How to stay on course with your OWN life vs. being at the mercy of Aging Parent Guilt

  • What if you could stop feeling so torn?
  • What if the guilt subsided? (it may not stop.)

What if, (pause), you actually ENJOYED being with your aging parent instead of dreading it all?

This can happen for you. If you want one or all of the above do yourself a favor and sign on for a complimentary 5 day “journey” to stop feeling exhausted, frustrated, and guilty when dealing with your aging mom or dad.

WHAT IS THE COMMITMENT from you?

-15 min per day (anytime) from Mon. Sept 13 to Fri. Sept. 17 (and if you skip a day we will still love you) to be inspired and educated;

-60 min of LIVE HELP on a SATURDAY (WHOA) Sept 18 (10 am central so get the coffee brewing now and your pencils out)

Cost: no cost.

Click this link to visit my website and save your space!

The answers you are searching for are here for you.  

This is for you if:

  • You love your mom (or dad) and…you want your life back without the guilt.
  • You are caring/care-deciding for or know you will be caring/care-deciding for an aging parent. 
  • You feel like bad daughter (or son) because you want to put a parent in assisted living.
  • You have no time for you anymore.
  • You don’t even know where to begin or what questions to ask.

After this 5 day journey you will:

  • Have the answers you have been seeking.
  • Know exactly what your next step will be. 
  • Know that there’s information out there & you can find out what your options are.
  • Know that you are not alone in this journey.
  • Have your life and care for care-decide for your parent with no guilt.

Each day, I will be answering a question from the community around caring for an aging parent and also caring for yourself as the care-giver/care-decider.

I will also be walking you through my proven step-by-step path so that you can have a life of your own AND a happy, aging parent.

We begin on Monday, September 13th so be sure to register by Thursday, September 9th so that you can finally figure this care-deciding thing out and move forward with your life while you also have a happy, aging parent.

I know your time is very tight right now (what time, you say!) well I’ve got you covered.   Each day you will receive an email with my short video answer about a question submitted along with a brief tip for how you can have a life of your own AND a happy, aging parent – no more than 15 minutes long, I promise.

On Saturday, September 18th at 10 a.m. CST, I’ll be having a BONUS Q & A live call where you can get your questions answered that may not have been answered during the week.

Click this link to visit my website and save your space!

I’ll see you there!

❤️Coach Wendy

Wake me up when it’s all over……

This song played on the radio the very night I became a caregiver (and would someone come up with another name for us, please?) 9 years ago.

A few days ago, it popped up on my playlist. So much has changed in those 9 years………

The lyrics say everything that at the time I was feeling…………

🎵Feeling my way through the darkness🎵

The night ‘it’ happened.  Driving home through the darkness.  Late at night.  Lots of thoughts and fears running through my head.

🎵Guided by a beating heart🎵

Really felt like my heart and faith were all that were leading me.  I knew that if I just kept moving forward that I could ‘fix’ it so that mom wouldn’t injure herself so severely and that she would be safe.  And that I wouldn’t have to be in this horrific situation again.  That I could have some control over what happens.  (So funny, we really have no control over anything, if we think about it!)

🎵I can’t tell where the journey will end🎵

I absolutely could not tell when or where the journey would end.  Or even what this journey will look like.  It had just begun and I knew it deep in my bones.  I felt the dread and the fear and uncertainty.

🎵But I know where to start🎵

Driving home alone that night I didn’t have a plan.  I didn’t know where to start.  I felt hopeless and scared.  I had so many questions and so much unknown.

🎵They tell me I’m too young to understand🎵

I was 38 years old.

🎵They say I’m caught up in a dream🎵

Was I dreaming to think that it was possible for mom to live safely in a retirement home?  Can she pay for it?  She told me she wanted to live in a home but is that really whats best for her?

🎵So wake me up when it’s all over🎵

This was my mantra, my prayer.  Wake me when it’s all over.  The arguments and abuse from my steps.  The uncertainty.  Feeling like I had lost control over my life.

🎵When I’m wiser and I’m older🎵

Praying for wisdom in this moment and also looking to my older self to guide me.

🎵All this time I was finding myself🎵

Who knew this journey would help me find my lost self.

🎵I tried carrying the weight of the world🎵

For a long time, I did it all by myself.  I would not accept or ask for help from anyone.  It was exhausting.  Mentally.  Physically.  Emotionally.

🎵But I only have two hands🎵

It was only me………  By my own fault.

🎵Hope I get the chance to travel the world🎵

At that time, I hadn’t traveled anywhere, really.  But I did.  Although looking back at the beginning of my journey, I was thinking ‘I’d like to travel.  That’s over.’  I’d see a plane in the sky as I was driving to mom’s house to work more on clearing it out and think, ‘I wish I were on that plane.’

🎵But I don’t have any plans🎵

didn’t have any plans to travel in the beginning.  Like I said, I thought my life was over.  But you know what, once I figured things out, asked for help and problem solved, I did travel.  Oh did I!  2015 Hawaii.  2016 Italy.  2019 Hawaii again.  And all points across the United States in-between.  And mom has been well cared for during my travels.

🎵Wish that I could stay forever this young🎵

I was 38 years old.  I am now 47.

🎵Not afraid to close my eyes🎵

In the beginning, I wasn’t sleeping or not sleeping well.  So many plans, checklists, questions.

🎵Life’s a game made for everyone…………And love is the prize🎵

My prize was having my mom feel safe and happy.

Avicii – Wake Me Up – this song played the night I became a caregiver. It became my mantra. My focus point.

9 years ago I was totally in this space of ‘wake me up when it’s all over.’

Through time and space and learning and problem solving I am happy to say that now I am wiser and I’m older. And that is a great thing.

Mom is good and we just had a great conversation where we can see each other (thank you Alexa). We get to spend time together and she feels safe and happy.

I’ve traveled the world.

I’ve found myself.

Do you have a song that’s your mantra that’s got you through tough times like the one I have? What’s your song? Leave a reply below and share your song.

❤️Coach Wendy

Are you a caregiver (cringe!) and you don’t know it?

I see this all of the time.

I’m not caring for my parent……… yet. And when we dig into this we find out that you are helping with banking, running errands, making sure pills are taken.

Guess what? You may be caregiving an aging parent and you don’t realize it or are scared to admit it.

What I know is that when you acknowledge that you are indeed caring for an aging parent, then you can empower yourself with that so that you can get part of your life back AND also have a happy, aging parent.

Click here to get access to take my quiz to find out if you are caring for an aging parent.

❤️Coach Wendy

What do you do for you – as a care-decider?

My mom recently had surgery (she’s recovering really well!) and I caught myself falling into the ‘I’ll take care of everything’ trap’ again.

Here she is – enjoying some tv time in her hospital room.

I’ve learned that I had to step back and let others help with my mom. The helpers were there.  It was so easy for me to get ‘sucked into’ doing everything for her myself.  When I stepped back, I realized that mom was being taken care of – maybe not in the way I would do it, but she was being taken care of.

I got stuck in my own ‘I’ll take care of it’ and realized that was exactly where I was 9 years ago, when I first began to care for my mom, and I got burned out.  Noticing that was where I was headed again was what stopped me and cued me in to step back.

I realize that I have the luxury of stepping back – or away – and that there is a team stepping in to care for my mom.  And I feel deeply for those of you that stepping away is not nearly as easy, since I got a taste of that for myself.

In my empty pockets of time when mom was napping or eating or just generally entertained, I would go for walks to step away for a while, go home and take a nap (boy was that the best nap I’ve ever had), manicure my nails.

What do you do when you ‘step away’? Click here to Join our Facebook Community, Support for Adult Children Just Beginning to Care for An Aging Parent and let us know what you do for yourself as a care-decider.

❤️Coach Wendy 

Using Technology to assist you in caring your aging parent

I came across this App some time ago and I know it may be helpful to some of you.

I feel so fortunate that I am caring for my mom now, with all of the tech around to support me AND her.

Snug Safety

Made for people who live alone, this app checks on you at a time of day you select.  You press a green check mark on the app and receive a quote of the day.  If you fail to check in, your emergency contacts are notified.  Android, iOS

You can check out their website here.

What tech have you pressed into the service of caring for an aging parent?

Stop-n-Go

It’s amazing how many conversations mom and I have about her bowel movements. Anyone else talk about this topic more than you ever thought you would?

I had the misfortune recently of ‘dropping in’ and talking with mom over Alexa and not realizing that my husband was on a work call in the basement. His coworkers heard the entire conversation. Because it was on speaker. Which went something like:

Mom: I’m on the pot. I’ve got diarrhea.

Me: I’ll call back later.

Mom: (Not hearing me) I’m on the pot! I’ve got the runs! (Loudly)

So Steve explained to his chuckling colleagues that his mother-in-law has dementia (and a wacky colon) and some days are more of a treat than others. What can ya do?

She’s super concerned when she doesn’t ‘go’. She’s concerned when she goes too much. To the point that I call her stop-n-go.

I’m wondering if I will be as fixated on my bathroom habits when I reach her age – 85.

I just have to chuckle and share this.

A companion during this transition

We have had some sad news.  Momma’s sweet companion, Sputnik, had to be put to sleep in the middle of December.  Kidney failure.  It was very quick.

Mom has been handling it as best as can be expected.

She does not want to adopt another cat at this time.  My husband (genius that he is) began looking for alternatives to give her a companion.  He found this on Amazon.

We haven’t purchased this yet.  We are still reviewing this and another model, but we will be getting something like this for her.

I’ll keep you posted on what she thinks about it.

❤️Coach Wendy

Momma is Learning Some New Tech

Momma has become technologically savvy at almost 85 years young!

Learning something new during this difficult time of quarantine and lockdown have been invaluable for my mom.

Her world could have become very small, being confined to her apartment.

Instead, her world grew.  Her learning grew.

During this time she has learned how to take a picture on her iPad and message it to me.  She’s learned how to listen to Audible books on her Amazon Echo.  And she’s learned how to strike a pose in front of the Amazon Echo so I could snap her picture in her snazzy Dolly Parton shirt (I have a matching shirt).

I told mom that once she is able to see her friends again, she could teach a class on technology.  She’s looking forward to that.

Here’s to brighter days!

❤️Coach Wendy

The Email Every Adult Child Caring for Their Aging Parent Dreads “Changes to Medicare Coverage”

Around September every year, the emails begin. “Important changes to your Medicare health and drug coverage,” and “Plan ahead for Medicare open enrollment,” and “Is your Medicare Advantage plan right for you?”

Mixed in there are also the scam emails. And then also if an actual letter slips past you, the caregiver, and your parent gets hold of it, be prepared for questions and fixations around their insurance. Yeah, happened to me this year after being as vigilant as I could be about changing mom’s mailing address to mine and also asking the nurses to hold her mail. What can I say? I tried.

What I know is this – there’s a lot of information coming at you. You don’t want to deal with it. Yet you have to deal with it and it feels overwhelming.

I’m going to share with you my top tips to make this process easier on you, the caregiver.

First, from what I understand, you have until December 7th when Medicare’s Annual Election Period ends to decide to either keep the coverage your loved one has or decide on another plan. Which means that you still have time to break this process down and make it as easy on you as possible.

Tip #1: Break this process down into smaller, less intimidating chunks.

First, decide that you won’t decide anything right away. Take a look at the emails, log into the sites – Medicare and also any supplemental insurance sites your parent has and see what they have to say. Get used to the language and the navigation of the sites themselves. And also get used to the fact that the sites are hard to navigate and some information is usually missing or the page is not active (looking at you, United Healthcare).

Tip #2: Walk away from everything related to Medicare plans. Breathe. Take a walk. Do something nice for yourself. Seriously, I’m not kidding here. This deciding on a new plan is not any fun.

Tip #3: Go back to this a few days later. Looking at this with fresh eyes allows the the opportunity to see things differently and to begin to understand the information.

Tip #4: If you can find a way to compare your loved one’s current plan with the plan for the new year, that is the easiest way I’ve found to see if any big changes are in store.

Tip #5: Remember that this is a difficult and really not enjoyable process. Remember that you are doing the very best you can and your decision will reflect that. Know that it is going to take time and it’s not a one look and your done kind of decision. Give yourself some grace & space with that.

What are your tips for navigating through Medicare plans each year? Let me know in the Facebook Group, Support for Adult Children of Senior Citizens.

❤️Coach Wendy

Raising your momma

I remember the struggles I went through as I was suddenly called on to make decisions for my mom’s care AND the role reversal that took place AND dealing with now having to be in control while at the same time not letting my mom feel that she’s lost control.

This pandemic and the lockdown gave me an opportunity to see if what I had been thinking of and pushing away for years could actually be something that I could be of service to others. So……..in August I created is a pilot course program to support adult children that are just beginning to caregiver to their aging parents transition from being the child into being the adult so they can come to terms with the role reversal and easily navigate what’s next…….becuase there is always a what’s next.

I identified the need for this program by not only remembering my journey but also by talking with other adult children who were or had cared for, were caring for or decided on care for their parent.

I remember the stress, worry, physical & emotional burnout and the feeling of being on a hamster wheel that I experienced.

Looking back, the lessons I learned, the self-care, and the strategies I put into place, I’m stronger and I feel much more capable deciding on and caring for my mom.

I knew that when it came time to care for my mom, that I was going to do it my way. I know that sounds selfish, so let me explain. When my mom was caring for my grandma, that was my mom’s whole world. She would spend nights and days and weeks at my grandmas – while my step-dad was home alone. She would make endless runs into town daily. She was so tired that she wasn’t making the best choices.

Even in the midst of this COVID pandemic, my mom is thriving. As a daughter, that is my greatest joy.

Even during this pandemic, mom is doing really well. She’s happy, feels safe and is enjoying life. And at 84, she is always busy.

It was not easy to take charge. My mom is stubborn and she fought me on it until that day that she had yet another fall (the 2nd in just a few months) and it was a bad one. She had two black eyes and a split lip. An evening spent in the hospital. The next day, I asked her, “Mom, what do you want to do?” She knew I was referring to how she was going to live out the rest of her life. She said, “I want to move to Waterford.” Well, I about fell off my chair because Waterford is a retirement community that I knew of by name. Mom had attended some lunch and learns at Waterford and got to know some of the residents and got to see how it operated.

What is know is, step-by-step, one next action by one next action, one day you’ll realize the roles have reversed.

There is a lot of value in getting used to being the adult & making decisions, feeling empowered to make decisions, getting some of your life back, having peace of mind as well as support, solutions & resources.

Are you the adult child who is just beginning to care for your aging parent? Are you looking to reduce stress, empower yourself to make decisions, reduce stress and get your life back?

I have just the thing you need. Solutions for anxiety, stress & feeling isolated while caring for your aging parent.

You can download your copy here.

If you are feeling anxious, stressed and isolated, you should know that there is another way to care for your aging parent. In this resource, I’ll share over a dozen solutions that have worked for me as I’m caring for my aging mother.

You are not alone.

❤️Coach Wendy