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International Women's Day

Each year, on March 8, we celebrate International Women’s Day (IWD). International Women's Day was celebrated for the first time by the United Nations in 1975. This Global Day of Recognition celebrates the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. Significant activity is witnessed worldwide as groups come together to celebrate women's achievements or rally for women's equality. However, there is one thing on the horizon that can impede a woman’s advancement of her dream of a successful career and a financially stable lifestyle. It’s a loving thing. She puts her life on hold in order to take care of a parent with extended or long-term care needs. As we see in our story about the Jones Family, due to the pandemic, the family has not gotten together for some time. They decide to do zoom birthday celebration for Grandma Carolyn. The family is shocked to see how unstable Grandma has become and how much aid Grandpa James must offer her. Like most families, the Jones don’t discuss the grandparents growing care needs. It’s a difficult topic. But for Jodi, the consequences that ensue are gradually derailing her career goals, her health, her financial plans and her wellbeing.


Grandma Carolyn’s daughter, Jodi, is especially dismayed

by what she saw. Over the last year, she has gradually

taken on more and more caregiver duties, such as

shopping, preparing meals, driving them to appointments

that involve heavily trafficked or high-speed roads, speaking

with doctors about treatments, running errands, doing

laundry, and changing bed linens. It’s been a gradual

process. As a result, she doesn’t really even associate all

that she is doing with caregiving. Her father, James,

always offers to help, but with his pacemaker and family

history of heart failure, Jodi typically politely refuses.


Jodi’s husband and two children see how each new responsibility

takes its toll on Jodi. Sleep deprivation, unhealthy

eating habits, and lack of exercise are just a

few of the signs of her stress and overburdened schedule.

After the birthday party, they fear that things are getting

worse. Jodi’s daughter, Nicole, even suspects that

there also has been financial effects that her mom hasn’t

mentioned. She and her brother, Erik, talk and decide

to take action before things get worse. Erik texts his sister

a link to an article to use as a jumping off point for a

conversation about planning for long-term care. They call

their dad, Jackson, for advice. He explains that the topic

is sort of taboo, but he offers to approach Jodi to start a

conversation.

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