Actress Kimberly Williams-Paisley, best known for her 90s hit movie “Father of the Bride,” has written a book about her mother’s dementia.
Kimberly first noticed something was awry with her mom, Linda Williams, on her wedding day in 2003. (She married country singer Brad Paisley.) Her mom was acting irrationally that day, and uncharacteristically struggled through a reading during the ceremony.
Two years later, at age 61, Williams was diagnosed with a rare and incurable form of early-onset dementia called primary progressive aphasia.
During the interviews she’s given about the topic, the popular actress has shared a bit about the challenges her mother’s illness has brought to the family: a changing family dynamic, the strain of caregiving and the agonizing decision to place Williams in assisted-living care.
We often hear about those difficulties from the families who call and email us asking for advice when their loved one is diagnosed with a long-term condition. We hear the pain in their voices and can sense the uncertainty in their words.
Many of our constituents are part of what’s known as the “sandwich generation” – people responsible for bringing up their own children while simultaneously caring for their aging parents. Others who contact us may have grown children but they’re still burned out from the all-encompassing challenges associated with looking after a parent, spouse or sibling in decline.
If you are facing a similar situation, Focus on the Family is here to help. Call one of our family help specialists at 1-800-A-Family, or review our online resources. Here are three series of articles that might be of help.
- Becoming Your Loved One’s Caregiver
- Caring for Ill Parents
- Making Medical Decisions for a Loved One: A Caregiver’s Guide
Do you find yourself in a similar season of life? If so, please let me know.