There is a saying that doctors make the worse patients. Well something very similar can be said about parents when they find themselves in a position of needing to be cared for by their adult children. They can be the worst.
No matter how we love our parents and they love us, there are moments when our elderly parents seem determined to pay us back for our teenage rebellion and every childhood tantrum .
If you are, or were, a family caregiver who provides, or provided, more than 20 hours a week of in-home care for an elderly parent living either in your home or their's and would like to share your stories, poetry, photography, humor or suggestions, I invite you to guest blog on Through The Maze.
Sharing our stories can help future family caregivers prepare for the day when they find themselves in the position of feeding, bathing and changing the diaper of the person who once did all those things for them. Life gets truly interesting when the parent-child relationship is suddenly reversed. It's a dramatically different experience than caring for a child, spouse or other relative. No matter how you try to guard against it, there is no one else in the world who can bring out your "inner child" like your parents After all, they had your entire lifetime to practice. And no experience will evoke your childhood memories and emotions in quite the same way. One moment your parent has fallen and you are helping them up and the next moment you're remembering a time that you fell and your parent picked you up. Or one moment you're reading the newspaper or a book to your parent and suddenly your mind travels back to the many times your parent read to you.
By sharing our stories of the day-to-day, sometimes year-to-year, care of a parent, we can help others know that they are not alone in their experience. It is emotionally difficult to watch a parent struggle with the effects of aging or battle arthritis, cancer, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's or any other form of life stealing disease. And as beautiful as the moment can be, no child of any age is truly prepared to be present to hold the hand and say goodbye to someone who has been a part of their life since they breathed their first breath.
And if you're a sandwich generation caregiver, sharing your story might help your teenager understand why your parent just got away with telling you to "shut up" but they can't. :-)
If you're interested in guest blogging here on Through The Maze email me at email@example.com.
Or if you're already blogging on this topic, posting on another blog, or host your own blog, feel free to share a link to your posts or blog in the comments section. This isn't a competition, it's a community of family caregivers who know what it is to walk a mile in each other's shoes. Or as I like to say, journey through the maze of life.