I'm an in-my-own-home caregiver for my nearly 85 year old mother. She is blind (but insists on still wearing glasses... go figure), has very poor hearing (but won't wear hearing aids... naturally), has one replacement knee and the other not working too well (because of a cyst that she won't have removed), one hip's been replaced and the other's always stiffening up (because of how much time she stays in bed), and numerous stomach/digestive pains (but not possibly related to her daily consumption of peanut butter cheese crackers, chocolates and sugar wafers).
I haven't even mentioned the 5 medications she takes (some over 15 years) for high blood pressure, arrhythmia, aortic stenosis, shortness of breath, water retention and low thyroid. She also manages to do just enough of her own personal care so as to not qualify for Medicaid, but not quite enough for me to work a career outside the home. Caught in the cracks... sort of.
Like a pack of cigarettes (to a smoker): needful, but when you wish they weren't, that's when they seem to be the most.
Oh yeah, and she's always telling me how she wasn't supposed to live past the age of 75, saying, "if there's no quality of life, there's no purpose anymore."
Like a pack of cigarettes (to a former-smoker): when you see them lying around, you wonder why they're still there. Not that I look at her that way - oh, no - that's how she sees herself, for God's sake!