â€œI am a daughter, a wife, a businesswoman, a mom, but not a nurseâ€
Margaret â€œPookâ€ Grathwol, Attorney, Chestnut Cambronne PA, talking about caregiving aging parents
Is it true? Boomer women turn ordinary, age-old, situations into named things as if we invented them? Let Me Explain
The ballroom was gorgeous, inviting, and dark-wood classy. I like those things in a seminar environment! Many of the seminars I go to include bare rectangle tables, folding chairs, and over-stuffed Power Points.
Wine, Women, and Finance
This gathering, however, was called Wine, Women, and Finance and hosted by Berger Financial Group. I knew it would be extra special. But, just to be sure I was not misled by a fancy invitation, I made the rounds. Wine? Check. Women? Lots. Finance? Snippets. Wine? Double check. There was also a lavish appetizer spread. Score!
I meandered over to the bar and asked for a chardonnay. The bartender seemed crabby, which made me want to mess with her head. Come on! Just watching the condensation droplets slither down the length of the wine glass made me happy, so I dazzled her with a grin. Nothing. I suppose I could have downed the wine, wiped my lips on my sweater sleeve, slapped the glass on the counter, and let out a loud, â€œAhhhhhhhh. Meh. Maybe next round.
Elder Law and Estate Planning
I picked a table and settled in. My daughter was maybe, possibly, perhaps, going to attend, so I slung my purse over the chair next to mine. I put my wine glass on the table and took an iPhoto of it for no particular reason.
â€œDonâ€™t you just love taking pictures through a wine glass?â€ I looked up to place the voice and saw a beautiful woman with silver hair.
â€œUh. Yeah,â€ I said. (Iâ€™m quite eloquent when itâ€™s called for.)
â€œMy name is Pook, and Iâ€™m tonightâ€™s speaker.â€
â€œOooo. Itâ€™s so nice to meet you.â€ She was certainly someone who should be a speaker, I thought. Stylish, direct, composed, unlike me who continued fumbling with the iPhone. â€œWomen and Finance are a powerful combination,â€ I said.
She looked at me as if deciding something.
â€œIâ€™m not in finance. Maybe you didnâ€™t read the topic for tonightâ€™s talk. Iâ€™m a lawyer specializing in elder law and estate planning.â€
The Sandwich Generation
Again, the articulateness on my part was riveting. Truthfully, I glimpsed the invitation from Berger Financial Group when it arrived and would have attended if it were a talk on the merits of Â storing money in ceramic piggy banks versus Tempur-Pedic mattresses. Larry and Mark Berger are favorite people in my life, and if they put on an event, I know it will be worthwhile.
â€œSorta,â€ I trailed offâ€¦
â€œWhat I talk about is how to be a care provider for the people you love while keeping the medical care in the hands of the professional.â€
That sparked a more lengthy discussion. As women, we are expected to be the caregivers in our culture. How do we balance it all? Should we?
Pook started talking about the â€œsandwich generationâ€ of women–those who are taking care of aging parents and still-at-home childrenâ€”and then stopped and laughed.
â€œI have an older friend,â€ Pook said, â€œwho wants to know why Boomers name everything. She says women have been taking care of parents and kids since forever, and yet Boomers named it the â€œSandwich Generation,â€ and claimed it as something new.â€
I thought about that for a second and couldnâ€™t disagree. As a certified Boomer, I do tend to think of our group as feisty groundbreakers. Mostly because we are. So what if we slap a name on mundane, socially accepted, behaviors to draw attention to the wrongness of this or that? Isnâ€™t it about freakâ€™n time someone took action?
Aging Parents and Caregiving
My daughter arrived, and introductions were made. I was pleased that she would hear Pook speak on the topic of aging parents and caregiving. Itâ€™s an important conversation to have, and one best not left until a highly stressful crossroad is reached.
Later, as the evening wound down, my daughter said she had a lot to think about. She had a new perspective about ‘end of life issues’ and when to start planning. So did I!
How about you? Are you in a Sandwich Generation situation? Do you have questions about caring for aging parents? What are some potential resources for help and advice?
Hereâ€™s Pookâ€™s information if you would like to speak to an elder care lawyer.