Tag Archives: Elders

Let’s Twist Again, and other Cool Things…..

I’m at a girls’ week where the average age is 67.8, okay, a mature women’s week. We are on a beach watching young families, teens and just a sprinkling of our demographic. We are the ones who are talking about these things….. You’ve heard that we can’t hear. You’ve seen where we are squinting at everything. You’ve watched as we fall down, misplace our glasses on our own heads, and look for the mayonnaise, the iPad, and the super-secret book with all our passwords while each one was right in front of us every time.

But I decided we need a twist on aging.

Did you know we have secret skills?

1. We are fluent in a rare foreign language. E-Way an-cay eak-spay ig-pay atin-Lay!

2.  We can sing old commercials that were full-length songs:

Does your shoe have a boy inside?
What a funny place for a boy to hide?
Does your shoe have a dog there, too?
A boy and a dog and a foot in a shoe!
Well, the boy is Buster Brown
And the dog is Tige is his friend.
They’re really just a picture
But it’s fun to play pretend!
So…look, look, look
In your telephone book for the store that sells the shoe
With the picture of the boy and the dog inside
That you can put your foot into!
Woof Woof
Buster Brown Shoes!

(I did not look that up…and yes, I can sing it.)

3.   We have colorful histories about World War II, Korea, the Vietnam War, Woodstock, hippies, The Democratic National Convention…in 1968, life before computers, color TV, telephone lines, ‘party lines’,  that you shared with your neighbors (or listened to with your best hold-your-breath-eavesdropping.)

4.  Modern kids did not start the drug culture…just sayin’.

5. Today, on National Coffee Day, we too celebrate the joys of coffee that we drank at home for much cheaper.

6.  Our music was considered revolutionary, rebellious and obscene….too.

7. We loved long hair on boys, although we, too seem to have forgotten that…… as we used to use Jesus as our answer to all those ‘squares’ who didn’t think long hair was cool.

And this was long hair!

So ask a person who you think is old this question:

“Can you tell me something cool about when you were young?”

The answer may intrigue and surprise you.

Woof Woof!

You Just have to Laugh….

©2017 Cathy Sikorski








Don’t Worry…..We Will Take Care of You……

Last Friday my Mom called me, practically in tears.

“Roberta was so mean to me,” she said.

I’m thinking, “who the hell is Roberta?”.

“She’s from my medical insurance carrier. I called to ask her why a bill wasn’t paid and she said I should never have been given this insurance and I’m going to have to pay back every penny from the last 15 years.”

“And,” she went on with a worried tone, “you told me to NEVER pay a medical bill. So I don’t know what to do.”

“Calm down, Mom. We will get this worked out. It will be okay.”

My first reaction was this:

I did tell my Mom never t pay a medical bill because her insurance covers everything.

My mom has Tricare For Life Medical Insurance. This insurance is for Veterans and their families, spouses, widows, children. My Dad died in a helicopter crash as an Army pilot on October 10, 1961. My mother had five children all under the age of 10 and was pregnant with her sixth child. So I kind of think my Mom is entitled to this insurance.

The thing is, Mom never claimed this insurance until my step-father passed away in 1998. She didn’t even ask for it. She already had Medicare and AARP. But when she applied for her widows benefits after my step-father passed away, the Veteran’s Administration made her jump through all kinds of hoops with documentation and then gave her this insurance.

My mom is a Virgo.

Why does that matter? She has kept every single piece of paper that has ever come into her life. So she has every piece of documentation that transpired fifteen years ago with the Veteran’s Administration. She sent them her marriage certificate to my step-father and his death certificate.

Then, they put her on the wrong insurance.

And now they are threatening an 87 year-old widow, who raised her family of six children without a father, who never even made it to 30 years old.

After talking to seven different people at seven different government administrative places which most people never even heard of, we refiled all the documentation from 15 years ago.

Now we wait.

I know from the last 25 years of caregiving and jumping through administrative hoops that this story will not have an easy ending. There’s going to be reams of paperwork. There will likely be boatloads of nastiness. There may be a lawsuit. But in my best, Scarlett O’Hara voice: “As God is my witness….my mother will never pay one dime to fix this problem.”

It helps that I’m a lawyer.

I know you don’t think there could possibly be a laugh in here in any way. But as I was looking at some of the documents from her insurance company, I saw this:

Fun things to do while fighting with Insurance
Fun things to do while fighting with Insurance



“You Just have to Laugh…..”

©2016 Cathy Sikorski

Well, I DID feel pretty……

The beauty of blogging about caregiving is you get to ‘visit’ with those you have loved and cared for and lost.

I was thinking about my Aussie Aunt Jean this morning (probably because I got yet another bill for her that I had already dealt with four or five times by now ) and wanted to just spend some time thinking about our time together.

You may recall “A girl should be two things: Classy and Fabulous” Coco Chanel http://wp.me/p3CPfo-3i. That was my Aunt Jean. So we were never at a loss to do some girly thing while she was visiting. Shopping was her hobby and she rarely came home empty handed. All her purses matched her shoes, and she was never afraid of sparkle and bling all the way up to 90 years old.

But like many elders, her ‘aches and pains’ became a focus for her as much as her pretty outfits.

“Can I wear that black and white zebra print blouse with these horrible Sketchers?”

“Jeannie, the adorable zebra print looks great on you. The rest of your outfit matches, and you have to wear the Sketchers because your fashion boots are not stable enough, especially with the walker.”

“How about if I change my shoes in the car before we go into the restaurant?”

We weren’t meeting anyone at the restaurant, we were just going out shopping and for lunch.

“No, I don’t want you to fall. You still have to use your walker.”

“Fine,” she said, but in a very disappointed accent.

Then the shingles arrived, and that plagued her every day. So to get her out of her  shingles funk, I decided we would go get our nails done. By the way, she always had her nails done, this was not a treat for her, like it was for me. It was a necessity.

“Let’s go get our nails done!”

“Okay,” she said and with pretty much enthusiasm.

Off we go to the nail salon. My manicurists are delightful women. They treat my Mom, my Aunt and my daughters with kindness and interest. There’s lots of conversation and commenting like: “Ooohhh, that ‘s a pretty color! “My, you look so nice today.” “Are you going somewhere special with this mani-pedi?” That last comment for me because they know I don’t take time for this for just any occasion.

So there we were being all girly-girly getting French manicures and pedis and just relaxing and having a good time.

Two days later, Aunt Jean is still really uncomfortable with those damn shingles and one of her fingers on her left hand starts to blow up like a balloon.

We go back to the emergency clinic that diagnosed her shingles a few weeks ago, thinking that somehow the shingles moved to her finger?

The female doctor lances it, and works on it pretty hard so that Aunt Jean is wincing and yelping every once in a while.

“Well, Jean, nice manicure.”

“Thank you,” she says with an air of sophistication.

“But I think you got an infected finger from that nice manicure.”

See, I try to do something that will distract from those shingles and end up right back at the doctor.

“You just have to Laugh……………”

Cathy Sikorski

Cleanliness is next to Godliness…..

 As of yesterday, I have officially showered with the following elders:

1. My Grandmother

2. My Mother-in-law

3. My Mother

4. My Aussie Aunt

And for several years, when I would go to take care of my brother-in-law, we would refer to him as “Naked L”. Because that was how it would be.



You just have to laugh…….

Cathy Sikorski