About The Senior Shuffle

Doing The Senior Shuffle is my choice to dance a routine that weaves speeding teenagers with their whirling mother, and their unhurried grandparents. As a stay-at-home mom with a wonderful energetic husband, I strive to master this lively sequence while shuffling 3 high school sons, ages 16, 17, and 17 everywhere. And while dishing out large quantities of food.

As a daughter of parents 85 and 87, who have differing degrees of dementia, I lead slower steps. There is a whirling pattern of shuffling, repeating, shopping, laundry, dining, and did I say repeating? In between visits 3-4 times per week, I shuffle mini-mountains of medicare paperwork, bills, and Veterans Affairs pension correspondence at my home.

At 49, I am in the middle--just one voice of the “sandwich generation”--mostly moms caregiving for children and parents at the same time. Some days I feel like a smushed peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Squeezed. Done. Other days I feel like a veggie on wheat focaccia. Healthy and able to offer a model of compassion and mercy to the next generation.

Learning to do The Senior Shuffle gracefully and with joy is important to me.  I want to honor my parents and to effectively communicate much love and courage. I want my sons to see what that looks like on a daily basis.

 

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    Carole Pye

    I’m a freelance writer married to thrill-seeking husband, Jim, and mom to fantastic teenage sons: Austin, (18) Trevor, (16) and volunteer foster son, Chris (18). I am also a proud caregiver for my parents, Bob, a WWII Army Air Corps veteran, 87, and Jean, his wife, 85. In between the shuttling and the shuffling of senior boys and senior parents, you can find me sitting still, enjoying a cup of steaming hot tea while pondering the next thing to do.

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