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Baby Boomer Real Story Series #2 - Taking Care of Our Aging Parents

October 30th, 2016
Story #2 - Taking Care of Our Aging Parents - - - - - I’ve Never Seen Anything Like That Before!

Baby Boomer Real Story Series
Taking Care of Our Aging Parents
By Jeannie Lange

Story #2
Taking Care of Mom – 
I’ve Never Seen Anything Like
That Before!


NEW Baby Boomer Real Story Series about taking care of our Aging Elderly Parents.

This weekly Baby Boomer Real Story Series follows the continuing
experiences of Baby Boomer Jeannie Lange taking care of her aging elderly Mom - 
   - both the serious and humorous.

One of the perks of my 24x7 job caring for my 94 year old Mom is the return to childlike innocence.  Granted, it’s not always there but it definitely shows up on a daily basis.

Just today, as we took a little trip to the grocery store, I thought it best to put Mom in a wheelchair grocery cart so I could do the pushing and walking. My normally healthy mom is still dealing with the lingering effects of a cold so pushing the big cart all around the store, her usual job, would be too taxing.

When she realized what I was doing, she sat down with a smile and said,
“I’ve never seen anything like this before!”
 

That may not seem to be an unusual comment but she has ridden in them many times in the past when my sister used to take her shopping.

Today, however, it was all new!

The job of caregiving is not an easy one, I’ll admit.  I’m the first one up each morning and the last to bed each night and in between I’m cleaning, cooking, and watching over what you might think of as an adult toddler. 

Raising a toddler is difficult enough but add to it an adult brain that flows in and out of awareness and you have a whole new ballgame! 

One minute I might be dealing with an amiable person who is ready and willing to go along with anything and the next minute it may all blow up in my face with death wishes (Mom saying she wants to die) and a few cuss words thrown in for good measure. 

Those are not the moments to dwell on – even though they do, at times, make for funny stories.

In the midst of this continual ebb and flow, if I take the time to pay attention, I am given the opportunity each day to look through the eyes of a child again and count among my blessings the things I would overlook.

Just taking a short walk down our sidewalk I might hear, “I’ve never seen the sky so blue!”  A minute later, “I’ve never seen those things (clouds) up there before!”  A few steps farther, Mom comments on a tree adorned in its autumn colors, “Look at that tree!  I’ve never seen anything like it!” 

It can be anything at any moment that will catch her eye.  It may be something she has seen all her life but at that moment, it is all new and wondrous.

Did I know when I started this journey what I would find?  I had watched my Mom care for my dad as Alzheimer’s took his mind so I had an idea.  But did I really know what I would find?  I have to say no because for all the pitfalls of doing this job.

It’s seeing the things around me through a child’s eyes again. . . 
. . . that's the unanticipated blessing.

 Jeannie Lange, born in southwestern Ohio, has made her home in Kentucky with her husband, Steve. Their four grown children and their families live nearby. She retired from the insurance industry at the age of 55 to take care of her 94 year old mother 24x7.

JUST FOR BABY BOOMERS: Share your experiences, remembrances and opinions about "A Baby Boomer Real Story Series about Caring for our Aging Elderly Parents" with other Baby Boomers on our "Baby Boomer Forum" 


 

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