caring-for-aging-parents

As May comes to a close, let's focus on paying it forward, just like Anna C. Leahy did, and enlist a new generation of champions for seniors in communities across the country.
It's no surprise that most older adults, when given the choice, say they would prefer to stay in their own homes for as long as possible. But what if those older adults develop physical and cognitive challenges? Who helps them fulfill their preference to age in place?
I've always told my siblings that I would only move to Texas if I were on my death bed -- and now that seems likely. The medical system is excellent, and it's my mother who is. Dying, I mean. And therein lies my dilemma.
Technology can't substitute for human interaction, and it never will. But it can ease the demands of caregiving in the early years, and buy everyone much needed time.
Most of the family caregivers who find themselves "sandwiched" between two different generations -- caring for both at once -- are women. So how can someone who is already stretched to the limit with caregiving responsibilities handle the demands placed on them by their teenager(s)?
An estimated 46 million Americans are serving as caregivers for a loved one. Baby boomers may spend more time caring for parents than they did their own children, at costs ranging from $800 to $8,000 per month. Organizing plans to care for an aging loved one starts with a conversation -- albeit a tough one.
She couldn't leave her bed at all during the final months, but the city came to her, one person at a time, to say goodbye in the room where they'd said so many hellos.
I now consider mid-70s as "prime of life." Women in their 70s take brisk walks in cute yoga pants, work out at gyms, and go zip-lining in the Amazonian Rain Forest.
Where have they gone? And what does it mean for my kids that, apart from their grandparents, they just don't know any old people?
I spend much of my life filled with regret that I don't see the people I love as much as I'd like, and that when I'm with them I don't pay as close attention as I should. A visit with a dear friend last weekend broke that pattern.
By and large I hate aging. The wrinkles under the eyes, the graying hair, the increasingly saggy skin, the ache in the foot that I know will never really get better. Everyone knows the drill.
This is the great challenge of the generation -- not just planning for our retirements, but caring for our parents who will live well into our retirements, and supporting each other as we all embark on our unique caregiving journeys.
We're all grieving as we encounter the final years with a parent. As a generation, we might as well lock arms; we've got a big job ahead of us, and the only way we'll make it through is with teamwork.