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Boomers Well Know Support Is the Foundation of All Families

willing baby boomers acting as caregivers lend added support to the family unit


By Wednesday, 14 November 2018 10:35 AM Current | Bio | Archive

In many instances, when people discover I chronicle the "boomer generation" with my writings and commentaries, they want to see how their own lives mirror those of others of similar ages and life-stages.

They are also frequently interested in learning more about the topics and issues most germane to those born between 1946 and 1964, especially as we close out 2018 — looking ahead to 2019.

Perhaps most compelling to readers are some of my observations on, and experiences with, a subject many boomers regularly dote — family.

I believe those between the ages of 54 to 72 come to this topic through the prism of life experiences fully lived. This concurrently encompasses historical aspects of our society they witnessed; those events provide a foundation for their lives.

Events bringing focus to the lives they lead now.

As a baby boomer myself, I know that an appreciably significant portion of my life was built around the family that I grew up in.

A family which fostered my mission to make my parents proud — of me.

I wanted to be a good son. I think that, like many born between 1946 and 1964, I enjoyed the times I grew up in. We, after all, are the products of television, music, changing college times, and changing corporate life as well.

While boomers appreciate our past, we are also heavily invested in our lives as they are now. No subject garners more discussion than when a group of baby boomers shares thoughts over a cup of coffee together than that of family.

Many boomers face the challenge of caring for elderly parents or an elderly relative who continually requires their assistance. This same segment of society is also heavily invested in the lives of their grown children.

Many baby boomers welcome being grandparents.

Some children of baby boomers have decided to delay marriage. Thus, their baby boomer parents follow with great interest those who their children date.

Baby boomers' families serve as a highly interesting observable dynamic.

One day can be focused on the elderly mother who lives with them, or the text sent from their adult daughter while she was out on a date. Another day might revolve around helping their other daughter, or getting their five-year-old grandchild ready for school.

Much like the lives that baby boomers have led up to this point, their life remains complex today. Family dynamics are often complicated, producing quite extraordinary results.

A baby boomer from Portland, Oregon finds herself living a new phase of life.

Last year, like many in her age-range, she experienced the loss of parents.

It was a difficult time for this energetic, poised boomer. She is recently retired, having been a respected IT manager for a portion of the Oregon's infrastructure.

She and her professor husband just celebrated 40 years of marriage. They have two married sons, and two grandchildren. But this woman also has an aging aunt living in Idaho.

The aunt has no children and now has reached out to her niece in Oregon for assistance. The baby boomer woman is embracing her aunt. As a result, she spends a good deal of time commuting from Oregon to Idaho — this is to put services in place for her relative, who desperately wants to remain in her home.

What makes this situation even more interesting, is that the baby boomer woman does this care-giving with the support of a loving husband.

Her spouse is encouraging because he was raised in a loving home with kind, caring parents knowing meaning of family. What makes this story even more pronounced is that this couple is also committed to spending time in Maryland where they help with the caring for the husband's elderly mother. In this case, another paramount issue comes to the forefront— the sharing of support for his mother with his sister and brother-in-law.

That's the new teamwork for baby boomers; many in that age range spent their earlier lives working as a team in their corporation. But now they work as a teammate with a sibling in the care for an elderly parent.

In this case, the couple made the decision to place their mother in assisted living.

The sister still lives close by and offers a lot of extra support for her. When the Oregon couple goes to Maryland, they take over the lead role, giving their sister and brother-in-law a break.

Family life for baby boomers sometimes means compromise.

The sister from California commutes from her home in California, to the family home in Ohio. There, she helps support her mother. Her sister and brother-in-law have moved in with the mother so that the mother can stay in her home.

The key to this particular situation is working as a team for their mother's betterment.

The two sisters accomplish this with love, support, and caring.

In this family, there are no arguments about who is doing more, or about the amount of time spent tending to the mother's needs. There are no jealous temper tantrums; this is simply about two sisters extending the love they've possessed all of their lives, transcending it to the here and now.

But — these two sisters have a huge advantage. They both have understanding husbands who love their wives and are supportive of the situation.

In this column you've probably discerned some emerging common themes. Those themes revolve around the family dynamics of baby boomers.They center around the caring for elderly parents and other mature-in-years relatives.

These themes also focus on the multi-generational aspects of baby boomer's lives. You also see teamwork unfolding as a way siblings work together to render supportive elderly care.

Most of of all, you have husbands and wives working together out of love and support.

Yes, love, caring, support, and family unity do exist. When you see things working well within a family, as in life itself, it can make you feel much better about the world in which we live.

Rick Bava founded and was CEO of the Bava Group, which became the premier communications consulting firm serving the Fortune 500 community. Bava became known for his popular blog columns "Rick Bava on the Baby Boomer Generation." He is the author of "In Search of the Baby Boomer Generation." For more of his reports, Go Here Now.

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Love, caring, support, and family unity do exist. When you see things working well within a family, as in life itself, it can make you feel much better about the world in which we live.
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Wednesday, 14 November 2018 10:35 AM
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