My thoughts about Sandwich generation

the font can be bigger

3. Video “Caregivers between generations: Pandy, personal experiences of caregiving”

When Pandy’s mother suffered a brain aneurysm that resulted in problems with short-term memory, Pandy became her mother’s kinkeeper. In this interview, Pandy explains that she had no time for herself and often chose between time with her mother or her own kids. As difficult and frustrating as this situation was at times, Pandy has a strong sense of familism and a positive memory of the time her mother lived with her family.

Pandy: My mother lived with us for about a ten-year period until about last November. She died in November. But she lived with us on and off for about ten years. About ten years prior to her death, she suffered a brain aneurysm. So even though she was somewhat self sufficient, she had almost no short-term memory. She required quite a bit of care. Not maintenance – she could take care of her personal needs like grooming and so on. But because of her memory loss she needed direction in everything she did. Everything that was new to her had to be learned again. There were old scripts that existed that she could rely on but anything new she had to learn in much the same way child did. She needed a lot of supervision, a lot of guidance, a lot of support. She emotionally became about 10 years old. It became a situation where the roles changed and I became a mom to my mom. I had all three of my children at home when this first happened. It was like absorbing another person into our family that required equal amounts of time. It was very frustrating. I felt a lot of guilt because I couldn’t be everything to everyone. And prioritizing in terms of who has to be at the top of the list – my mother or my children – was often difficult. But having said that, there were a lot of benefits, too. They tended to smooth over the rough parts because we enjoy having her. The thing that I miss the most once my mother moved in with me is that I never had privacy. It’s one of those things you simply take for granted. Your children go to school and you go “Wow, isn’t this great? I have X number of hours in the day. I can do whatever I want”. And then all of a sudden, I never had a time that I wasn’t around a person. It was hard at times. There’s nothing in my life that prepared me for, “You’re going to be in a situation in your life where you’re going to have to take care of two different generations”. I never thought I would have to do that. Therefore, I never prepared for it. I expected my parents to be around forever. They were very young, both of them, when they died. I don’t know how you prepare for that. I think you just take that as it comes and you kind of roll with the punches. We have wonderful memories and I don’t think I would trade them for anything. I think I would take the tough times just to have the benefit of having her in our home. And our children feel the very same way.

Pages: 1 2 3 4

Leave a Reply

Protected by Copyscape Original Content Checker