This post launches a new category of blog posts for Be Brave. Lose the Beige. As a 62 year old Baby Boomer married to a 66 year old Baby Boomer, I’m fairly convinced many of us in this age cohort will be facing caregiving duties at some point.
Now, you might be saying, “Wait a minute…I’m already caring for an aging parent.” Others might say, “I’m integral to the care of my grandchildren”. And still another might add, “I’m caring for my aging parent and my grandchildren”.
My question is, “When in our lives have we not been care givers?” Caring for others has kind of been the MO (modus operandi/method of operation) of our generation, particularly for women. We have been hyper involved in the care of our kids, including our adult kids. Thirty-one percent of Boomers have simultaneously supported and cared for older and younger family members. (The Boomer Generation can truly be dubbed the “Tweener Generation” sandwiched as we have been between parenting children and caring for aging parents. This clay pickle-impaled figure illustrates this predicament since 60% of caregivers in this country are women)
It’s a good thing our generation enjoyed sex, drugs, and rock-in-roll in our youth because our adulthood has and will be fraught with a considerable amount of responsibility. While I know we are up to the challenge, I wonder if we have really paused to consider how we feel about caring for our spouse/partner? The Conversation Project is a website that encourages these kind of hard conversations with our partners. They believe the place to begin these conversations is at the kitchen table—not in the intensive care unit.
I fully disclose I am not an authority on aging (excepting my own experiences). I am not a geriatrician or social worker. I am, however, an aging baby boomer who blogs about issues facing other Lady Boomers. I offer tips for living in color, even, or, especially in the midst of hard times. Losing the beige is not just about color, it’s about empowering the spirit. I suspect our spirits might need some bucking up as we face inevitable health changes.
While health changes may be inevitable, our attitudes toward these changes can help invigorate our spirits. Creativity is at the core of BBLB. I sometimes feel like a creativity evangelist, so persuaded am I of the health benefits. Creativity is not just about participating in the visual or performing arts. It’s a way of thinking about and approaching one’s life, a way of viewing the world. It’s doing mundane things in a novel way. Even a little creative thinking can produce seismic changes in our lives.
Each week BBLB will post a blog targeted to current and future caregivers. Using the metaphor of color and sometime tongue-in-cheek art, BBLB will post living in color tips encouraging caregivers to exercise their creativity as a way to promote personal wellness and brain health. The goal is to help improve the overall quality of life for caregivers. Happy creating….