Writer Brandi Neal was twenty-nine years old and living in Maine when she dropped everything and flew to Arizona to help care for her ailing father, a Vietnam War veteran who disappeared from Brandi’s life when she was twelve.  In today’s show, Brandi shares her mixed feelings over caring for her father, the shock of seeing him deteriorate and how her brother—a heroin addict at the time—added to her stress.  She also tells us why military benefits were crucial in helping her father and her grandparents, who transitioned to an expensive independent living residence after they could no longer live at home due to her grandmother’s Lewy Body dementia.  Brandi talks about misconceptions people have about the younger generation, her concerns about how her own future care needs will be met and what she would have done differently in caring for her father.  And then there is Brandi’s special needs dog, a beagle who has to sit in a high chair to eat but has no idea anything’s wrong with her.

“How To Care For Aging Relatives While Taking Care of Yourself” by Brandi Neal; Bustle.
Brandi’s website
What is megaesophagus?

Baby Brandi and her dad.


Brandi today, with her grandmother.


Brandi’s special needs dog, Bibi.


Music: “Mio” by Dlay | CC NY NC ND | Free Music Archive