Caregiving across the miles

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UNTIL ABOUT THREE years ago, 83-year-old Kathy Folsom drove her own car and lived on her own.

But then she was diagnosed with age-related macular degeneration, a disease that worsens vision and makes daily tasks such as reading and driving difficult – even impossible. As her sight diminished, she grew increasingly dependent on her only child, Jann Berman.

Not an easy task when Folsom lives in Fort Worth, Texas, and Berman makes her home in Brentwood.

“It can be very challenging because she’s like the child now, and I’m like the mom,” says Berman, 63. Although Folsom has moved to a retirement home and has a caregiver who helps each day, Berman is constantly on alert. Recently, she rushed to a Texas hospital after a kidney infection got out of control and threatened her mom’s gall bladder and her life.

“I had to drop everything and hop on a red-eye. I was at the hospital with her for three days. It’s stressful (because) I also have my own family and my own business to run.”

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