Let me briefly describe this Baby Boomer couple. In his seventies, he has a 95-year-old mother and is largely responsible for her despite having a sister. In her sixties, my only-child friend has a mother aged 81; her father is 83. While having no children together, he has a son and daughter in their thirties.
In one 24-hour period alone, ALL three parents faced serious health crises. Two were emergencies! In my experience, their woes are typical of those in the Sandwich Generation. And, their plight is about to become a whole lot worse.
For weeks leading up to Disaster Day, this Mom housed in the “independent living” section of an assisted facility had been battling a bad virus characterized by severe coughing and lung infection. She wasn’t eating – a concern unto itself given her frail body. She needed to swallow “elephant” sized pills through several rounds of antibiotics and had to be coaxed to eat. The only option was to split between them visits multiple times a day to feed her.
During the ordeal, his mother had to be taken by ambulance to the hospital because of not getting better. They got home at 2:00 a.m. The following night, they received The Dreaded Phone Call at 1:30 a.m. Those are never good… Her mother had been vomiting awfully and needed emergency surgery to remove her burst appendix. Mom’s compromised immune system from the same hacking virus had to be pumped full of potassium so as not to bleed out.
Meanwhile, her Dad was having another painful gout attack in his toe, making hobbling up and down stairs to attend to Mom post-surgery almost impossible. My friend has temporarily set aside her business to care for her folks in their house. They’re yet awaiting the results of a mysterious “spot” located on her kidney during the operation. This poor woman had just successfully survived cancer surgery and chemo earlier in the year. Now this!
Are You Getting the Picture?
While their trials aren’t at all surprising to me, what many people still believe about caregiving IS shocking!
If you’re thinking these events so closely-spaced are an exception, think again. If you believe this won’t be you some day, revisit your beliefs.
As 30,000 people turn 60-plus globally every day for at least the next ten years, you (or someone you know) will be inevitably confronted with the Caregiver’s Reality. Please don’t dismiss my call to action.
NOW is when you need to equip yourself with the coping skills and tools to get through such nightmares. Waiting until you’re in the thick of eldercare is an accident waiting to happen. I’m here with a confidential opportunity to talk at about your situation via a Readiness Session at (905) 822-2503 or www.copingwithuncopeableparents.com.