Many women in mid life are at the top of their career ladder, or getting ready to retire or have retired and their kids are gone and out of the home. Plans are changed because Mom and/or Dad, or your mother-in-law/father-in law, needs your help. If you don’t live close to the aging parent what do you do? Some have moved Mom or Dad closer to them. Many elderly move into an assisted living facility, others move in with their kids. But as the age and health issues continue, helping takes on a more active role in the life of the middle age woman. The popular lexicon name is the “Sandwich” generation. You understand, you just finished raising your kids into hopefully functional adults and now you are parenting again but this time it is your ‘parent’.
Along with being elderly come many physical issues and mental issues. Whether it is a mobility problem, hearing problem, vision problem or mental problem, the bottom line is that your parent is not the strong, vital person they once were. You are now that person and the parent child relationship has reversed. The financial responsibilities can be overwhelming.
My Mother moved into an assisted care facility 4 years ago. She recently moved onto the ‘Memory’ floor. My Mother had the income to afford the facility she wanted. It is a beautiful place with wonderful activities and food and staff. My sister and I are very fortunate. We also have a cousin that is a born caregiver and will take my Mother to all her doctor appointments, out to lunch and shopping and she lives in the same city.
As my Mother is approaching her 90th birthday she has become extremely forgetful. Dementia or Alzheimer, whatever it is, it is moving fast. She is a very social person, with a great vocabulary so she covers her state of mind well in her charming pleasant conversations. To those of us in the family we clearly see her rapid decline. Talking on the phone is becoming a challenge. She says we are speaking too fast and not enunciating our words! My family is adjusting to Mother’s decline with love and humor.
What experiences have you had with an elderly parent? What plans have you made or have your parents made for their elderly care?