Saturday, February 26, 2011

greying of caregiving

Age masquerades behind gaily decorated masks of seasons, sunsets, and sunrises relentlessly stealing abilities. More than any members of the family of caregivers / carers those who care for children, of any age, with special needs or disabilities know, feel, and battle the relentless challenges of time. - The heart of caring beats on regardless of differences in age but the body may be another story. 

When a lunch outing between an 80 year old caregiver parent who picked up her 37 year old daughter from an Association for Retarded Citizens group home turned into a 500 mile, 57 hour ‘missing endangered’ odyssey this tells a story of both the challenges of age and the heart of a caregiver - fortunately a story with a happy ending.

“They apparently went to lunch and filled up the gas tank of the mother’s car, but got turned around …”

“Police label them as "missing endangered" because of the mother's age and the daughter's diminished mental capacity.”

"They were disheveled. They did appear to be in good condition," said Trooper Tom Pinkerton. "People go lost or missing every day and there's not always a happy outcome …” Police give details on finding of missing woman, daughter 

Miller says she stopped several times to ask for directions. "I am so grateful to be home, I can do nothing but thank the Lord for that …” said Miller. Elderly Mother Talks About Being Lost For Days  

Pundits babble on about the ‘greying of America’ from retirement living to its affect on the restaurant business. Seemingly lost among talking points of problems elderly people face is the reality that caregivers / carers are also greying, maybe even faster.

“Whistle through your teeth and spit
Cause it's all right.
Oh well a Touch Of Grey
Kind of suits you anyway.”
Grateful Dead 

Caregivingly Yours, Patrick Leer 
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  1. As someone who is aging with MS and with a caregiver husband quite a bit older than I, the whole aging thing really spooks me. Even if I can manage -- oh miracle -- to keep my MS from progressing, I still have to deal with the fact that my body is itself aging, bringing on all the stuff that comes with that. So this is a timely post for me.


  2. so thankful there was a happy ending to the story; makes you wonder if having OnStar might be a consideration if the mother is deemed safe to drive after she gets evaluated. Makes you also wonder if there would be some service organization willing to get involved to provide transportation in events like this (mom wanting to spend time with daughter but no longer as safe to drive) that would help them achieve such a feat.


  3. I attempt to plan for an uncertain future being single with a progressive disease that no one can really agree upon as to what it is. As my driving is now limited to short distances on predictable routes during non-rush hour traffic, I occasionally need more assistance.

    I'm hoping to move to my parent's town within the year. We talk about how nice it will be for us to be closer and how they can help me with shopping and doctor's appointments. And, we can also just enjoy each other's company. Sounds great, eh? Oh, they're both 78. It's a good long-term plan for mutual support companionship but mostly a short-term plan for the needing physical assistance part.

  4. I see this every day as we send elderly patients home with elderly care givers. I think about the fact it took 2 nurses to effectively care for the patient and worry about how it be at home. such is the clock of time.

  5. Patrick, I am linking to this post in my Wednesday poem, published at 12:01 am, as always.


  6. I've been worrying about this very issue as my brother and I are only 13 months apart. We are both aging....and I worry that I will reach a point physically where I will no longer be able to care for him.


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