Once again, I was feeling tense with a knot in my stomach. I was preparing to leave town to speak at a conference. I was doing my utmost to ensure my mother had everything she might need.
Like an anthropologist who practices participant observation I have come to discover that 8-year-old boys and 84-year-old women are similar in ways that bug the crap out of me.
I washed off a Boxtop this morning and realized that I've lost my sense of me. The Boxtop doesn't matter. I'm gone. Put my picture on a carton of milk, or better yet, on a wine bottle. I need to stop worrying about Boxtops.
...or your boss, or your child, or your colleague. I want you to learn how to communicate with anyone. Have you ever wondered why your Mom won't stop calling you? Or why teens today speak exclusively in emoticons? Or your Dad STILL writes "Dear Vanessa" in his text messages?
It is a lesson in patience to bite our lips and keep our fingers still rather than trying to build her the perfect piece of fishing equipment. We are slow to learn, and are still working out the right way to respond when she admits the minnow is gone. We usually just point out another fish and renew our hope that perhaps she'll be able to catch it.
Other than divorce and death of a loved one, few things are more disorienting than the shift from being cared for by your parents to caring for your parents. The change creates some serious turbulence.
"This is a new life. I want it," I say to my father who is racked with nerves. "Say it," I insist. "This is a new life. I want it," he repeats.
As the Baby Boomers continue to swell the ranks of our senior population, elder care concerns will impact more and more families. It's a global trend in dire need of solutions. While we are beginning to see positive steps, we still have a long way to go.
The rain drizzles down but the storm cloud lifts just a little. Even though it is dark, the mood has lightened, brightening the landscape. I can still make out the blur of the neon sign flashing ominously in the haze but there's no turning back now. For better or for worse we are on this new road.
One month ago, I had never even heard the term 'sandwich generation'. Now I'm living it. Basically, it means you have children you're caring for AND parents you're caring for.
If you're a boomer who feels as if you're stuck at the threshold of retirement but can't quite cross it, welcome to the Threshold Generation. Why are so many boomers delaying their retirement? Here are clues to the answer.
It's funny how much my daughter has learned about routes and maps through our travels. Taking the extra time to drive on a trip versus flying gives you a lot of talk time
I reached through the window and paid for our drinks. I slid the straw through the lid and placed the chilled cup in her bony hands. She drank deeply and sighed with satisfaction, savoring the sugary mix.
Today, the lights flicker on rarely. My father-in-law has been moved into a long-term care unit for people with advanced dementia. Now instead of talking about what life taught him, he is asking us what his life meant.
House Broken tells the story of Geneva, a veterinarian, who reluctantly allows her alcoholic mother to recuperate in her home and uses the opportunity to delve into family secrets. It's told from three points-of-view: Geneva's, her mother's and Geneva's 16-year-old daughter.
I began to think of dementia as a Grinch -- descending upon our family, dimming the lights, stealing our baked goods, and taking away my mother's ability to give, which is really all she ever wanted to do.