Saturday, September 8, 2012

Poster Child for the Sandwhich Generation

So I am exhausted. My feet, knees, and back are killing me.  But I want to start *trying* to be more consistent about blogging and today seems like a great day to stop and write a bit more than the 160 characters allowed by Twitter (just joined that today) or the slap and dash of Facebook.

Today I took the firm step into the heart of the sandwhich generation - again. My mom moved back in with us.  I'm sure that I hardly have any of the readers I did in 2005 (when I blogged devotedly), but back then Grandma B moved in after my father passed away and she couldn't afford to keep her home. She lived with us for a bit over two years before we moved to Illinois.

Since that time, Mom lived in an apartment in Minnesota for two more years, then went to Arizona for two years, then two years ago we brought her here to Illinois. Until today, she lived in a Senior Citizen complex about a block from our home.

However, sometimes even a block is too great a divide if the need is great. My mom has Arterial Sclerosis, which is slowly closing off the flow of blood to her brain, causing memory loss and the beginnings of dementia. She doesn't take adequate care of herself; doesn't take her insulin, or any of her other medications with any regularity. She sleeps all day. She never left her apartment. It was Time.

The fork in the road I anticipated two years ago was finally here: either put Mom in assisted living or bring her to live with us. But in Mom's current mental state, assisted living meant, to her, "nursing home". She could not see this as anything other than "the last step" and if we had put her there (much further way from us than just a block away), she would have turned her face to the wall and died. You have to use it or lose it; so she's moving here so we can help her to use it.

This will be an interesting road for us. She fears that she will be a burden (she won't). I fear that I won't be able to meet all her needs (let's face it, I won't - but she'll still be better than living alone). I worry about my daughter getting lost in the shuffle while at the same moment I rejoice that she again has her Grandmother living in her home, teaching her the meaning of family beyond Mom and Dad. I fear that I will do something wrong and give Erin poor teaching on how to handle John and I when we're aged...

Yes, I am firmly back in the Sandwich generation.  I hope it's not too much balonga or chopped liver!