caring for aging parents

My grandkids are all thoroughly enjoying the Christmas season. Several are involved in music programs for school or church and I’m definitely looking forward to seeing each of them all dressed up in their Christmas best -singing and speaking their brightest, boldest and loudest. πŸ™‚

Our trees are all up and decorated – even mine, thanks to a nice long chat with a loved one. Christmas cookies are abounding a bit too much, as my tummy will be soon if I don’t rein it in a bit! OYYYYY!

My senior mom just got her hair set at the salon is looking quite cheery and ready for plenty of hugs as the holiday season progresses.

My grandsons and I have enj0yed SNOW much fun with a wee bit of snow we got this week – including a snow ball fight, snow ball toss, and ice sliding in tennis shoes (not to mention – grandma going WHOOOOOMP when she tried to rescue one grandkid. He was fine, and eventually, so was I. πŸ™‚ ).

I’m in the midst of a TON of studying as God leads my direction down a path I’ve been veering towards for years – putting to good use that A.A. I earned in Real Estate. HOORAY! So in the midst of all the fun and frolic, I’m learning more new things; keeping my brain hearty, healthy and active; and yet, still enjoying the holidays. And, of course, ALWAYS, keeping my eyes (and my grandkids’ eyes) on the blessed Reason for the Season. So here are some fun coloring pages for our grandkids to enjoy.


A fun way to teach grandchildren the true meaning of Christmas


Wise men grandparents and grandkids still seek Him



Jesus loves EWE and me

I hope and pray this season is has sweet moments of fun and joy for all of you as well. As we caregivers know well, that’s not always true. But always we have wonderful resources to encourage us as we “keep on keeping on” in this season of our lives!

P.S. Joining up with fellow grandparents at Grandma’s Briefs. πŸ™‚

This short sleeved sweater helps my elderly mom when she has a cold feeling in her upper or lower back.jpgMy senior mom’s back has been so cold lately. We think it is an after-effect of a surgery she had a few years ago. She can be feeling just fine all over, but her back will be freezing and it really bothers her to feel so chilly.

We have found a couple of good solutions to help her and I wanted to share one of them with you today. I spotted it on sale at Macy’s, took a chance and bought it for her as a surprise, and she LOVES it. Β It’s one of those cute sweaters with very short arms. It’s more than a vest which wasn’t quite warm enough for her. But it’s less than a full sweater for those days when she just isn’t cold anywhere else but her back.

The sleeves come about halfway down on my elderly parents arm .jpg

She loves that it’s so pretty AND that it was a great sales price. Talk about a win-win! She did have one recommendation, though. She suggested NOT taking a nap with just this sweater on as your body temperature usually drops while sleeping and you’re likely to wake up with very cold arms, as she just did.

Best to have elderly parents wear long sleeves during nap so no chills.jpg


How about you and your senior parents? Have you found any special clothing item that solved a pesky problem? We’d love to hear about it!

Beverly's Got tons of cute pink things each Saturday to put a smile on the face of the Sandwich Generation dealing with the issues of caring for the elderly parents and babysitting grandchildren

Fun for grandparents - in AND out of the Sandwich Generation - at Grand Social


Daffodils mean spring is finally on its way for the Sandwich Generation granny nanny and senior mom - not to mention our sweet grandchildren

I spent a lovely morning visiting friends – old and new – at the Ultimate Blog Party 2013, like

  • GlendaΒ who shared with me about Edith Schaeffer’s passing away. Another spiritual mentor who we both appreciated, it was sad news but yet joy-filled news, knowing she is now safe with our precious Lord.
  • Sarah Avila of My Joy-Filled Life – I was already following her at Pinterest because of her resource-full homeschooling pins. I’m thrilled to meet her at her site as well – and guess what! She has some great iPhone apps to share with us too! πŸ™‚ Β And her Pinterest site led me to the coolest “Brain Hat” – a hat our grandkids can make when they are learning about the body, and especially the brain, as all the parts are labeled. I currently have it as the main photo for my Pinterest Homeschooling board – – Do check it out. It’s just plain COOL! πŸ™‚
  • Frugal and Focused was a new-to-me site where I discovered such cute Scripture cards printables, along with a grand list of even more cute printables including JOKES which all my grandkids love – near and far. Whether we pack our grandkids lunch boxes or tuck them into a box or purse, these will be fun and timesaving for all of us grandparents! πŸ™‚ Β My second youngest granddaughter LOVED this one in particular, from Darling Doodles Design – Why did the cookie go to the doctor? He was feeling CRUMMY! πŸ™‚
  • Wandering Further Afield Thanks to Frugal and Focused and a link they shared, I discovered a new site NOT at the party but ALL ABOUT THE BOYS. With half of my zillion grandkids being boys, that’s a grand find indeed! Β πŸ™‚ Β And THEY have even MORE cute jokes for ALL our grandchildren. πŸ™‚
  • You’ll find even more grandparents and caregivers in the comments over the last couple of days. Do pop in and say howdy to all, won’t you? πŸ™‚

Then I closed up the computer and my senior mom and I went on another road trip. This time, I tried out one of the state apps I discovered when I just typed state names into the Apps Search. They weren’t perfect BUT they did give me great ideas to check out in some of the surrounding cities. I then went to each city’s website, typed in the sight-seeing locations and names I got from the apps, and voila – I came up with a nature park, a local arboretum, and a historical map of one of the city’s buildings. Enough for the day and two more trips, all new to us, AND all fairly close by!

The Sandwich Generation granny nanny and senior mom had a lovely road trip including driving by this delightful bubbling brook

We had a delightful afternoon getting lost, getting found (may I say again, I LOVE the new-to-me MapQuest app, complete with voice directions!), enjoying lovely country sites – daffodils – Β and babbling brooks (which my photo don’t do justice to but still quite delightful for our memories) and the very tasty Chocolate Extreme Blizzard we ended the day with.

Then I headed back to the computer for more Ultimate Blog Party and Grandparents and Sunday visits. An hour or so later, I heard my senior mom calling for help! It turns out she had some nasty leg cramps, going all the way up her leg. Those things hurt, don’t they! I gave her a banana (the potassium does help) and, thanks to lessons learned eons ago during Lamaze classes for my pregnancies, I reminded her to NOT point her toes down (like a dancer) but instead bend the toes up to her head. After that, counter-intuitive though it seems, I helped her up to walk the cramp out. I know it feels impossible to walk on them, but it’s one of the best ways to get rid of them. I would never have known about either of those tricks wihtout my wonderful Lamaze teacher but they are just as handy for us boomers and seniors as they were in our 20’s and 30’s when we were having our sweet kids!

We ended the day on a double high note, since I finally got two months worth of grandkid photos off instagram (via instasync) and onto my mom’s iPad. I took it into her room to cheer her up. An hour later, she came out feeling much better and with a huge smile on her face saying, “This iPad was worth EVERY penney!” She had enjoyed such a lovely time looking at the photos of her grandkids playing, doing school projects, and practicing their various instruments. It was especially nice since she had been able to chat with several of them earlier in the day.

It was definitely a grand day for our Sandwich Generation family! How was your week? And YES, if you have any other tips for dealing with those awful leg cramps, we’d love to hear them! πŸ™‚

An interesting magazine can help keep the Sandwich Generation more patient during long caregiving waits"I can't believe I've been here TWO HOURS!"

"If this doctor doesn't take me in SOON, I'm leaving! I can find another one!"

"I am so frustrated – this is ridiculous that I have to wait so long to be seen!"

While I may not totally disagree with the comments above, long waits in the doctor's office have been a fact of life for me for over 30 years! These comments were made by three people who got to chatting in my senior mom's newest doctor's office – and promptly turned it into a total complaining session. And were quite loud about it. Yes, we all had a long wait. No, they didn't explain why. But the complaining just made things much worse.

And to be honest, I've found that doctor's offices and hospital trips have one definite thing in common – long waits. Sure, we can sit there and be bored and moan and groan about it. But why? My mom has always brought books with her and this was no exception. She sat there and enjoyed some reading time while I worked on my iPhone. I answered two emails that couldn't wait, checked on some websites like EldercareABC for my latest guest post, Seniors For Living for the latest Eldercarechat, and 5 Minutes for Mom for the latest update on the very fun Ultimate Blog Party 2013 (YES – you are also invited πŸ™‚ ), and even enjoyed some Carcassonne fun to give my brain some healthy exercise.

Join Kaye Swain of the Sandwich Generation at the biggest blog party around - the Ultimate Blog Party 2013 at 5 Minutes For Mom -dates

When we got inside, I was so proud of my senior mom. She made a comment to the nurse's assistant, thanking her for being so nice. She made that gal's day!

Yes, doctors do schedule appointments back to back. If they don't, the people who are late or just don't come in leave huge holes in their schedule. And yes, they do get behind when talking to some patients. I always ask a lot of questions and I'm so grateful when they all get answered. And sometimes, they have to go to the hospital to help their patients there. And sometimes their day just doesn't go the way they wanted. Boy, I can SOOOO relate to that – how about you? (Can you tell I'm saying all the things I would have liked to have said there – but didn't as I did NOT want to start a huge brouhahahahaha ! πŸ™‚ )

Quick tip for the Sandwich Generation - When headed for the doctors office or hospital be sure to grab a book - a smart phone - or something else to pass the time

I just make sure, when I go to the doctor's office – for myself or my senior mom, that I block out several hours on my calendar and take plenty to keep me busy while we wait (perhaps that interesting eldercare magazine at the top of this post πŸ™‚ ). Then I can keep my cool, get a lot of work done, and go home with all my questions answered and a positive sense of accomplishment.

And unfortunately, from what I'm hearing from our doctor's offices – due to the many changes taking place from the federal government on down – those waits may be getting longer! It definitely pays to be prepared for it, especially when the Sandwich Generation is keeping us so busy. What do you think? 


Beverly's Got tons of cute pink things each Saturday to put a smile on the face of the Sandwich Generation dealing with the issues of caring for the elderly parents and babysitting grandchildren


The Sandwich Generation can find sweet words of encouragement in the Women helping Women linkup


Rednesday adds a fun seasoning to the day of the Sandwich Generation caring for elderly parents and babysitting grandchildren