Tuesday, April 14, 2009

New article on Caring for Parents

I received AgingCare.com's e-newsletter and wanted to share one of the articles with you. The title is "Caring for Parents Versus Caring for Children: 10 Ways They Differ."

It has good information for the sandwich generation about some of our main caregiving issues, including emotions, logistics, intellect, the aging process, financial issues, siblings, work issues, and more.

Click this link to read the article: http://www.agingcare.com/Featured-Stories/120215/Caring-for-Parents-Versus-Caring-for-Children-10-Ways-They-Differ.htm?utm_source=Newsletter&utm_medium=Email&utm_term=March+12%2c+2008&utm_campaign=Newsletter%2B-%2BMarch+12%2c+2008

Caregiver at Home


  1. Thanks for the link to this article. It was very helpful. I've thought, too, that one difference between caring for children and for parents is that with children you have the expectation that things will get better. They're in a learning stage of life and it's my responsibility as the adult to train them, so I have the hopes that one day they will care for their own hygiene, be able to dress themselves appropriately, etc. With an aging parent, they're forgetting those things they once knew, and even if you gently remind them, they likely won't forget -- and it is likely going to get worse. It can be sad and frustrating, but tt's one of those things we just have to accept as "the way it is."

    BTW, I am not sure if I have ever commented here before, and I don't remember how I discovered your site, but I appreciate it and have found much helpful here. We moved my mil here to SC from ID last summer. She is in an assisted living facility, so it's different than if she were in our home, but it is still a new responsibility for us as we visit her daily and over see her care. We've never lived in the same state, much less town, as a parent, so that's an adjustment as well as seeing the changes in her.

  2. Oh, Barbara, a thousand thoughts are going through my mind right now after reading your note.

    First, a hug. I understand *some* of what you described as my father became ill in 2004/2005 and as an only child, Mama really relied on me to handle everything and make all the decisions for Daddy. They lived an hour away, so it was still close compared to your situation. The traffic between our two towns was awful, though, and sometimes that one hour took three (central Florida in the Disney area). They had lived in their home in Orlando for 51 years; it was where I was born and my only memory of "home." It was very difficult to clean out and pack up their home and know that Daddy would never get to go back, but I ended up moving Mama to a house across the street from us and having Daddy in a nursing home nearby. We made daily trips to the hospital and finally the nursing home. Daddy's dementia was terrible and violent, which was a 180-degree change for my kind and protective father. Mama actually was in danger from the man who adored her, all of us were targets of his wrath at not being allowed to come home, and all our lives were turned upside down. So I understand how tumultuous and uncertain it can all become when age or illness finally stomps up and declares war on someone we love.

    I hear what you're saying about accepting the changes in your MIL as the way it is. That's pretty much how I dealt with my father's illness, too. Daddy passed away in September, 2005 and I ended up in the hospital in November with symptoms of a heart attack. It ended up being stress-related and my heart was okay, but I just wanted to share that because it's important for caregivers to manage their own stress levels. When Mama completely depended on me to make all the tough decisions and Daddy became an angry stranger, I ended up compartmentalizing my own stress until "later." During Daddy's illness, I was trying to be strong for them and take care of them the way they'd always been there for me. Thankfully, there was a local support group at the nursing home and we met monthly there, which helped a lot. What I didn't know until then is how many folks go through exactly the same situations, and learning that my own feelings of being frustrated and overwhelmed were normal was a real balm to my troubled spirit.

    That's a significant part of why I write my blog now. I don't know who I'm talking to, but I know there are a lot of folks "out there" who are going through similar situations and don't have a support group to help. If I can reach out and help in some way, even just by being able to share or vent, I hope it will help someone else.

    I'd love to receive updates from your blog, Barbara. I read some of what you'd written and love your style. I, too, and a believer and am thankful for God's wonderful, rich grace and mercy in my life. Also, our pastor's family has just had someone diagnosed with the transverse myletis you describe, and reading your experience was very helpful to me. I wondered at first if they had developed Guillain-Barre, as friends of mine have had that in the past. TM is new to me, so thank you for that insight.

    Okay, this is loooooong, as is typical for me.
    :-D Please keep in touch and know that I'll be remembering you in my prayers.

    Blessings, and thank you for writing,