Honoring our nation’s care givers through #caresupport
Varda Steinhardt on The Squashed Bologna: A Slice of Life in the Sandwich Generation
My mother was mostly very happy to see me today, but still, there were moments when the tears welled up, overtook her.
“I’m so lonely” she says. And I have nothing to offer. “I miss your father so much. He wasn’t just my husband, he was my best friend.” All I can do is hold her hand, murmur that I miss him too, pass her a tissue from the ever present box, to dry her tears.
Sharon Couto on Mom Generations
You see, my Mom is a Mom. She knows she needs caregiving. But my Mom wants to maintain her vibrant, independent, strong, smart, fashionista self, independent of her daughter, her primary caregiver.
This is a balance that requires a great deal of thought, of search, of precision… and probably not perfection.
Lori La Bey of Alzheimer’s Speaks Blog
Connie Roberts of Brain Foggles
Instead of being continuously stressed out and feeling resentful about my caregiver role, I’ve learned how to cope:
- I don’t answer calls from my mother. Instead they go to voicemail.
- I reach out to family and medical professionals for help.
- I take care of myself first so that I can take care of my family.
- I speak to a counselor about my feelings.
- I have given most of the responsibility of being the financial guardian for my aunt to an attorney.
- My family and I get away more, even if it’s a short trip.
Eve Tahmincioglu of Career Diva
I remember interviewing a female top executive at an insurance company for a New York Times story I wrote many years ago, and she told me she never had to worry about having a flexible schedule because she didn’t have children. But now, in her late 50s, she confided in me, she was suddenly taking time off for an aging parent, and it was impacting her career.
Patricia Patton of Boomer Wizdom
I had been managing my sister’s emotional care from across the country. In truth, her husband had been her primary caregiver and I was his wing wo/man. I had been criss-crossing the country trying to help her experience some joy by staying close to her and by helping her heal old wounds with her adult children. The downward spiral had begun in earnest at least 18 months before. However consistent with our black southern tradition, my family had not taken even one of the AARP recommendations for those preparing for death. Why? Because of religious beliefs and my sister’s children and her husband were in denial. Also they really didn’t know what to do.
Chantilly Patiño of Bicultural Mom
Did you know? 1 in 4 adults in America is caring for someone they love who needs help, most likely a parent. Today’s caregivers bear much more medical responsibility than their parents did. Half of today’s caregivers perform nursing level tasks that would frighten even a first-year nursing student. Hospitals today are releasing patients quicker and sicker and technology unheard of when today’s caregivers were children now comes home with the patient.
Kelly Connors of Design the Second Half of Your Life
Recently, my mother-in-law, Maria, was diagnosed with Stage 4 Breast Cancer and at 88 years old that might just be a recipe for “caregiver doom and gloom”, often felt when caring for aging parents. However, let’s just say that my mother-in-law is the one who inspires me to look beyond the ordinary and to see life as one big positive opportunity to create beauty in the world.
Cali Yost of Work+Life Fit Blog
But we were lucky. My sisters and I had very flexible jobs. My mother had enough money to get the care she needed (assuming it was available, which is a whole other issue.) And it was still hard. Harder than I remember. Clearly, time has softened the edges of the experience, but it hasn’t dimmed the insights and passion that continue to inform my work in this area.
Ananda Leeke of Digital Sisterhood Network
Women represent a large percentage of today’s family caregivers. They are the daughters, mothers, aunts, sisters, spouses, partners, friends, and neighbors who answer the call of helping relatives and loved ones. As sheroes, they give selflessly as they devote countless hours in service as they parent, cope with their own health challenges, work full-time in careers, and run businesses and organizations. Their efforts bring comfort, social engagement, and stability to those they love. They make their families and communities stronger. But who cares for them? Who makes their lives easier?
Plus, check out Ananda’s podcast: http://voicebo.com/kpxS9q
Judy Freedman of A Baby Boomer Woman’s Life After 50
I was pleased to be asked to join the AARP Kitchen Cabinet to promote National Caregiving Month this November. Providing care to a loved one is a critical issue for the 50+ population. According to AARP research, caregivers are strong, but the burden of caring makes them feel isolated and alone. In addition, many have difficulty admitting they need help and don’t know where to turn. I know from personal experience that I could have used an extra helping hand during several challenging moments of my mom’s transition.
Photo credit AARP