Caregiver: an increasing role for Boomer women

by | Oct 25, 2011

Caregivers

Suddenly we’re faced with the necessity – or the looming reality – of continuing to manage every other aspect of our lives while we balance our parents’ needs, too.

Another balancing act

We Baby Boomer women have issues.

We were the first generation to have equal rights as women:  equal rights to work full time while doing everything else that women have always done, that is.

We were the first generation to have true reproductive freedom with the advent of The Pill and legalized abortion; we  were also the first generation to grieve the loss of friends to a horrific new virus, Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS). We invented what today we can’t imagine living without:  cell phones, microwaves and the internet.

We grew up in the age of sex, drugs and rock ‘n roll.  We believed we could do it all; have it all; never grow into the generation that couldn’t be trusted past age 30.

We’re the generation that believes that 50 is the new 30 – just watch us, still rockin’ out on stage or in our living rooms, trying to out-hike, out-play and out-work our kids.

Older generation

And now we’re the older generation.  We’re squeezed between our responsibilities to our kids (our pride and joy on whom we have lavished perhaps too much stuff) and our parents – those people who forced our rebellion and with whom our relationship has painfully adjusted over the years.

We’re struggling with keeping our own standard of living while we set our kids free and hope they learn to swim on  their own.  We have jobs that are often intense and exhausting and additionally struggle to find a balance while we realign our new priorities.

Many of us have waved the white flag of retreat.  Church attendance is down; social clubs are dying out with the elders; we and our kids are staying at home connecting with our friends via Facebook.

We have disconnected at a time when we need even more connections to face the next chapter in our lives which has come swiftly and often times unexpectedly:  caring for our parents.
Need to connect
We need to reconnect, and deep down we know it.  But it’s hard when you’re juggling the number of tasks we’re juggling, and trying to do them all perfectly.  When we’re home for the day, we just want to burrow in.

We need to laugh – and not just LOL at Youtube videos.

We need to share our stories and to listen to other peoples’ stories.

We need to reach outside our favorite 30 minute sitcoms, our cutthroat reality shows and our dramas of crime and  punishment – but we still want to be entertained while we learn.

And we need to feel that deep contentment that making real, personal connections brings to us.

Sharon K. Brothers has worked in the field of senior care for the past 3 decades, leading support groups in person for many of those years. She is currently EVP of Caregiver Village a new virtual community offering support and encouragement, aimed at reducing the feelings of  isolation of baby boomer women and others with caregiver responsibilities.

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