Women of a certain age are taking in new boarders. They have someone once again to take care of, to feed, to clothe and to watch out for. No, I ‘m not talking about their children, I’m talking about their parents. More Baby Boomers/Generation Xers are taking care of aging parents with physical and mental illnesses than ever before.
Baby Boomers/Generation Xers have become caregivers at a time when they thought they would be on that cruise they had always dreamed of, seeing the USA in that motor home, starting new careers and even letting the grandchildren visit for a day or so and then sending them back home.
Parents are moving into the extra bedroom that was going to become a media room, craft room, office or just a pretty bedroom that just looked pretty. Some parents now know that their retirement income (social security) is not enough. They worked on the same job for 30, 35, 40 even 45 years, but the pension is not nearly enough to fix up the aging homestead, travel, pay medical expenses–just live. They didn’t invest outside of their job. They didn’t invest money or time. They have little money and no identity outside of their job “title”. Baby Boomers/Generation Xers should learn from this experience, taking notes from their parents. Even as the Boomers/Xers mature (not age), they should still be investing for the time when they no longer will be working at their full-time jobs knowing that they may not have enough to live comfortably for their rest of their lives–learning there is life outside of the job.
The Baby Boomers/Generation Xers should learn from their parents that sickness just happens even to those that have led healthy, active lives. If they are smokers, they should stop because they see the ravages it has done to their parents.
One of the major things that no one talks about is that Baby Boomers/Generation Xers should take heed to learn to live. They should learn from their parents to expand their lives beyond their job. They should expand friendships and acquaintances.
Learning from our parents never ceases even as we all mature. Learning from their life lessons can help us to see our lives much better.
Remember “thisisyourbestyear”. Parents can be your best life teachers. You may have become the caregiver, but they are still the parent. Treat them with respect.
bestthingsinlife1964April 22, 2015 at 4:38 pm
I’ve often wondered if I needed to care for my parents if I would be able to. Fortunately my parents worked really hard and were very smart about investments and if there comes a time that they need care? They will be able to afford it. I can only hope that I will be in the same position.