My parents and I decided to live a multi-generational lifestyle. It was a win-win situation, as I had become a working single parent, and they were needing increasingly more assistance with everyday tasks.
Both of my parents are 75, which is young in the geriatric world. However, my dad lives with congestive heart failure, which is now in its final stages, slowly shutting down other internal body functions. His weight and fluid retention is closely monitored, and a gain of three pounds means a stay at the hospital to drain the extra fluid away from his heart and lungs.
Thankfully, my mom still drives, and is able to help get Papa and the AoA kids where they need to go.
Since my dad’s last heart attack this past May, we try to make sure that either my mom or I are home with him most of the time.
What I notice these days, is the amount of needs that are not met independently. Life is a juggling act trying to meet the needs of everyone. It feels a little like having babies to care for, in that, time for self-care must be taken in small bits.
One of my co-workers retired this month so that she could meet the caregiving needs of her aging father. I understand that. My own mother was diagnosed with exhaustion, diverticulitis, and now has a weakened immune system following the intense caregiving over the past few months.
Self-care is vital when you are the caregiver. Sometimes, that means setting boundaries with loved ones and ourselves.