Thursday, April 12, 2007

Between and Betwixt

OK, the phone rings at 10:30 p.m., and that means someone needs help, and as a Boomer, you play the little mental game we all play or have played: "Who's On My Line - The Kid or The Parent?"

That is, is it my young-adult-of-a-child or my aging parent or parent-in-law?

With the kids (they're never too old to be "the kids"), you at least have some clue. Whatever the problem, you've probably seen and dealt with it before.

But for the other side of the spectrum, for your elders, that's another story. Doctors who are supposed to care for patients but instead seem overly impatient. Hospitals and their baffling bills and schedules. Insurance companies (don't even get us started there). Pharmacies. Social Security. Transportation issues. Groceries. Nursing homes, ALFs, and on and on and on.

At one point a few years ago, I and Mrs. BoomVista found ourselves dealing with those issues nearly simultaneously for my mother, her husband and my mother-in-law and my father-in-law. The word 'nightmare' doesn't begin to capture it. But what do you do? They cared for us, now we must care for them.

A friend and loyal BoomVista-ista, Coop, also went through it and he found a place that might help. He recommends that we take a look at Elder Care Online. I haven't been completely through the site, but it certainly seems like an excellent resource.

This is Elder Care's welcome message:

ElderCare Online is a beacon for people caring for aging loved ones. Whether you are caring for a spouse, parent, relative or neighbor, we are committed to providing an online community where supportive peers and professionals help you improve quality of life for yourself and your elder.

It looks like a great place to start. If you have tips to share or an observation, please click the "Comments" link right below this post.

1 comment:

Coop said...

Prior to my dear father's passing away in '01, I was the person who assumed responsibility to take care of him. We laughed at times and cried as well. I spent more time with my father in those last three years than I had in the previous 30. They were the best years we had together and I am regretful that we hadn't been closer all those years. But, it became a true role reversal. I suddenly became the 'parent' and he the 'child'. It was, at times, an awkward and difficult situation that led to many disagreements just as the original roles had. During this time, I had few to talk with for advice and ideas on how to handle this situation. One thing that made many decisions easier was having his living will directing what and what not to do. I highly recommend those, btw. Perhaps this forum will evolve to a place where these concerns surrounding elder care can be discussed. Thanks, Marty