As a parent myself, living overseas so far away from my family, it has been important to me to find creative ways to maintain this intergenerational tie between my own son and his grandparents.
I will always wonder what life would have been like if my mother hadn't developed this devastating disease.
I had bruises the day after my first massage in L.A., the result of some heretofore unknown (by me, anyway) brand of stabbing, poking bodywork. At least it lasted only 90 minutes -- my first haircut here took two days.
From waitress to CEO, the issue of childcare is messy, costly and crucial. Elder care is just as critical and worrisome
As America tunes in for another season of TV's "Mad Men," I thought about the workplace changes being played out on the series. If Matt Weiner could flash forward to today's work environment, I hope he'd show the biggest issue facing America's workers today: caregiving.
It could be the reporter in me, trained to ask questions, or maybe I was born this way. Perhaps, as a child, I found the answer, "because I said so," so profoundly unsatisfying that I got into the habit of digging, asking what the press calls follow-up questions.
As a member of the sandwich generation worrying about my adult kids (I'm a mom and I have to worry about my kids even if they are all grown up) and worrying about my elderly mom (who has been ill since the New Year), I often forget to give my own body the "body care" it needs.
Our grandparents had arthritis; we'll have arthritis. The difference is we'll live with it longer. The difference is we've had fewer kids. The difference is we may have higher expectations. The difference is that there are vastly many more of us.
Stuff piles up in life, just like the snow, and it's a pain in the neck to shovel through it all. That's why sometimes, no matter the weather, it's a good idea to declare a snow day, fix a cup of tea and do nothing at all.
"She's dead," my grandmother tells me with a clear look of disdain -- like someone should have seen to it that she was disposed of long ago. "Just no one has told her so."
When my dad sees me, he gives me a big smile through chocolate-stained dentures. He's just finishing a cookie. There are crumbs on his lap and on the floor surrounding his wheelchair. His fingers are speckled with chocolate. He is thoroughly enjoying that cookie, and the mess doesn't bother him.
I was furious about all of it -- my mother's incapacity, my daughter's teenage angst -- and the fact that I couldn't fix any of it. I am the oldest child, after all -- the hero, the one who tries to fix everything.
This week, our family will be celebrating a remarkable event; my parent's sixtieth wedding anniversary. Only an extraordinary mixture of love, trust, faith, hard work and -- yes -- luck could have made this event possible.
My husband and I are not exchanging major gifts this year. There's nothing we need, so why waste our money? On the other hand, I do want Bob to know that I love him and care about him, and that I put thought and effort into making him happy.
Within days, we started to see the toll of uprooting an almost 92-year-old woman with moderate dementia from familiar routine into uncharted waters. She could barely stay afloat.
The Obama administration has declared that November is National Family Caregivers Month. The proclamation declares that family member, friends and neighbors dedicate countless hours providing care to their relatives and loved ones.