Who’s the busiest person you know?
I can describe the person I know is one of the busiest, if not the busiest:
She is known as part of the “sandwich generation” – those who are trying to take care of the generation older than her and the generation after her. Plus she’s trying to maintain her own health, welfare, and SANITY!
That’s right. She is constantly filled with it:
It’s definitely not easy. And so this woman (is this you??) is just looking for solutions. Ways for things to change so that she can control and take care of all the plates that are spinning.
Let’s just take a look at one of her worries:
Daughter sees that things are changing. Mom and Dad don’t seem as sharp or capable as they used to be.
Daughter is worried about Mom and Dad. So she starts suggesting they think about downsizing and moving. Maybe even consider a retirement home or assisted living (if there is that need.) It’s not that she wants them to give up their home or move away from their friends or neighbors. It’s just that she’s so worried and she loves them and wants them safe and cared for. She can’t manage all the worry – and guilt that comes with it – when they are in what she feels is a vulnerable situation that she can’t influence. And she can’t be there with them all the time with all the other responsibilities she has. That’s assuming she lives close enough to check on them and not miles and hours away.
But Mom and Dad respond like she is only trying to get them to do what she wants them to do – not what they want to do. They are stubborn and adamant that they can “take care of themselves.”
So, on top of all the worry, guilt, uncertainty and concerns, hostility and anger gets piled on. Pretty soon conversations and relationships are strained. And that’s sad because, in reality, they all love each other – enough to be passionate about their feelings.
There are always answers and solutions to every problem. The dilemma is whether or not all the parties can agree on them. So communication is the first step.
Start conversations that are based on mutual respect. Talk when there are no immediate decisions on the horizon and the air is not emotionally charged. Lay out the concerns on both sides of the issue and then start thinking creatively. Everyone has pre-conceived notions that are not always based in reality.
With the aging of the population today there are many more resources. The field is growing and new options or solutions are becoming available every day. And, the generalization of what “seniors” and “retirees” do and how they live is changing, too.
People in their 60s and 70s today are living active, busy lives in their communities. Many are still working and if not working, volunteering somewhere. Life is not filled with days of quiet solitude and rocking chairs and daytime TV.
More aging adults are staying in their homes and bringing resources into their homes. For instance:
When this Daughter can agree with her parents to use these resources, her emotional strain and stress is lessened and their independence is maintained. As their situation changes, services and resources have to change.
However, beginning where you are today and handling it in a collaborative and respectful way with all parties communicating lays the foundation for the more difficult decisions that will come down the road.
It’s not easy to be Daughter to Mom and Dad who are growing older. And it’s not easy to be Mom or Dad who is growing older and admitting to Daughter that their capabilities are changing. It will be easier if everyone acknowledges how they feel and lays out their concerns – together.
Before I founded Keeping In Touch Solutions, I was an advocate for the aging in a variety of roles, I have seen it work well – and not so well. If you want help or need additional information, contact me. I’d be happy to talk with you.
A daily check-in call could be the lifeline, the joy you give someone that makes the biggest difference in their perception of what old age is like.
Contact me at 317-480-1038 today. Let’s make a difference together.
I’m Diana Beam, Founder of Keeping in Touch Solutions. It is my heartfelt desire for every person to live a happy and healthy life in the place they call home, no matter what their age. You can’t put a price on peace of mind for your parents and yourself. It’s priceless . . . and significant.
For that reason, the goal of every Keeping In Touch Solutions program is to provide a caring connection and service that both the elderly and their caregivers can rely on to make living that good life easier.
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