I am now re-adjusting the emphasis of my blog. I was writing to the older woman who is a caregiver. I still am. But I now write to the older woman (over 65 ish) about the many challenges she faces. One of those challenges includes caregiving, but there are many others as well, both happy and sad.
She often feels alone. If her spouse is living, he may be ill or infirm. Statistically, women of this age are alone because of divorce or death. If they are fortunate to have children who care for them like I do, they often don’t want to concern their kids with issues they feel are minor. But issues that keep you awake at night are probably not minor.
The older woman faces many challenges in almost every area of life.
The outsider’s view is that the life of the older woman is boring, dull, and not very interesting. Usually, the very opposite of this is true! Our lives tend to change all the time. Few of us are employed at this point in life. While we are rarely scurrying around making a living, we are meeting many challenges. We are volunteering, caregiving, caring for grandchildren, helping our children in a variety of ways, or dealing with health challenges of our own and those of our spouses…to name a few.
Some of us are learning new skills as our spouses become disabled or die and we have to take up the slack. Not all these skills are learned easily or without stress. And then there is the emotional toll that many of these events take on us that we often try to ignore. But that is another story for another day.
The older woman is saying good-bye to friends, family and things as well as her health. It isn’t the easiest stage of life.
Still others may have to move to be nearer our children and are far from people we have known for years. These years are full of good-byes, both temporary and final. On top of that, we are often having to down-size as well as move from our homes into apartments or condos so we don’t have to deal with maintenance and home repairs.
One thing I miss most is the friends I have known for a long time, or going to the store and running into people I knew when my kids were little. It is always such a treat. But that doesn’t happen here. We have only lived here 9 years. Many people here don’t even know our out-of-town daughters. It makes me sad. I’m glad to have made good friends here, but am sad that I haven’t known the friends I have for very long. One of the needs of older women is for girlfriends. If you are losing some, you may need some new ones. No, they won’t be the same, but you still need the friendships to enrich your life.
Are our children flourishing?
How are our kids doing? Do we have a good relationship with them? What could we have done better? Are we able to get to church? Do we have have friends near us? Are we still able to drive? There are a host of questions that affect our lives and our being able to connect to resources in our community. These are just a few thoughts that fly through our minds at all times of the day or night.
Have you had a history of poor ways of coping over the years? This is a time when they will come to light.
Sometimes, we do well. At other times, the poor ways we have adjusted over our lifetimes come to light and we finally have to get help. Where do we find the help we need?
In the coming months, I hope to offer you help and information in some of these areas. Please comment below if you have topics you would like me to write on or get information about.
Today, let us live in confidence that God is with us no matter what challenge comes our way.
But now thus says the Lord,
he who created you, O Jacob,
he who formed you, O Israel:
“Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by name, you are mine.
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you;
when you walk through fire you shall not be burned,
and the flame shall not consume you.
For I am the Lord your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.
I give Egypt as your ransom,
Cush and Seba in exchange for you.
Because you are precious in my eyes,
and honored, and I love you…
Isaiah 43:1-4a ESV
Coming next week: Scams and how to protect yourself from them.
My next post is going to be about scams. Ask me how I learned about being scammed! I thought I was pretty well informed. I dodge scams all the time! I almost clicked on one yesterday. They come at me often. The come online, by phone (I have stopped answering numbers I don’t know). I was busy congratulating myself when I got hooked into one!
Did I feel stupid! I broke almost every rule in the book. It was so embarrassing. I understand why people don’t want to tell anyone, least of all, their kids! So join me next week for that helpful information.