To begin, you need to know that like Grandma, her mother, R has devised expressions that she sprinkles throughout her conversation. My favorite Grandma-saying “Angels Can Do No More” legitimizes the frustration when people do all they can--to seemingly no avail. (I think about caregivers.)
Creative thinking to help parents age well fuels my posts. I have always been a practical, out-of-the-box thinker. Combining this with my counseling background to empower and strengthen self-esteem has been a priority. Whether teenagers or seniors, I love figuring out ways to help and find an easier, better, or best way to overcome challenges. But now I am perplexed.
In a serendipity way, I came across this article about a nursing home, specifically a NY State Veteran's Affairs nursing home. Many--if not all--residents have no doubt sacrificed for our country. I hope you'll click the link below this picture and read the short article, written yesterday, 2/20/12.
A quick call to my friend, Linda. "Any chance you're free Friday or is that your bridge day?"
"You're sort of right--sometimes it's my bridge day and it will be this Friday. Jackie's mother is almost 90 and loves to play bridge. So I play bridge with Jackie and her mother --not every Friday--but when I'm asked and that's this Friday."
.....Without Overloading Friends
How thoughtful of Jackie...towards her mother as well as towards her friends. Linda doesn't give up time every Friday. No doubt Jackie, the daughter does, but involves different friends in such a way that she doesn't over-impose on their Fridays.
Meanwhile, Jackie's giving her elderly mother something priceless, something special to look forward to--time with her daughter and several other women on Fridays. This not only provides togetherness, socialization, and all the good that accompanies it (fresh ideas, connections) but stimulation for the brain as well.
“My elderly parents were the priority and I devoted myself to their needs. For example, it meant so much to them to know they would be able to be driven to anything. I never let them down. For over a decade their evening social engagements as well as other commitments took precedence over plans my husband and I had and over plans with my friends....."
Only children. The Lone Ranger wasn’t “lone.” He had a sidekick, Tonto! 24/7 caregiving by one person isn’t conducive to good physical or mental health over an extended period. (Forget any thoughts of an additional day job.) Find out, before problems arise, if other family members can help out. Also check with good friends and your parents’ neighbors. (See preceding, sometimes we get lucky.
I receive invitations to join Linkedin from former professional colleagues and current "fellow" (seems like a sexist adjective, but?) board members. Although I'm no longer working, I'm well aware of the difficulties juggling career and caregiving entail.....
Is that why an invitation to join Linkedin--for those of us with aging parents--can elicit a yearning? Or if we're already Linkedin, do we dare sneak a peek at the site without a pang of regret?