I’m 62, a semi-sorta-self-employed writer and musician, but caregiving is my real job.
Okay. A lot of people are in that boat. It’s the new occupation for the Baby Boom generation. People are living longer (though this doesn’t necessarily say the quality of life is so hot), and baby boomers have to either juggle career and caregiving or go into semiretirement and take care of family members full time.
Most people finish their time in the caregiving barrel and go back to real life. I didn’t.
I tried. After Dad passed, I moved back home to South Carolina.
So I’m working a fun little temp job with the city’s parks department, mowing lawns and throwing down sod. The city yard was on a piece of land adjacent to the freeway, and there’s this billboard on the property. Here’s your sign, Bubba!
Okay, I’m a good ol’ Southern Baptist boy. I do believe God gets His message across any way He wants. And I believe He has a sense of humor.
Soon I was working for a home health agency. Not the company on the billboard, but that same work. Yes, 60 is a good age for a career change.
Strangely enough, days after I left the temp gig and settled into the home health agency, that billboard was gone. Replaced with one for some plumbing outfit, I think.
Now I do some work through the agency and some as an independent, bringing a sense of style to work with me.
I’m half nurse, half physical therapist, half legal advocate, half financial counselor, half taxi driver, half cook, half running buddy, half handyman and half gardener. None of this crap adds up.
And all actor. Forget about reasoning with a brain taken over by dementia. Often I just have to play along.
I’m learning a bunch of stuff on the fly. Some of the mechanics of dementia. A few acting tricks. A few ways to cope without going completely bughouse and running down the main highway with everything hanging out and screaming curses in an unknown tongue.
In here you’ll find some of my journal entries and some practical thoughts to go with them. Hopefully you might find some value in this.