I am a caregiver. That is my primary function I suppose you would say. I have a menial workathome job that allows me to stay close to my mother who is almost 86. It's almost ironic for she and I to be the only two members left in my core family. We were never close at all. She was not a hugger or a person who expressed her feelings to her children at all. I resented that and everything else that defined her.
A few days ago I walked up to her and placed her arms around my back and waist. I hugged her close to me and told her that I was going to teach her how to "hug". Whether she liked it or not. It was awkward and we laughed nervously at our feeble attempt but I was adamant. I said, "It's a start, little Mommy" and kissed her on the top of her head.
These past two days she has been feeling pretty weak and I've been concerned. Tomorrow being Monday, I'll call her doctor and see what he has to say. Sometimes it's frustrating because she's the typical Mother who when you ask if she needs anything always says "No".
Many of us baby boomers are in the same situation caring for (or in charge of the care of) our elderly parents to varying degrees. I imagine that many of those other boomers have lots of questions as I do and sometimes feel quite inadequate.
There is no correct way to care for your elderly parent/s. I have a good friend who's single and her elderly parent will need 24hour care the rest of her life so an assisted living facility is the right thing for her situation.
My mother is still alert and active, if a little slow finding the right word she wants to say or when she is walking around. For this I feel very blessed but I'm a little frightened to think that she may need more care than I can give her one day so I try to "be here now" and enjoy the time we have together and leave the past behind us.