As I prepare my next set of blogs, it’s hard to imagine we stand at three years since pivotal summer 2012.
On July 23rd that year, my father was suddenly hospitalized. On August 26th, he passed away a mere five weeks later.
In some ways, the intervening 36 months feel like a nanosecond ago. In others, they feel like another century. Given the number of Sandwich Generation caregivers I’ve spoken with between and since, it seems fitting to share my “Navigating the Eldercare Marathon” message with all of you across the balance of August 2015.
To do so, I borrow from William Bridges’ wonderful work in his classic book Managing Transitions.
What’s a Transition?
Bridges defines a transition as the inner psychological process we all go through to come to terms with changed situations in our lives. Outward change is different from inward shifts. Depending on your aging parents’ health, you may witness marked external evidence of their decreasing ability to perform basic daily tasks. But it’s really the inner impact this has on you that counts the most. Unacknowledged, transitions will do you in every time.
The Necessary Three Stages
The Transitions Model consists of three stages – Endings, Neutral Zone and New Beginnings. Each phase must be gone through in this order. There’s no skipping or changing around the sequence, no matter how much one might like to. For over 30 years, I’ve incorporated these concepts within both business facilitations and when helping coaching clients to step out of comfort zones so they manifest their larger purpose in the world.
Connection to Eldercare
As such, you may wonder what this content has to do with eldercare. In my experience, seeing our senior relatives and/or friends through their passing is one of THE largest life transitions we will ever undertake. Indeed, if you think about it, aren’t these three stages exactly what happens as you go through the grueling marathon eldercare can be? Certainly, I can relate to every feeling people confront before, during and after this excruciating process.
My Story as the Example
As we go along, please allow me to therefore use my situation with my father as indicative of what you will also encounter. I truly believe our scenario is representative.
Until you hear from me next, I do hope you take the opportunity to download your free Eldercare Rescue Guide at www.copingwithuncopeableparents.com.
As always, you can reach me at (905) 822-2503 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org