OUT OF THE OZONE Finding hope and support for caregivers of aging parents

“…I’ve traveled a long way and some of the roads weren’t paved.”
Will Rogers

I think a great beginning to any discussion is to put all the cards on the table and just be honest. That’s what I liked about Will Rogers. If any of us can say we’ve walked a smooth highway our entire lives, well, I just don’t think we can have an honest conversation. None of us have, but the good news is that we don’t have to walk it alone. I have started this column to give myself and any who need it, an outlet to share, to vent and to encourage. Ecclesiastes says there’s a time to sow, a time to reap, a time to laugh, and time to cry…basically, a time for everything under the sun. One thing it never mentions is a time to quit (I felt that way just this morning). So, do what I did…get back out of bed, double up the caffeine and start a conversation.

When I began this story, I wanted to call it “Dementia Diaries,” since dementia is one of the most common maladies afflicting the elderly that need care, but felt that sounded…well…I don’t know…what…morose…gloomy? Yuck. So, I looked for a word that might sound better, and put the root word into a thesaurus search. I found some similar words, such as, “unhinged,” “irrational,” “frenzied,” “uncontrolled” and “manic” to name a few. But one phrase in particular caught my attention: “in the ozone”.

So, I thought, “IN THE OZONE” would be a great title, but decided that the purpose of a caregiver diary is to find a way OUT of the ozone. So, OUT OF THE OZONE it is.

To find our way OUT of the ozone in order to help those IN the ozone, we need to note the seasons of life that we go through in our adult lives: finding our place in life, career, raising children, the mid years (from PMS to Menopause), grandparenting, and then there’s caring for aging parents. This is a difficult time of life, probably the most challenging thus far. Emotions sometimes run high, and conflict is inevitable. But, it doesn’t have to be arduous if we have support from others who are going through similar circumstances, not to mention that a kind word can go a long way on a trying day.

So, if you find yourself walking this trail, and need some encouragement and a few LOL moments to ease the tension, then put your Cinderella shoes on, refill your coffee cup, grab your knee brace and take a walk with me into the sunset years and let’s see if we can find a few shiny pebbles on the unpaved roads under our feet.

Here are some future subject titles to peak your interest:

Remember my name
What’s normal anyway’s?
Gimme Prozac or give me strength
Let it go! Let it go!
Put your hand in the hand
One man’s rasslin’ is another man’s dancin’

Pete and Repeat went down to the lake…

Cry if you want to
Breakin’ Bad
Thanks a lot!
Hello in there
For the good times

Together, we may find that the bumpy, unpaved road has some advantages. Herman Cain once said that when, as a child, his grandfather would take the kids into town in a pickup loaded down with potatoes to sell at the market, they would complain about the bumpy ride. His grandfather explained that the bumpy road makes the small potatoes fall to the bottom and the big ones rise to the top; definitely a road with a purpose. But in the great scheme of things, I think the famous poet Robert Frost had the life thing locked up when he spoke of the road less traveled; it was the one that made the difference.

…I shall be telling this with a sigh

Somewhere ages and ages hence:

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—

I took the one less traveled by,

And that has made all the difference.

Let’s make  a difference together.

To learn more about dementia meet me Tuesday at:

Lunch & Learn at Clearview Regional on Dementia in the aging adult

To learn more about Tammy Osier, read her profile on the About page.

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