Caring for an Elderly Parent Will Kill You Faster Than Anything

In addition to running my business, I also have other jobs, including getting gigs through a speaker's bureau for Employee Assistance Programs (EAP) and Work/Life Benefit companies. I often present Lunch and Learn seminars about caregiving, stress management and work/life balance on behalf of EAPs and Work/Life Benefit company for their clients, which are employers. During the fall, I will man booths for EAPs and Work/Life Benefit companies at employers' wellness and benefits fairs.

Today, I manned a booth for an EAP at a large corporation headquartered in downtown Chicago. As usual, I chatted with the vendor next to me--a gentleman ("Bud") who sold life insurance.

During the course of our conversation, Bud began talking about caregiving. I'm not sure what led to the discussion but he shared about the family meetings he had with siblings about his mother's care, about his sister's mistaken belief that their mother's military insurance (TRICARE) would pay for nursing home care. And, then, he declared,

"Caring for an elderly parent will kill you faster than anything."

He said it emphatically, with arm movements to drive home his point. "I really mean that," he added.

He continued to talk although I had stopped listening because I was still thinking about his previous comment.

I'm always curious about your thoughts to a statement like this. What do you think? Will the caregiving experience do you in? Share your thoughts in our comments section, below.

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