Beer and Diapers
By Mary Dale, former editor of the Senior Review Newspapers
Celebrate Caregivers Month in November. Are you a caregiver? You may be and not know it.
Yesterday I found myself wandering the local mart looking for bottled beer and super absorbent diapers. By the time I found them and got them to my wife’s apartment, the afternoon was pretty well shot.
I have always delighted in taking care of my wife Mary, so when something is needed, I gladly go and get it. Of course she could have additional services added to her monthly plan at her assisted living, but the bill is already over seven grand.
So I go help with a few simple tasks:
• Write a letter to her best buds…her friends are important.
• Pick up a couple magazines and the latest Patterson novel.
• Update her calendar --5 appointments this week. Her breast cancer surgery was a complete success.
• Go to a box store and get her some new slacks…laundry uses really hot water ...Shrinkage is a nuisance.
• Get chocolate bars, mixed nuts, hand cream and favorite shampoo… She does have her standards!
• Set the table for Friday’s dinner… A few friends come for pizza.
Someone asked me the other day if I was her caregiver. My instincts said ‘no’, I am her husband. We have been married for almost 50 years. My stepping and fetching is not a big deal. It is just what I do.
But as I walked away I realized that somewhere in the years I had become her caregiver, being defined as ‘family member who regularly looks after an elderly person’. It snuck up on me one task at a time.
You may want to take a look at your life and how you spend your time. There are approximately 53 million unpaid caregivers in America (Businesswire, June, 2020)
You may also be a caregiver…..just the last one to know.