Life As I Know It…For Now

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Caring for an aging parent…gotta have a sense of humour

If you are the chosen, you will be caring for an aging parent…welcome to the club.  If you’re like me you will have been done raising your kids for about 15 years. You’ve looked forward to, and experienced, retirement.  You’re thrilled with the birth of a grandchild and look forward to playing with, and spoiling them.  But suddenly you find yourself with the overwhelming task of caring for your parent. Here’s where your sense of humour will save your life. 

Bell ringer…sleeping is one of the most important things in my life.  But you have to be ready to assist at all hours of the night.  We have set up a bell ringing system.  If the bladder or bowel awakens my mom, she has been told to ring the bell that teeters precariously on the edge of her daybed.  This bell was presented to me at a retirement ceremony…So much for retirement bell ringing.

Accessibility…seriously people!!! Who designs these new buildings anyway?  I had to take mom for blood tests and a urinalysis today…in a brand new building.  The lab technician handed me a sample bottle and directed us to the bathroom.  I figured to enter a large handicap bathroom…easy peasy…but no! The bathroom was a regular size…affording no room for me, let alone mom in a wheelchair. I stealthily climbed over the wheelchair and positioned myself beside the toilet. Well let’s just say through a bit of gymnastics l was able to get the sample…all the while, mom laughing at our predicament.

Cookies, granola bars, and peanuts…oh my. If you are taking care of your loved one, you must have a large supply of cookies on hand.  I have never bought so many boxes of cookies in my life.  Chocolate covered is the main requirement.  Chocoholic is perhaps the term I would use after the age of 90. But hey, why not?  Eat away mom…eat away.

Depends…it all depends. Thank the lord for Depends.  I know I’m not writing anything that would embarrass my mother. It is a fact of life that everyone passed the age of 65 wears Depends on occasion or regularly.  They have night ones, light ones, coloured ones, Velcro ones…it all depends.

Bed rails, shower chairs and stripper poles.  Yup the devices you need to help with the care of your loved one. The best of which is the pole that stands by the shower door.  Now the installer told me it was to provide a support for the weaker person while getting in the shower. I asked him if it would support me pole dancing…yeah…he laughed.

There are so many other things that I could tell you about, but whatever.  The most important thing I can say is that being a caregiver is damn hard work.  But if you face each day with humour, and thankfulness, you will survive. And your parent will love every day they have with you.  And you?   You will be thankful for your own strength, and the time you will spend with them…we are members of the “sandwich” generation…caught between our parent’s care and our children and grandchildren. 

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This entry was posted on November 7, 2017 by .

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