More and more baby boomers are now providing care to their parents or other loved ones. Yet, we often neglect ourselves. As I got my mind into mental preparation for the holiday I am faced including the routine duties of providing care to my mom. As the only child I have resigned myself to just getting the job done.
Yet, today as I included additional tasks like taking stool samples to the testing lab, picking up her medicine, trying to decide when I would bake holiday cookies and locking in a time to pick up my own medicine I turned to humor as a survival mechanism.
When I went to the lab for additional instructions, and hoping she would allow me to unload the two days worth of samples I had already taken, I gave the technician a Hersey chocolate. I told her that this would be a reminder of my sample dropoff scheduled for the next day. I then joked about providing stool collection samples for caregivers. I said, “I only knew about using double gloves from CSI,” We both laughed and I left to complete more errands before I went shopping, return home to pick up my purse with the drivers license I forgot, grap a sandwich and write this quick post before I am off again. (Who said this was a vacation day?)
The laughter and prior prayer for help was part of my survival. If I did not do it I just knew I would be destined to spend time in some facility until my insurance kicked me out. Of course I am not going into all the related details leading up to the stool samples nor the final exciting process of collecting them in tnose vials. Thank goodness I did not have one with the white top that needed refrigeration.
But my point is I am not alone. Many baby boomers are finding ways of coping with caregiving even if they have other folks to help in the process. So please share them as a comment to this post. It not only will help me but I am just sure it will help someone else.
Stories are also welcomed.
Meanwhile, have a blessed Holiday season. I really do hope I can squeeze in a Zumba class after I see my mom this evening. But I did say I was baking tonight or should I clean. I also need to cook meals for mom and home. etc, etc Better to blog, Ha~Who knows got to stay flexible. I guess she had to when raising me.
Don’t forget to leave your survivial tips.
11 thoughts on “Baby Boomers-What Are Your Caregiver Survival Tips”
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Here’s a cool quote for enhancing self esteem and self appreciation.
“I want you to look in the mirror and say:
I accept myself unconditionally.
I am enough.
I do enough.
I have enough.'”
– Dr. Christiane Northrup
I have a question…
Can a child serve as a caregiver for an elderly parent as a profession?
I mean…can the child be payed by the parent and perhaps by other siblings an amount of money sufficient to quit a current job…so the child can provide home health type services(house maintenance, lawn work etc).
The child can then fill out a self employment form(1099 I think)…showing him as an Independant caregiver…the child can then fill out taxes, take out necessary social security and other taxes)
Good question Rick. I don’t have an answer. I hope someone else can share some insight. I believe it would probably be a family by family decision but the legal logistics and finance as pay needs someone with legal and financial expertise. Thanks for bringing it up.
I am not a tax attorney, so of course get some advice, but YES family members can be “employed” by other family members as long as the wages paid are reasonable for the tasks they are doing. Many of us in home business do this and sometimes have our children help with tasks that are age appropriate.
Thanks Chris & rosie. I will check with a tax attorney on that. To me it seems like if you can have live in housekeepers/caregivers or whatever that are not related to their ’employer’ it seems like you can do the same for relatives..
It makes a lot of sense to me. I knew a family that had one sibling who was not working. He insisted taking care of his mom to avoid a nursing home. But the other siblings did not support him. It was very distressful for him.
My niece is a caregiver for her dad. He was hit by a delivery van a couple years back, surprising he lived through it.
Another friend is a home health person for her cousin with MS funded through a federal program.
I remember one wise lady, who when one of her daughters planned to build a new home, shared the costs of building and designed her own suite with seperate entrance, living room, kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, and a door adjoining rest of the house. She was in good shape, but said that might not always be the case. She was close by to help with grandkids and grandkids could help her. Better to make choices while she was able to make those decisions and the means to do so, she said.
Thank you all for your words of comfort and wisdom. It is also encouraging that I am not the only one who feels that there is so much work for us to do in modeling, mentoring and empowering our younger generation.
I was the main caregiver to my parents as my brother (my only sibling) lived on the opposite side of the country. However, I never had to do the day-to-day hands on care that you’re providing your mother. You must be a remarkable woman and a truly loving daughter to handle all you’re going through. I admire you greatly and I’m sure that your mother is filled with love and pride for having such a wonderful daughter.
Actually, I am blessed that my mom still lives independently in a senior housing. But has a homemaker and I am there much giving additional support. So, it is not day to day. I talk with her sometimes 2-3 times a day regardless of where I am and take her to doctor appointments. So, whereas, I am the main caregiver, I don’t live with her. Thanks Mary
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