• Second Opinion Magazine

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.


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