Thursday, April 17, 2014

Kermit the Frog Croaks Out Eldercare Advice

"It's not easy being green."  

Kermit the Frog of Jim Henson's Muppet fame croaked those words long ago.  Yet they still seem timely these days.  Especially for Boomers learning the ins and outs of eldercare.

We're humans, not frogs. Yet we are green  nevertheless. Green in the sense of being over our heads, hopping into newfound territory with little preparation.  How do we cope with our parents' dementia?  How do we understand their physical disabilities?  How do we teach our children about their elders and their needs?

We're green.  Fortunately the green feeling fades--at least somewhat--as we learn.  Knowledge helps, whether it's through friends' telling their stories of what's happening with Mom and Dad, or our looking online at information relating to their specific disease.  But the best source of learning about aging often comes from the elders themselves--our parents, their peers and others.

My parents died in 2003 and 2004, both at 77.  Young these days.  But they taught me many things about aging.  They, too, felt "green."  Daddy's Parkinson's was always giving him new symptoms; just when he got used to a whispered voice, his hands began shaking.  Then later, swallowing presented a problem.

I don't know what issue you're facing with your elderly parent.  Are you tackling the driving issue?  Or a host of medical diagnoses?  Or caregiving?  

We all feel green at different stages of our lives.  As a kindergartener walking into the classroom on the first day of school.  As a junior higher, trying to navigate the halls of a new school building.  And as Boomers now, many of you are wondering, "What happened to the dad or mom I knew for so many years," and "How do I relate to him or her?"

We probably always will feel green on a certain level. Yet being green actually isn't so bad.  It's not easy, Kermit says.  But it shows that we are alive, that we are growing, that we care.

2 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing this personal post with your readers and it's nice to know there are other "green" people out there when it comes to the difficult decisions and obstacles that arise with aging parents. I am constantly looking for books and forums that share personal stories and give advice. I thought I would recommend to you a fantastic book I just read by a couple who has over 30 years of experience in elder care called, "Voice of Experience: Stories About Health Care and the Elderly" (http://www.voiceofexperiencebrody.com/)
    The book offers case studies, suggestions and shares similar experiences that the reader can relate to. I really feel this book is a support group in book form. I feel everyone dealing with this situation can really learn how to provide the best care for people they love as they age after reading this or at least feel like they have the tools and knowledge to plan out care properly (without being overwhelmed!!) I hope you and your readers will check it out

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    Replies
    1. Thank you for telling me about "Voice of Experience: Stories About Health Care and the Elderly." I plan on reading it and reviewing it soon.

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