Check out today’s post, No Need for Death Threats! over at Changing Aging, Dr. Bill Thomas’ blog. He snapped this picture of this magazine cover at the airport in Philadelphia. I am beginning to believe that the next 30 years will be generationally tough, not only for our parents but also for us, the adult children who are following right behind.
I am going to Philly for a conference next month. I won’t buy the magazine this time. The blame for this type of thing can be placed squarely on the shoulders people who opine about budgets, intentionally creating generational rifts, to get political attention, but the same people do nothing to really solve our problems. Already twenty and thirty somethings indicate in a variety of ways that boomers are the problem — precisely the type of rifts that make people think this magazine cover is appropriate.
Caregiving is complex, confusing, and mostly uncontrollable. When we provide caregiving support, we discover that despite our most valiant organizational efforts we never quite make sense of the situation. Caregivers are never really in control, no matter how well we believe we are doing the caregiving, and we must be comfortable with the situation.
During our years of caregiving support, my husband and I frequently commented that we felt as if we lived in a parallel universe. Yes, we went to work and continued with things in our lives, but his mother — not the two of us, our jobs, or our interests — was the center of our lives.
I have just hung up the phone on yet another call asking me just to “update” some sort of personal information. Still another caller, a day or two ago, was trying to convince me that I have a problem at my bank (one which I do not use, by the way). A few weeks ago a neighbor heard, via phone, that her credit card was stolen and all she had to do to confirm that the card the number was hers. No, no, and no!
Older parents, especially those living alone, need something posted by the phone to remind them about what to do when they answer the phone and discover it is one of these unpleasant and fraudulent phone calls.
Five Telephone Rules for Older Parents and Everyone Else to Keep by the Telephone
Google Gets It … According to the New York Times,when a person searches with terms that could indicate suicidal thoughts, Google results will automatically include suggestions about suicide prevention, including a hotline telephone number. This policy, thought it cannot respond to every potential end-of-life search term, may make the difference in helping a person decide to live. I’ve pasted in a graphic of the Google response. Bravo!
When a suicide occurs in a family, it is never really forgotten. On a beautiful April day more than ten years ago, my parents lost a son and I lost my bother to suicide. I read somewhere that in spring, as the days get longer and the flowers come out, people with depression or bi-polar disorders can’t figure out why they are so unhappy. Some of them decide to kill themselves. Recently when my aging parents and I visited my brother’s grave, I realized again how raw the pain is and that while they have moved on in life, the grief continues. How much it has affected their health in subsequent years, I’ll never know.
Thank you Google. If even a few people have second thoughts, an enormous amount of grief and pain will be prevented, especially for aging parents who never stop asking, “Why?”
Found this interesting article about the need for geriatrician. Here’s the intro.
“Think about it… If the number of students doubled and the number of teachers didn’t, that would be a problem, right? Well, a parallel to this scenario is actually taking place in the health care world: our elderly population will double by 2030 and the number of geriatrician will remain the same.”
For boomers like my husband and me, who are providing ongoing support for aging parents, this is an ominous sign of the future in store for us. I wonder if there will be significant changes in the next 20 years?
It seems like a lot of elderly people we know — all in mid-80’s or older — are dying or have died recently. My parents, also in their 80’s, are doing well. Yet each time I share information about a relative with my parents I ask the question, “Should I be talking about this?” Usually I tend to blunder on, a bit guiltily, explaining treatments, palliative care plans, a memorial service, or other related topics. Tonight, after yet another conversation, telling my dad that a much-loved uncle on my husband’s side is in critical condition and receiving palliative care, my father spoke of being nearly the same age and how he thinks a lot about the end of life.