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Saved, saved, saved, now what?

By Sheree Ellingson, owner of Senior Helpers of West Jacksonville

They have saved their entire lives to be able to afford their “future” and when you believe the time has come to spend their money on today’s needs or wants, they refuse to spend the money.  Sound familiar? The Great Depression left a lasting impression on our seniors.

Take for example my mom.  My dad was in the Navy for 26 years.  We went without a lot of extras in order to have a decent home, go back to Ohio to visit relatives every other year, have a fishing boat for .my dad and go out to dinner occasionally.  My mom was always a saver. She went without a great deal of things that would have made her life and our lives more comfortable, but she needed to always have money in the bank for “the rainy day.

Of course, with my mom and dad saving all those years, she is well off now.  Does she spend money now? Absolutely NOT!  She acts as though the world will end tomorrow and she needs to have every dollar possible.  My mom has arthritis really bad and could use help making her healthy meals, going grocery shopping and putting away her groceries, cleaning her house along with helping her safely get in/out of the shower since these things are very painful for her to accomplish.  Will she hire someone, nope!  She is 85 years old and until the last couple of years, she still insisted on mowing the lawn even when she was in pain for three days after mowing. She finally allows the next-door neighbor to mow the lawn but hates to pay him $60.00 for an hour of mowing.  Why, you may ask?  Because my mom, like so many other seniors, are stuck in the past of what things cost a long time ago. She always says, it is so awful that I must pay $60.00 to have my lawn mowed when I remember gas was $.10 a gallon and I used to buy bread for $.20 a loaf.  Are you familiar with this type of conversation?

How to get your mom or dad to realize the help is necessary and is affordable is a tough one. Especially when they believe it is your “duty” to help them.  Life has changed a great deal with each generation and that thought of us taking care of our parents is outdated, and in most cases not the best for the parent and especially not for the child.  Us sandwich generation are still working, taking care of a spouse, our children and most times grandchildren.  It is a lot for us to do every day without taking on the full-time job of our parents’ needs.

I have been in so many houses over the years where the mom is sitting there saying, “yeah, this would be nice to have but this is what you do for me now ‘daughter’ and the price seems too high.”  The daughter is frantic, saying where do we sign the papers, I need this service now, I cannot continue doing all of this.  Don’t get to this point, call Senior Helpers of West Jacksonville today at 904-779-5515 and together we will help your parent and help you live a more fulfilling life.