Girlfriends with aging parents
By BETSY ZUBER
Mercer Island Reporter Columnist
September 28, 2010 · Updated 9:38 AM
Providing care for others can be both gratifying and draining at the same time. In its best moments, there is a sense of giving, knowing that it is a selfless act. But at its worst, feelings of resentment, loneliness and lack of control can consume you. Caregiving of your aging parents is no longer a unique situation. More and more people are providing different levels of care for their aging parents, while also maintaining a job or raising a young family. But even though there are many people doing this, it still feels isolating and lonely.
That is why two friends decided to launch their Web site to blog about the gifts and challenges of providing care to aging parents. Toby and Norma got to know each other as moms raising their children here on Mercer Island. Now, they talk about the highs and lows of elder care and wanted to share that with other women, hence www.girlfriendswithagingparents.com.
This is not a place to comb through information to get a particular elder care resource like housing or where to get medical equipment. It is more about exploring and sharing what it is like to give care. It allows an anonymous poster to write about an occurrence, a thought or a feeling and then have people bear witness to it. The readers of this blog can read about similar situations and gain strength from not feeling so alone. Advice is not the goal of this Web site — it is all about “sharing wisdom, stories and experiences.” There are a plethora of Web sites out there already that can give specific resources and advice for care issues.
I had the opportunity to meet with both women and found their passion about sharing to be quite contagious. The world of caregiving is not a vacuum; there are many out there who just need a place to know they are not going crazy or can continue to keep doing what they are doing. They are not trying to sell anything on the Web site and genuinely share their own journeys, and make sure that the content and author remain anonymous. So take a look, or post a story and feel free to give some feedback. Surrounding yourself with support as much as possible while providing care can enhance the experience. Getting another’s perspective is golden.
Need more info?
Betsy Zuber, geriatric specialist, provides social services for people over age 55 and their families who live on Mercer Island.
She can be reached at (206) 275-7752, firstname.lastname@example.org or MIYFS, 2040 84th Ave. S.E., Mercer Island, Wash., 98040.
Mercer Island Youth and Family Services is a department of the City of Mercer Island.Contact Mercer Island Reporter Columnist Betsy Zuber at email@example.com or (206) 275-7752.