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Webisode Four: Getting Support

"Mom got her diagnosis a year ago. There are good days… and bad days."

Samantha Burton


My name is Samantha Burton, and this is a story about my mom and our journey with Alzheimer's disease.

Mom got her diagnosis a year ago. There are good days… and bad days. On the bad days… it’s like she’s someone else. Terrible moods. Can’t remember even basic things. I have to remind myself that it’s not her fault.

My kids, though… they deal with it really well. I'm surprised at how much strength I find in their ability to just roll with it. Her doctor refers to me as her “caregiver.” I guess I am. I have a job, a husband, two teenage daughters. And now I’m a caregiver for mom.

It’s hard to be mom’s caregiver and also keep up with all the demands at work. Everyday at the office I’m on the phone dealing with something for mom. And my boss has noticed. He said to me the other day, You need to limit your personal calls. I wanted to scream. I wanted to stand on my desk and yell, I can’t “limit my personal calls” when I’m running someone else’s life.

But instead of getting mad, I decided to talk to him. He’s not the nicest guy in the world, but I figured he should know. Much to my surprise, he seemed genuinely sympathetic. Told me I should talk to HR and see how they could help.

And my husband and I have decided we should get some help. Mom doesn’t need to go to a nursing home, but someone’s going to come by in the afternoon and help her with things. Just the basic life stuff. My husband says it’s a small price to pay so that mom and I can spend our time together doing the things she loves.

We can still have some good days ahead of us.

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