Bridging the Generation Gap

If you are a member of the “Sandwich Generation” — caring for aging parents while also tending to children at home — you probably have a great deal of experience navigating between two worlds. In fact, maybe you do it so naturally that it’s not even stressful for you! But being aware of some of the specific differences between your parents’ generation and your children’s can help you be a more effective bridge. And making them aware of the differences can enrich their relationship as well. The Class of 2011 If you have children who are graduating from high school this year, consider this about the Class of 2011: These kids don’t use email — because it’s too slow. They probably never learned to write in cursive. Most don’t wear a watch — they look at their cell phones to see what time it is. They have always been able to tell who’s calling them because caller ID has always been standard. They might be more familiar with the term “Assisted Living” than “nursing home.” It’s quite possible they’ve never bought a stamp. They have never heard anyone actually “ring it up” on a cash register. The Soviet Union has […]

A dose of laughter

“Laughter is the best medicine,” says the old adage, and though science has yet to prove its healing effects, most people agree they feel better when they smile. Whether your pain is physical or emotional, you might find that a good joke or an amusing story distracts you from your troubles, and that the act of laughing releases painkilling endorphins and relaxes your muscles. With those potential health benefits in mind, we offer the following jokes, witticisms, anecdotes, and bits of comedy to brighten your day. (In fact, maybe you want to print this page and bring it along next time you visit your parents, or someone in the hospital, or someone receiving rehab!) — 5 signs you’re getting old Dialing long distance tires you out. Your arms are too short to read the newspaper. You sit in a rocking chair and can’t get it going. You look forward to a dull evening. Your knees buckle, and your belt won’t. Seniors and texting The May 2001 Reader’s Digest included these texting abbreviations specifically for seniors: BFF: Best Friend Fainted BYOT: Bring Your Own Teeth TTYL: Talk To You Louder CBM: Covered By Medicare LMDO: Laughing My Dentures Out GGPBL: Gotta […]

Practical Tips from an Experienced Caregiver: Ruth Gibson speaks

Ruth Gibson personally understands how important it is for women to nurture their connections with each other, especially as they take on caregiving roles. She is a mother and a daughter, and she has spent a lifetime growing in those roles and sharing her experiences. Ruth is also an author, an international speaker, a television celebrity, a radio personality, a Staley Distinguished Lecturer, and a certified SCUBA diver! Rise in the presence of the aged, show respect for the elderly and revere your God. I am the LORD. ~ Leviticus 19:32 Ruth shared some heartwarming stories, some practical suggestions, and some Scriptural truths about families and communities. The video below includes 5 minutes of highlights from her 15-minute presentation:

Mothers Day Gift Ideas

No matter how old you are, you always want Mothers Day to be meaningful and joyful for Mom. And if your mom’s health and living situation has changed recently, you may have special concerns about gifts that are no longer appropriate or enjoyable. But just as you have always found joy in receiving whatever presents your children give you, your mother probably extends that same appreciation to you. The four gifts suggested below are simple, but thoughtful. One of them may be a perfect way to let Mom know how much you love her, without adding stress to your already-busy life! 1. The gift of confidence How about a new pair of shoes? If you buy Mom the right pair, you can help her feel more secure on legs that may be increasingly unsteady. Choose a shoe that is low-heeled, with a rubber sole that can grip surfaces, and hook-and-loop fasteners that can be snugged tightly. Ideally, the shoes will be made of natural materials that breathe well, so Mom’s feet can get the best possible circulation and ventilation. You’ll both feel better knowing she’s on secure footing! 2. The gift of comfort Maybe your mom has worn sweaters all her life […]

Minimize Stress When You Visit Mom:
8 conversation ideas

Whether you’re the primary caregiver for Mom or Dad, or you live out-of-town and are planning a special visit, you’ve probably felt the strain of anticipating what often turns out to be an awkward visit. If your parent’s memory isn’t good, conversation can be difficult. And if the world has shrunk to a single room and a predictable routine, it can be hard to think of new things to talk about. Add to that the guilt you feel — about not wanting to go, about not going often enough, about letting your parents grow old — and your visit can easily become a source of stress. But a little preparation can ease a lot of pressure. Try these ideas: 1. Don’t go alone Ask a family member, friend, or pastor to join you. That way you won’t have to be solely responsible for keeping the conversation going. 2. Plan your visit during a scheduled activity You and Mom can participate in the activity together. Providence communities publish a calendar of activities and events each month. They post these publications to their Facebook pages, or you can ask to receive the info via email each month. 3. Help with daily tasks […]