Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Parental Care-Giving: A Common Challenge Today

Cathy Rudy of Santa Fe is today's SIXOHDEAR guest blogger. Cathy is a local businesswoman. We used to lunch regularly, but her life has changed over the years as her mother requires more care than before.


This issue of parental care-giving is one that I will not have to face, however, so many of us must.



By Cathy Rudy


I still have several years to go before I reach SIXOHDEAR, but the stress of being a caregiver makes me feel like I am already one hundred and SIXOHDEAR. 


A few months ago I went to Kohl's and bought a new throw rug to put at our front door.  It was on sale, but rang up even less than I was expecting.  I looked at the register screen and saw they had given me the senior discount, since it was Tuesday or something.  I asked how old you had to be for the senior discount and the young girl would not give me a specific age.  She just said she noticed my gray hair and thought she should give it to me.  I would have said I didn't deserve it, but since she was not giving me a specific age, I could not prove it.


A few weeks ago I stopped at McDonald's and ordered some chicken nuggets and a drink (I need comfort food in all shapes and forms!)  The young girl rang it up, then glanced at me, and said "oh," hit a bunch more keys and the total went down.  Later I looked at my receipt and saw she had charged me for a "senior drink."


The best though was when I went to Albertson's and happened to be there on the day they give senior discounts.  This saved me almost $10.  Again I asked how old you had to be to get the discount, and the answer was nonspecific. The youngin threw out a couple numbers, all of which were higher than my current physical age.  Again, I would have said I was younger than that, but it was already a done deal, and I figured for all the times Albertson's has overcharged me for *sale* items, maybe this was a way to make us even.


I did not ask for any of these discounts, but apparently I look like I deserve them.  Maybe I do, maybe there is some benefit from growing older, but they do not outweigh the parts that are not fun.  At least not as far as I can see in my 89-year-old mother, or in myself since taking on the responsibility of caring for her.  Tomorrow I have an appointment to get her hair cut and colored, and while I am there, I will be making an appointment for myself.  Maybe we will both feel younger.


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