All hopped up on sugar, she was chattier than usual. She thought I was her mother and was so happy I was there with her. I knew she hadn’t been eating much, if anything, most days but this day and this mood offered me some hope that she was not declining.
BoomerReviews.com Co-Founder and Senior Editor Shannon Ingram had the pleasure of interviewing blogger Sherri Snelling recently, in conjunction with the release of Sherri’s new book, A Cast of Caregivers – Celebrity Stories to Help You Prepare to Care (Balboa Press). Here is the interview, in Sherri’s own words.
Congratulations to one of our wonderful Blog Circle members, Sherri Snelling, who was recognized by Sharecare, the leading online site for improving health, as one of the Top 10 online influencers on Alzheimer’s Disease, specifically through her expertise in content about caregiving and the challenges of caring for people with Alzheimer’s.
My mom has been gone for over two years, but some of her decisions are still haunting me. Recently I received a check from the state issued in her name for an overpayment of payroll taxes in 2010. WHAT? The check was for less than $100; but what a headache trying to get it deposited into an account.
Whenever I speak to caregivers or other groups, they want to know about the Sandwich Generation challenges. Today, there are more than 24 million Americans who are literally sandwiched between caring for two generations – still parenting children living at home while they also care for older parents who now need more help.
Caregivers often describe their role as “a labor of love.” And while seven out of 10 caregivers also have full or part time work, they also spend on average 20 hours a week caring for a loved one and they are in this role for an average of 4.6 years according to the National Alliance for Caregiving.
My favorite cartoonist the late Charles Schulz of Peanuts fame wrote, “Happiness is a warm puppy.” I wonder if he knew happiness is just the start when it comes to enhancing the lives of older loved ones in nursing homes or assisted living, terminal patients such as those suffering from AIDS, children with special needs and even caregivers looking to improve their own health.
For the last several years when I celebrate my birthday I think about my “real age.” Whenever I meet a friend for coffee the conversation now turns to our latest health issue (we are at that age) – hurt knees from running, migraines from changing hormones, sun spots on our face, wrinkles on our foreheads, and intestinal rumblings from last night’s Mexican food.