Caregiving – Something We All Will Do

Posted on 08/31/2013 by | AARP MT Region | Comments

image (1)I want to thank everyone for the feedback I’ve received in the last month as I’ve focused my first few blogs on some important issues around, making life more “livable” and “enjoyable.” The Kierkegaard quote in my first blog is more about understanding life and finding meaning. But for many of us as we age, and as we take care of loved ones with physical challenges, it’s often difficult to even find the time and the mental strength to reflect on life.

I’m excited for next week, though, because I am scheduled to “test drive” a few E-bikes as I promised in my second blog. I’ll write about my experience and will take some pictures, maybe even video! Heck, if I like these I may get really wild and crazy and go try one of those three-wheeled motorcycles with the two wheels in front. You know, kind of like Batman’s motorcycle. But that’s getting ahead of myself!

As I write this week I am at 36,000 feet on my way back to Chicago from beautiful New Mexico (I took the picture along the famous Turquoise Trail between Santa Fe and Albuquerque). You’ve heard me whine a few times about delays, but it looks like today I will only be about an hour late – not bad!

My team in New Mexico recently completed participating in the annual conference on aging and we were fortunate enough to have AARP expert Amy Goyer speak on the important topic of caregiving. Amy touched on some critical issues and was able to shower the audience with some amazing resources from the AARP Foundation Caregiver Resource Center. I encourage you to check out this link and please, refer friends and others you know to this site. The information can literally be a life saver.

As we continue to live longer and the 80+ population keeps growing at an astronomical rate (by 2050 we’ll have something like three times the number of 80+ individuals in this country) the chances of any of us ending up in a caregiving situation are large. In fact, many of you are reading this and saying, “I am there,” or, “I have already been there!”

I currently have financial and some logistical caregiving responsibilities, along with several siblings, for my mom. Yes, with my mom it definitely takes a village. But we have been lucky so far. Despite the fact that she’ll tell anybody who will listen that she is dying (and as a hypochondriac she has been saying that for 50 years) the reality is that she is in very good health. But having gone through the loss of my father and grandmother, I know how difficult it is for those that are living with and caring for a loved one.

The key is knowing there is help available. AARP has a huge amount of information and available resources. So do local Area Agencies on Aging and Senior Centers. So many of us are so stressed by situations where real help is available.

I think we can also learn from each other. I’d really like to hear your experiences. Others can learn from what we have gone through. Please comment below and I am always reachable at ryaniz@aarp.org

I’ll be back with you soon for an E-Bike Extravaganza! Pedal-Power!