Boomers’ Dilemma or Opportunity?
By: Susan M. Riley M. Ed
Are you a caregiver of an elderly family member? How’s it going? There is
a trend out there which seems to be growing in leaps and bounds…”Boomer
Caregiving”. The term encompasses many facets of care, mainly focusing
on the boomer generation falling into a new life stage of caring for elderly
family members, mostly one or both of their parents.
The reason I asked how it was going is because the answer I hear back is
usually, “HELP”! Overwhelm, chaos, frustration, confusion, exhaustion are
words that come after that. Boomer caregivers who have been at it a while
say, organization is the key. How does that happen without a magic wand?
The best advice I’ve heard is to buy or create a wall calendar. Write down all
appointments including doctor and physical therapy, times for home therapy
and medications, and anything else that will make your life easier. Would
it support you to have necessary phone numbers like the clinic or pharmacy
on that calendar? Pieces of paper with important information easily get
displaced. When family members share caregiving aspects, the calendar
supports all involved, so the correct information is visible. Some caregivers
go so far as to check things off that have been accomplished, again, so others
know what’s going on.
The opportunity here is perfecting yet another level of your organizational
skills. You don’t have to keep track of everything in your brain. Being
a caregiver myself, if I didn’t write it down, there was no telling what
I’d remember. Did you know when a person is stressed, often the brain
functions especially memory, is stressed. So what are you waiting for? Get
that calendar going, if you’re not up to it, ask an artistic friend, give them
the details and let them go…colored markers and all! Of course you can
create a desk calendar, it’s your choice. All I know is the care-givers who do
this breathe a sigh of relief. What a simple gift and gesture of kindness to a
boomer care-giver. If you come up with a creative caregiver wall calendar,
be sure to let me know!
If you would like to be supported with issues of being a boomer caregiver,
feel free to contact me.
All the Best to you on this journey!
Susan Riley, M. Ed
Certified Professional Life Coach
Boomer Caregiver Coaching