Senior vs Teen
By CarePatrol of Chicagoland North
An Intergenerational Friendship
Many of us that work remotely these days make Panera and Starbucks our office. I’ve had some very productive meetings over a Starbucks Nitro Cold Brew or Panera Mediterranean Bowl. Last month, a chance encounter at a lunch meeting resulted in a very unlikely friendship.
I was meeting Sheldon to discuss his move to an assisted living community. He knew that he could no longer manage his large home, and he was struggling with his balance, cooking, food shopping, laundry and showering. Sheldon got up to refill his coffee, just as a teen came around the corner looking for a table. The senior was walking too slow, the teen was walking too fast, and the collision resulted in both of them dropping a big “F-bomb” that caused the entire restaurant to turn around! I wasn’t sure if the Korean war vet or the high school kid with the wrestling shirt would win the encounter that followed, but my offer to refill their drinks and buy dessert seemed to calm them down.
When I got back to the table, Sheldon was talking to the teen about how hard it was to get old and have to leave his house. The teen shared how hard it was to find a job that allowed him to help his mom during the day and save money for school at the same time. That’s how the friendship started. I suggested that the teen help Sheldon clean out his house and organize a garage sale. He could work at night and do the garage sale on a weekend. He could also rent a truck and help Sheldon move into the assisted living community. Once the house was clear, he could paint and work on the yard to get the house ready to sell. Sheldon loved the idea of “renting a son” and they did a hand shake deal at the table.
Soon after, I found out the kid with the ripped jeans and the senior with the walker, not only shared a sailor’s mouth, but also a great friendship. Sheldon tells me they have a lot in common. “We both fart a lot!” On the constructive side, the house is in order. Sheldon is on target for his move to an assisted living community, and the teen plans on visiting after he helps move him into his apartment.
The teen also gained a deeper respect for an older generation. He learned some valuable life lessons on what it means to age and struggle with things that are easy to take for granted at a young age. This new insight has started a conversation about becoming a PT or going to med school. The odd couple has blessed each other with their new friendship, and their relationship will be an example of something I try to replicate in other situations as I help seniors and their families navigate the senior living process.
Aging and finding appropriate care in today’s environment can be overwhelming. Your family may benefit from Eric Klein’s senior living expertise and access to assisted living, memory care and in-home care options.
If you need help finding care for a senior, you can reach Eric Klein, CSA, CPRS at CarePatrol via (847) 653-1213 or email@example.com.