Rosario Schielzeth is a very unique woman for a number of reasons. She is also a hero to many. Mrs. Schielzeth has just turned 104 on her last birthday which is remarkable enough but she also does something that many people are shocked by. She cares for her daughter in a home they share together. Part of a very close family, the daughter, Maria Garcia is herself nearly ninety years old and suffers from dementia. Her own children are in their sixties with families of their own. The two women, who have always lived with or near one another, now share a home once again with live in caregivers. While they have professional assistance, the bulk of Maria's day to day care falls to her mother who despite her age is described as being in remarkable health.
When Maria Garcia first married and moved out of her mother's home, she did not go far, choosing to live with her new husband and later, their children, in the house directly across the street allowing her to visit her mother every day. When she divorced, she was near her mother for comfort. And then, the family discovered that Maria had dementia so she was moved in with Schielzeth so that she could be cared for and watched over.
Even at 104, Mrs. Schielzeth does not wear glasses or hearing aids. She does use a walker to help her get around, but is otherwise doing well. Her grandson comes frequently to visit and the caregivers are there to help you with day to day activities. Schielzeth spends much of her time talking to her daughter, answering questions that may be repetitive at times because of the dementia. But, Maria is described as pleasant and happy, always smiling as she talks to her mother and caregivers.
Experts say that the arrangement benefits both women greatly. By giving her a purpose Rosario is kept at a higher level of function and may reduce her risk of depression and other problems faced by other, elderly people. And, the daily conversation stimulates Maria's mind as much as possible, keeping her focused and preventing her from slipping too far too fast. Other family members come to spend time with the two women, but they are always there for one another, their bond transcending that of advanced age and even dementia.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the average life expectancy of Americans is currently 78.6 years.
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