The Juggling Act

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Caregivers have so much on their plates they really need a platter — and an extra waiter!

If you’re like me and taking care of an aging parent or even perhaps two, your plate (or platter) is running over. Then you wonder why you are tired and stressed!

The statistics say that most caregivers are women and usually an adult daughter. In my case, my mother is the day-to-day caregiver and I’m more or less the go-fer. Even a go-fer can get tired but my mama’s stress is really taking a toll. Her hearing is getting worse, her memory is really going downhill and all that stress is now affecting her health. I’ve tried to get her to agree to have someone help but she is adamant. The answer is “no.”

This makes it hard for her to remember things for daddy. She’s over-doing the caregiving by not insisting that he does more walking. He is literally sitting in his recliner all day and night while she waits on him. I’ve taken him a walker and a wheelchair so he won’t have to fear falling but can still get around. Mama put the wheelchair in the closet and the walker in the far corner of the room. Even if he wanted to use them, they’re too far away.

When Parents Won’t Admit They Need Help

Now I’m worried about both my parents and my “to do list” is getting longer. If I wasn’t an only child I’d be calling what siblings I had for help. If my grown kids weren’t in the middle of raising my grandkids, I know they’d help more. There just aren’t enough hours in the day.

Forgive my whining. I can take the extra responsibilities. But how do you convince your mama to get some help? She won’t even let me give her some time off. Even if she would, she’s about given up driving, so how would she get a break? There should have been a course on this while I was taking gerontology classes.

So dear readers, please share with me your experiences! Do you override a parent who needs help but refuses it?

Make a Plan

So what’s on your plate? I’m taking a risk here of getting depressed but here’s mine:

  • Dealing with my parents’ insurance on storm damage.
  • Trips to the grocery store and the doctors and the bank.
  • Trying to figure out why my parents are still being charged for a newspaper they haven’t received in a year. Bank card services and the newspaper have both been a pain!
  • Three part-time jobs.
  • Three grown kids and the 10 grandkids — one of whom will have a serious surgery next week.
  • Two acres of grass that needs to be mowed.
  • A front porch the chickens have claimed as their own.

I think I’d better stop or I’m going to need some therapy! Thanks for allowing me to whine and I won’t be offended if you didn’t read this far down. I’m not sure about the moral to this little story. I guess I’ll know when it’s all said and done.

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