Friday, October 30, 2015

I'm grateful to help a caregiver

By a certain age, most of us have had the responsibility for caring for an aging parent. It is is hard work, no matter whether it is a short or long journey, because it nearly always involves grief as well as many other emotions.

I've found that the journey is not just about caring for our parents, but also what the journey does to and for us.

But this blog is not about the journey. It's about the people who help us care for our parents. The people who do the mundane tasks of feeding, dressing, cleaning and taking care of our parent's basic needs. The right person is a gift from God, for all involved: the parent and the adult children.

So we had a caregiver come to our food pantry. She's had a long work history caring for older people in a skilled nursing facility, but was laid off  because the number of patients in her unit had declined. When she came to us, she had job interviews set up with several other places and was not concerned about finding work, but just needed help during the interim time. Which is exactly what CCSC is set up to do.

We chatted quite a bit during the interview, and what struck me was her quiet dignity and the kindness that emanated from her. Just being in her presence stilled me on a day that was particularly stressful. I would have loved to have had someone like her caring for my parents.

So I am grateful CCSC could help during this time in her life, knowing that when she finds her next job, she will be a gift to other families who are caring for an aging parent.

Friday, October 2, 2015

No canned beets for me, thank you


Or wax beans either. I would gag if I had to eat either one of those.

This is the season for food drives, and it's great for CCSC because it fills our pantries. Some of you call our office, wanting to know desired food items, so here goes:
  • think protein: meaty stews, peanut butter, beans & legumes, canned meat
  • avoid carbs: they are already cheap and accessible for families on a limited budget
  • include canned fruits and veggies
The other guideline is to give what you would eat. Now if you like canned beets and wax beans, I guess it's okay to donate those items, but I would pause.

Instead, think of corn, green beans, black beans, tomatoes, carrots, and most canned fruits (light syrup, please) - these are more universally liked. I still remember the elderly client who came to an outdoor food fair we hosted several years ago. She was thrilled and almost giddy when we gave her some canned peaches.

Wherever you live, contribute to your local food pantry, and if CCSC is your pantry, thank you for your support. We're grateful for all donations, even those of beets and waxed beans.