News Anchor Richard Lui discusses his experience caring for his father
March 15, 2022
MSNBC and NBC news anchor Richard Lui spent the past 7-years as a caregiver for his father, who had developed Alzheimer’s disease. We spoke with Lui about the experience and his decision to care for his father.
“My dad passed at the end of last year after 8 years with Alzheimer’s…it was two days after Christmas. My father was a pastor so I think he wanted one last Christmas with the family,” Lui said.
Lui shared that towards the end of his father’s life, he was only able to communicate through eye contact and a few noises. Lui really felt that during that time his father was communicating with him that he was ready to ‘go’.
“I started to hear that from my dad… I didn’t want to hear it,” Lui said.
Before the diagnoses, Lui’s father showed signs of memory loss when he couldn’t remember some of his siblings names during a family gathering.
Lui knew this was the start of a long journey. He said that it was a slow process becoming his father’s caregiver, “we don’t raise our hand and say ya know, ‘I’m a family caregiver, and I work full-time, I don’t get any pay, I don’t get any training’…you don’t just fall into it, you kind of find your way towards it and you don’t want it.”
In terms of caregiving for his father, it wasn’t a difficult decision but, “in terms of the living through it, I think it is. I’m still not sure yet…a lot of what we don’t talk about in the family caregiving space is mental health and we don’t seem to equate it with that.”
Lui added, “I do question whether my mental health was at the best it could have been.”
Lui was still working in New York while caring for his father. He would fly Monday mornings to California after he would get off work on Sunday nights.
When asked why he did this for several years, he said it was, “the right thing to do. More importantly, I think it’s what I instantly thought I should do…but I also knew that my dad would have done the same.”