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Elder care: Use the A-B-C Rule to deal with aging parents | newjerseynewsroom.com

BY CAROL ABAYA

NEWJERSEYNEWSROOM.COM

THE SANDWICH GENERATION

Using an A-B-C Rule of Thumb can help Sandwich Generationers develop positive relationships with aging parents. The following comes from a long time reader of The Sandwich Generation and is so appropriate I want to share it with all of today’s readers.

Among my earliest memories are the times our Mom impressed my two sister and me by converting to “A-B-C Order” whatever message she wanted us to remember. As we were trusted to cross the street alone, we chanted A-B-C. Always Be Careful. Our manners were guided by A-B-C. Act like Beautiful Children. Applying the alphabetical order tactics, we went on to devise our own magic codes and silly games to serve whatever need we found.

Now the Rule of A-B-C Order comes into play as we consider the matter of aging and change. Think of change as a form of conflict and follow the rules that apply to conflict resolution.

ADDRESS THE SITUATION:

Are you dealing with reality?
Sometimes it’s hard to let go of the dream.
BEWARE OF EMOTIONAL INTERFERENCE

It’s not about being right or wrong.
It’s not about being happy or sad.
It’s about how you feel, what you want or don’t want.
CONSIDER YOUR OPTIONS

You can’t change the past.
You can’t unsay what’s been said or undo what’s been done.
You can only choose to move forward in dealing with change.
Know your limits. Set your boundaries. Take control.
Change is the name of the game. Play it honestly and well.
Caregivers can also use the A-B-C Order and the words above to monitor their own well-being.
ADDRESS THE SITUATION

Are you withdrawing from friends and family?
Are there changes in your eating and sleeping patterns?
Is your temper and patience short?
BEWARE OF EMOTIONAL BURNOUT

Are you feeling blue and depressed?
Are you tired much of the time because you haven’t slept long enough?
Do you resent your caregiving responsibilities?
CONSIDER YOUR OPTIONS

Set realistic goals in relation to tasks
Get help from other family members
Identify community resources for task help

The Sandwich Generation is reader interactive. Questions and comments are welcome. Contact Carol Abaya via her website www.sandwichgeneration.com or e-mail sandwchgen@aol.com . She does not respond to comments posted on this site.

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~ by Butch on September 23, 2012.

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