Wednesday, April 16 2014 10:54 PM EDT2014-04-17 02:54:16 GMT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Nobuko Tidwell is your classic, sweet, older neighbor. She loves her dog, church, and spending time with her daughter, Amy. Unless you look closely, you wouldn't realize the 89-year-old is living with a debilitating disease.
"She was diagnosed with Alzheimer's in 2006. My dad had noticed some memory loss and some peculiar behaviors," Amy Tidwell explained.
Amy's dad also had health problems of his own.
"My dad had prostate cancer." she said.
So, she decided to take the selfless step of uprooting her life out on the east coast, bringing it back here to the Bluegrass to help her mom with a team of relatives already in place.
"She's taken a backseat to all of our careers. My father, my sister, and me. So, it was time to do something for her," Amy said.
The initial challenge of taking care of Noboku grew larger when Amy's dad passed away.
"She asks about my dad everyday. Even though she went to the wake and funeral, she didn't remember," she said.
Amy's situation was in no doubt heartbreaking, and she wasn't going to take it lying down. She knew she had to get the best care possible for her mother, so she visited Home Instead Senior Care. Home care workers now come during the day to hang out with Noboku and take her to some of her favorite restaurants and places. Meanwhile, Amy takes care of evenings and overnights. She also has taken classes at Home Instead Senior Care to learn strategies and theories that will help to give her mom the best life possible.
"We're just giving families some simple techniques that they can use to help manage some of behaviors that they are probably going to see," Becky Beanblossom of Home Instead Senior Care said.
That includes redirecting misguided thoughts, and making sure to never lose touch of the things that make your loved one the person they've always been. Steps that are hard to keep in mind when you're in the moment, watching a person you've loved, respected, and cherished for years slip to an unforgiving disease.
"One thing that my dad always told me was...you're going to miss your parents more than you do now. That was definitely true," Amy said.