17 March 2014
Are you one of the 13 million babyboomers who are taking care of elderly and ailing parents? According to a 2005 survey from Campbell-Ewald Health, 25% of them are living in the same household as their parents. Many of you who get this newsletter help your parents in various ways so you might want to talk with others doing the same thing on our message board.
I remember when my cousin first had to start taking care of her 90 yr. old Mother. She was the closest (as far as driving distance) of her siblings, so after several times of having to drive 2 hours to get to her mother when there was an emergency, she moved her in to her 2 bedroom apartment. There were numerous visits to the doctor, stays in the hospital, surgeries, lots of physical therapy and a lot of physically draining work to taking care of her, not to mention the emotional toll. She finally had to be placed in a nursing home and even then my cousin had to go every day and make sure her Mom's medications were given correctly and that she was not being left alone too long.
A close friend of mine moved her Father from Florida to her home in Ohio once she determined that he just couldn't live by himself any longer. She went so far as to remodel her home so he could get around in his wheelchair. Eventually, she had to get outside help for part of the day (she ran her business from home when he lived there) and finally had to move him to a nursing home.
In both cases, it was about 5 years of gut-wrenching decision making and a strain on family relationships, not to mention the finances. I hope those of you who are taking on this dramatic situation continue to find the strength and courage needed for these tough times. Strange that during the same time we are dealing with menopause and such a huge change in our own personal lives, we are now expected to also deal with the responsibility of taking care of our parents. I recommend that you get as much help as possible whether it be divided among family members or with a reputable senior care company.