A badante (caregiver), or to be more specific, badante convivente (live-in caregiver) is the logical (and most affordable) alternative to placing an elderly parent in a nursing home. With the concerns of Covid-19, I suggested to my husband that he take an extended leave from work to look after his aging father. At nearly 6 months of being the primary caregiver, he hasn’t yet regretted making that decision.
It’s a blessing that ‘Pops’ is not gravely ill and still has most of his marbles. But his inability to stand or walk or even feed himself means that he needs assistance in more ways than I care to mention. Some days are good for all of us, others not so much, and keeping sane is often found in the smallest of moments.
Saturday: bath day. I was doing some standing elbow-to-knee stretches when out of the blue, my father-in-law says (in Italian) “Why are you doing that? You look like a fool!” My immediate thought was that he should be the one to talk — there he was, buck naked in his shower commode chair with nothing but a towel around his shoulders. I ignored him.
My husband aka the MotH wasn’t having any of that sass, and in a voice often reserved for a petulant child, he said, “That is my wife! Therefore she is your daughter-in-law and she is not a fool!”
At times my husband may fly off the handle (I know it must have something to do with family dynamics) but I never do. I just took great joy in dressing Pops in a new t-shirt that says exactly how I feel about him sometimes.