Meet Lasiter! Lasiter is 93 years old and his daughter Vickie is his world. She agreed to tell her story for Love Still Lives Here. I met them while photographing at Poet's Walk Round Rock. I love Poet's Walk Round Rock and their philosophy of care. You can read more about them in a previous blog post HERE.
Lasiter and Vickie-it's about TRUST
I met Vickie for coffee at a local coffee shop one Tuesday morning. I'm sure there was a lot of noise around us, but I didn't notice. Vickie and the story of her father, Lasiter had my 100% attention. I met Vickie and Lasiter a few weeks ago but this week, we met alone. I so admire her ability to see right to the core of things and then tell it like it is. Needless to say, we hit it off!
Lasiter is 93 years old, but appears much younger than his age. Vickie smiles when I tell her this and says he has always looked younger than his age with physical strength and a full head of hair. Lasiter was a caregiver for his wife for over 2 years until she passed. Sometime after her passing, Vickie started to notice some cognitive and judgement problems. As is the case with dementia, the signs and symptoms came on slowly so while she noticed, there wasn't a huge worry. Her father was not one to see a health care provider so a diagnosis of dementia wasn't really made for years-until she needed to reach out for help out of fear for his safety.
Vickie strives to be there for him, but understandably worries how to do this. When things started getting worse and Lasiter lived alone, she had to consider what would be the best way for her to 'have his back.' This meant making some very difficult decisions on her own. She tells me 'This is the WORST stage when you try to figure out what was wrong and what to do.' She admits to constant worry about what to do and if she has made the right decisions. While this is so common for families caring for loved ones with dementia, it's still heart breaking to see or hear.
Vickie continues to 'have his back' and strive to find the best ways to do this. We talked about spiritual needs and what gives her the strength to make tough decisions for her father and for herself. We talked about how she has learned to think about her own needs and be okay with that. Isn't this something many of us struggle with? We talked about who has helped her the most through this unimaginable time. You know the drill though... you'll have to wait to hear more until Love Still Lives Here is published next Winter 2017.
Huge thanks to Vickie for sharing her story with me!
Other Blog Posts for Love Still Lives Here
In my 37+ year nursing career, I often cared for elders who had no recent photos. It wasn't unusual to see people in their 80s whose most recent photos were from their 40s and 50s. When did our later years become a time not worthy of being memorialized? Sure, elders aren't smoothed skinned anymore, but there is still that light, that smile, that expression that is so uniquely them. Elder remembrance photography is about honoring our later years, and recognizing the beauty that is still there. It's about seeing the love that families have for one another-even within the mundane everyday stuff. It's my mission to bring Elder Remembrance Photography to life! Watch for E-Books with simple tips about how to take great photos. Add some stories about your loved one and you've got magic!