“But now the days grow short
I’m in the autumn of the year
And now I think of my life as vintage wine
From fine old kegs
From the brim to the dregs
And it poured sweet and clear
It was a very good year”
A year ago I began this journey of documenting “the care and feeding of old people.” See The Wisdom of Acceptance. As you know, the concept for this blog came from my Facebook posts about Gmamma and DooDaddy. My “geezer updates” seemed to resonate with my fellow sandwich-generation friends, who are facing this new challenge of eldercare.
2016 was a year of heartache and hope, of love and loss, of getting up each day and putting one foot in front of the other behind a walker. The year began with two geezers and ended with one, as we lost my brave, beautiful, stoic mother to cancer. And while the journey continues with my father, I’m hitting the pause button on my blog, because Geezer Stories is a book, not a blog. And I have work to do to birth that book.
According to the World Health Organization, life expectancy increased by five years between 2000 and 2015, the fastest increase since the 1960s. And 70 percent of those over 65 will need some type of assistance or outside care during their lifetime, for an average of three years, according to the U.S. Census. About 8 percent of family caregivers, are, so says The New York Times, “No Spring Chickens Themselves,” as they are elders caring for their spouses. Quoting the CEO of the National Alliance for Caregiving, “There didn’t use to be some many 95-year-olds.”
My premise is this: Aging happens, but it doesn’t have to be a tragedy. Geezer Stories are irreverent, funny and in-your-face about life with the elderly. My anecdotes show by example how to help seniors cope and how caregivers and their geezers can grow closer in the process. Geezer Stories are meant to be uplifting, inspiring and authentic with real-life lessons I’ve learned along the way.
Like so many other caregivers, I am a single mother – working full time and still raising my own son – while serving as the primary caregiver for my parents for the past several years. And I’m tired. And I have other stories to tell.
So in the spirit of self-preservation and with a need for closure on a passion project that means everything to me, I’m signing off on the blog, at least for now, to focus on finishing the book by the same name. It’s my Geezer Resolution. That and getting DooDaddy on The Ellen Show for the book launch. Wish me luck!