Category Archives: The Lola Diaries

The Lola Diaries is a documentary of 86-year-old Pacita, better known as Lola (“grandma” in Tagalog) to her grandchildren, who is cared for by her youngest child— my amazing husband Romie. Lola suffered a stroke in 2007 and now lives with dementia, and we have been caring for her ever since. This new arrangement eventually led to me quitting my corporate job and made myself available to help care for Lola, and also pursue my photography business full time. As a family portrait photographer, I’ve been capturing other people’s families on my camera for over six years, but photographing my own family was almost non-existent … So I started pointing my [phone] camera at Romie after Lola was admitted in the hospital from a head injury. I had never seen my husband so scared as long as I’ve known him. Seeing the fear in his eyes at the thought of losing his mother was the reason I felt that I needed to take more photos of the two of them together. The Lola Diaries capture many of their moments together, good times and bad. When I first shared these raw images on my Facebook and Instagram accounts, the responses were overwhelming. The love and support from friends and family — and even total strangers from around the world — were nothing short of amazing. We thank you all for your kind, warm words.
 
//You can see more images from The Lola Diaries (#loladiaries) on Instagram; and videos on YouTube.

How Children Learn & Teach Us (as we get older)

When my husband Romie and I decided to be his mother’s caregivers — she would live with us and we’d take care of her every need — we never realized how much it would change our lives … lots of ups and downs. And patience. To watch someone you love slowly lose grasp of the little things the rest of us find so simple to do, like feeding yourself, is not easy and almost heart-breaking. Her name is Pacita, but she’s known as Lola to her many grandchildren and their children. This is Lola’s diary…

Since she was a newborn, my niece Kaylee spend many weekends with us so Lola has become a different kind of grandmother to her than the others she has in her life. She’s learned to help us take care of Lola in her own way, and she can always put a smile on Lola’s face. Well, most of the time. ;)

//You can follow her Instagram account for more posts on The Lola Diaries. (If Lola could still speak, she may say):

The Lola Diaries - how children learn and teach us

Taking Care of Parents with Dementia

When my husband Romie and I decided to be his mother’s caregivers — she would live with us and we’d take care of her every need — we never realized how much it would change our lives … lots of ups and downs. And patience. To watch someone you love slowly lose grasp of the little things the rest of us find so simple to do, like feeding yourself, is not easy and almost heart-breaking. Her name is Pacita, but she’s known as Lola to her many grandchildren and their children. This is Lola’s diary…

When Romie is at his other full-time job, I am home with Lola. This has been our daily schedule since 2007 when Lola moved in with us, our only “break” is when we are at our other jobs. What this different lifestyle has taught me is lots of ups and downs, plus lots of tears out of frustration. I have to remind myself that this isn’t who Lola is, this person who moves super slow and looks at you as if you’re a total stranger … It’s not her, it’s the dementia. Sometimes when it becomes too overwhelming, I try to imagine what she may be going through but is unable to communicate because of the disease. It’s upsetting but allows me more patience that I need to give to her.

//You can follow her Instagram account for more posts on The Lola Diaries. (If Lola could still speak, she may say):

The Lola Diaries - taking care of parents with dementia

Exercise for Older Adults with Arthritis

When my husband Romie and I decided to be his mother’s caregivers — she would live with us and we’d take care of her every need — we never realized how much it would change our lives … lots of ups and downs. And patience. To watch someone you love slowly lose grasp of the little things the rest of us find so simple to do, like feeding yourself, is not easy and almost heart-breaking. Her name is Pacita, but she’s known as Lola to her many grandchildren and their children. This is Lola’s diary…

Romie does everything for his mother— everything. He ensures that not only is she eating and drinking for her health, but working out is also included every other day. I’m sure Lola doesn’t look forward to “gym” time, but sometimes Romie gives her “no-no food” on special occasions, such as Christmas, and it comes with a price. :) “Lola’s Workout Video for Yo’ Mama” on YouTube is a must-see so check it out!!

//You can follow her Instagram account for more posts on The Lola Diaries. (If Lola could still speak, she may say):

The Lola Diaries - exercise for older adults with arthritis