. Although it should be more, grants from the Nat'l MS Society do make the difference between having it or just going without.  In most cases you can't, there are so many MS-specific things to keep in the forefront of your thinking.  Still, I'm convinced it's your personal and commited incolvment, bringing out such empathy and devotion, that keeps your heads just above the water-mark.  xoxo CATHY  


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