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Backpacks to Geriatrics – How do they do it?Posted Sep 12, 2017
You’ve seen her in the grocery store. She’s got a child’s hand on one arm, and a wheelchair on the other. You’ve probably smiled, or even passed her the orange that the elderly stranger in the wheelchair had dropped. She would thank you and place the orange in the reusable bag that was strung over her shoulder, and continue to the bread section while prying her son’s free hand from the chocolate bar stand.
She is a member of The Sandwich Generation. She might be in her late 30’s, or early 40’s, but some days she feels like she’s 80; and she is overwhelmed, every minute of every day.
Her weekdays are full of bargaining, list taking, and caffeine. Monday to Friday she wakes up at 5:30am. She gets dressed in the dark, and drinks her coffee while scrambling eggs for her son that he probably won’t eat.
In between running back and forth from the bathroom to her son’s bedroom telling him he has “5 more minutes” before they leave for school; she drops the back to her earring 3 times, before finally finding a pen to write a note in large block letters, “MORNING MOM. TAKE THESE PILLS WITH THE MILK ON YOUR TABLE. CHELSEA WILL BE HERE SOON. XO KELLY”.
Chelsea is their homecare worker.
Kelly calls her a life savour; her mother calls her an assistant.
But, if you ask Chelsea; she just wants to help others, and treats her clients like they were her own family.
Monday to Friday she arrives at her client’s home at 7:30am; a coffee in her hand, and a smile on her face. After checking her client’s bedside table for pills that may have been forgotten, she fills up the kettle for oatmeal and tea.
Sometimes she finds her client in the bathroom cursing at a stubborn zipper, sometimes she is still in bed refusing to face the day, and once in a while, she finds her fully dressed and in the kitchen reading the paper; not every day is the same. But, every day, she is there.
And, that is how they do it. Kelly, and the rest of the sandwich generation, get through each day, with huge hearts, a lot of coffee, and the help of others.
What would help you most today?