Adult Kids, Aging Parents, Changing Bodies

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By Rebecca Teti


Saturday: Changing Roles of the Sandwich Generation

(Join each day’s Coffee Talk discussion: Mon: Parenting; Tues: Open Forum; Wed: NFP; Thu: Marriage; Fri: Education; Sat/Sun: Changing Roles)

This is the Open Forum Coffee Talk. That means ... anything goes. Ask a question, make a suggestion, share a story, offer some advice -- the floor is yours!

Rebecca Teti

Comments

  • Have you ever had a parent sick from cancer when you were younger than now? How did you handle it? Just wondering. My dad got sick in the 70s and it deeply affected my family. I am in late 40s now. How did you handle it? He lived for 19 years through prayer and medicine then got sick again with a stroke and died from seizures every two minutes. That was 19 years ago. I always get the idea that not many of you have had sick parents or you don't talk about it.

    Posted on Apr 6th, 2013 at 3:22 PM by unknown

  • unknown, My parents (in their mid-late 70s now) were blessed with decent health while we were young -- other than a bout of diverticulitis & a serious case of food poisoning in a foreign country for my dad, both of which occurred when I was very young. They are now dealing with some of the usual health issues related with age: aches & pains, type 2 diabetes, joint replacement, sciatica, arthritis...thankfully nothing as serious as cancer. I can imagine that having a parent so ill when you were younger would be something that really stays with you. What a blessing that you had nearly 20 more years with your father after his cancer diagnosis! Right now, we are dealing with the fact that my mother-in-law (who lives just a few blocks from us & whom we are very close to) has developed Alzheimer's Disease. Prayers & suggestions appreciated for anyone who has experience in this area...how to help my father-in-law, how to support my husband, how to help the children navigate a disease which is quickly taking their grandmother away from them. Thanks & God bless!

    Posted on Apr 6th, 2013 at 4:40 PM by Patricia

  • Patricia, My father-in-law has had Alzheimers now for about 10 years. The kids have known that something was not quite right with Grandpa (when he was starting to fail). When they could not understand his behavior they would look to us for an explanation and we would just tell them to try and help Grandpa or to just stay out of his way. We tried to deflect any problematic situations and there was always another adult around with him and the kids. He has been in a nursing home now for about 4 years (my MIL) could not care for him physically. He is also no longer ambulatory or is able to speak - but he does react with noises when he sees her or the kids. She is there for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Keeps close tabs on his diet (making him healthier food than what they serve at the place - more fruits). She washes all of his clothes. My husband goes to see him at least every three weeks (we live farther away) and the kids go and help feed Grandpa. They enjoy being able to care for him. I think that being totally involved in his care and his well-being has kept all of us connected still with Grandpa, eventhough he probably has no clue. His reactions make it worth it to all. She also goes to Mass often and prays the Rosary . But in our situation - just being totally involved in his care and his feeding (nothing gets by my MIL in his care) has kept us connected and the kids understand that Grandpa's mind is no longer what it was and we need to pray for him. She is his total advocate. It is now our priviledge to care for him. Our prayers to you and your family - it is not an easy road to follow but with prayer and support it makes it better.

    Posted on Apr 6th, 2013 at 11:16 PM by nadine

  • Nadine, Thanks so much for your input & your kind words! Our children are ages 4 to 17, so it will be a mix of how much various children are able to understand that the changes they are seeing in their grandmother's behavior are due to her disease. Neither of my in-laws are church-goers (my husband is a convert), so we worry that they do not have that anchor of Faith to help them navigate this difficult time in their lives. Thank you for your prayers. A blessed Sunday of St. Thomas & Divine Mercy Sunday!

    Posted on Apr 7th, 2013 at 4:20 PM by Patricia