Assisting the Elderly and Special Needs

We all go through different stages in our lives.  It’s part of growing up.  I’m approaching what is considered the ‘sandwich generation’  Which pretty much describes us as the ‘middle’ of the bread, whatever kind of filling you want to put in there…. we are being ‘squished’ by the generations on both sides of us.  Caring for parents and children or grandchildren.  I don’t have any grand kids to worry about right now ( a few grand ‘puppies’ that we tend on occasion…) and for the most part I don’t have to worry too much about my adult children…. (though you never stop worrying!).  I guess my ‘slice’ of bread with the most pressure would be the parent part.

I can’t take much credit at all for taking care of my Mom.  I would have to give all that to my sister Sherrie.  The rest of us are there to help and all…..but she really is the main caretaker.  Even though my Mom is in Assisted Living….. she really runs the show as far as taking care of the bills and making sure her needs are met …..and she is there more than any of the rest of us.  Once again…. another topic for another day!

I do, however, get the designated duty of doing my Mom’s laundry for her.  I think she came up with this idea so that I was ‘obligated’ to come see her.  I think she was worried that I wouldn’t do it otherwise.  Which isn’t true…..but it does make my visits consistent.  I live about 40 min south of her…so it does take more effort to get there.  Depending on how she is feeling when I’m there will determine how much assistance I need to give her.  There have been times when she has needed a lot of help.  Just getting in and out of her chair, going to the bathroom, etc. etc.  I’m sure you ‘sandwich generation’ people know what I mean.  Depending on her mood (and mine) sometimes this can be a frustrating duty.  I’m trying to be better about remaining positive no matter what for two reasons.  1) Because I know it will help her attitude be better and 2) Because I realize that it really is an honor and a blessing to serve her.  After all…… she changed my diaper and cleaned up my messes when I was little…. so it’s only natural that I should lovingly do the same for her!   John’s parents are in need of help often too.  My husband spends a lot of time over at their house fixing things, mowing and weeding and planting a garden.  We worry that they try and do too much most of the time…. but you can’t take away a person’s independence either!  That’s when they start to loose their will to live!

When we got married, my husband and I lived in an area of Salt Lake where we were surrounded by a lot of older people.  We used to joke and say that our ward was made up of the ‘Newly Weds or Nearly Deads’  When you’re in your 20’s, your perception of ‘old people’ is VERY different then when you are quickly becoming one of them!  I remember how much I actually adored those folks!  They added so much pleasure to my life!  It was a joy to serve and work with them in various church callings.  I truly did love them!  I have always had a love and respect for ‘older’ people.

Now, I also have the opportunity of serving in the Temple and have the opportunity to Assist the Elderly quite often there.  There are so many of them that come in to the temple to do work and service and yet need assistance to get it done.  And it’s a pleasure to serve them….. as well as the younger ones that are there too.  I feel much more needed during a session if someone needs my help.  And we have some very faithful patrons that come often that require a lot of assistance.  What a blessing it is to be the Lord’s hands!

So, while I may be getting a little ‘squished’ on one side of the sandwich for now… I am grateful for that opportunity to show my love.  It won’t be long before I become a slice of bread to MY children!

I am Grateful!  How are you?

working in the temple and Mom


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