Gen-X’ers: The roles have reversed. It’s time to start taking care of your parents.

By Michele Stilwell, Director of Marketing and Accounting at MEDiAHEAD.

Taking care of aging parentsWhen we were growing up, I never really thought about that day when I would need to start taking care of my parents. We were too busy being kids and teenagers. Then we got to our twenties and it was all fun and exciting. Many of us got to our thirties and started thinking about settling down and having kids. Forties and Fifties we were raising those kids and sending them off to college (or at least getting them out of the house.)

Did you ever think during all those years that the day would come when you’d be taking care of your parents?

Maybe just one of them… or both of them. It’s an eye opener for sure. Things start to happen. They might get sick and can’t do things for themselves. Or their vision goes and they can’t renew their driver’s license. That’s huge. Think of all the places you drive to on any given day.

When parents lose the ability to drive, the responsibility has to fall on someone… most often it will fall to you. The good news is there are lots of delivery services. (Hallelujah!)

Then there are the doctor’s appointments.

You might have a parent that’s sick and having trouble remembering things. You really need to go to these appointments with them each and every time. This can be several appointments in any given month.

It’s stressful when you get to the point where you have to start making decisions on what assisted living, nursing home or memory care facility they need to move to.  Getting them settled in and then checking on them daily to make sure everything is going well. Taking them activities to do, or food they might like, or simply sitting with them just to talk so they are not lonely or feeling forgotten in a strange place.

This is all part of taking care of a parent, even though we might not be mentally prepared.

Taking care of aging parentsI think it’s important for all Generation X’ers to know that several of us are going through this right now. There’s a great support group out there. Our friends, neighbors and co-workers might be going through similar situations or have gone through it already. Lean on them, get the support you need, and talk about it. Help like this can guide you through anything that you may be dealing with.

It’s extremely difficult to go through the process. But knowing others have gone through the exact same thing can be a huge help.

I’m going through this right now with my mother.

You would not believe the support system I have all around me. It’s unbelievable, and much needed.

Another great organization that I can’t put enough words in this blog about is Hospice. The team that they have and the people they employee are “Angels from above”.  If you have had to interact with a Hospice organization, you will undoubtedly agree with me.

This hasn’t been my typical blog post about digital printing or portals. But I wanted to talk about it because I’m sure that people around me are going through the same thing. I wanted to make sure you knew you’re not alone. And as the roles change, it’s important to show our parents we love them as much as they showed us when we were growing up.

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