To inaugurate my 2020 blog season, I reviewed ten years of extended eldercare trials and the protracted aftermath that did not see me return to any semblance of stability until about two years ago. That is when I finished sorting 50 years of accumulated parental possessions combined with 34 of ours. I then promised you a next series entitled “Carol-Ann’s Top 10 Caregiver Peeves”.
To remind, a peeve is for me a truth that those who care for aging parents/relatives, friends, neighbors and even colleagues refuse to GET until they’re in the stressful throes. Today, my aim is to dispel the myth that you will never have to contend with this awful life chapter.
In Olden Times, You Were Right
My parents were exactly of an era where they were spared the burden of looking after my grandparents. My mother fled war-torn Europe and left her older sister to contend with Oma plus Opa until their passing. My father remained Grandma’s ‘baby’ until he reluctantly departed the comfortable nest aged 34 at marriage. He abdicated to my responsible uncle myriad estate closures. Neither parent had ANY idea of what true eldercare involves.
In Today’s Times, You Are Not Correct
This is pivotal. It’s no wonder neither appreciated what they were foisting upon me as their only child due to non-proactive choices. “Let someone else handle it” was their shared motto. As a result, EVERYTHING was an uphill battle – from paperwork to clearing their hoarders-home to supporting them emotionally in any fashion. Life spans that extended to almost 90 did not see them pass away as soon as Grandpa. Thus, their decline left many messes in their wake.
In Future Times, You Get to Decide
I assure you demographics will not be on your side in coming years. Centenarians are considered the fastest growing population sector worldwide. By 2050, the number of folks over 100 is projected to reach anywhere from 3.7 to 6 million globally. That means 600,000 in the U.S. alone. It’s up to you to determine how hard you want this to be. Denial will surely force you to confront some painful realities before all is said and done.
Next Time Around
And that’s why I’m calling out your resistance to facing certain caregiver truths in this first of “Carol-Ann’s Top 10 Peeves”.
Next time, our theme is called: It Isn’t THAT Bad. During this early phase of the marathon, you naively believe your folks’ state is not awful. They may be active and healthy. Trust me, such bliss won’t last!
Don’t take my word for it. Check others’ stories in Coping with Un-cope-able Parents: LOVING ACTION for Eldercare at https://www.copingwithuncopeableparents.com/shop/