Baby Boomer or "Ka-Boomers?"
Revue Empowers Caregiving Daughters Under Stress in "DaughterWise Revue: Volume 1"
by Randy Peyser
Rachel Bagby, formerly a member of famed singer Bobby McFerrin's "Voicestra," shares the ins and outs of eldercare, bringing heightened awareness, compassion, humor and wisdom through her music to support Baby Boomers facing the challenges of caregiving.
According to USA Today, within the next 30 years, we will face a crisis in eldercare as the amount of aging parents needing care will increase to over 100%, while the number of offspring available to provide such care will decrease significantly.
A recent study by the National Alliance for Caregiving (NAC) and AARP found that the typical caregiver is a 46-year-old Baby Boomer woman with some college education who works and spends more than 20 hours per week caring for her mother who lives nearby. With increasing career and geographic mobility, how will a new generation of daughterly Baby Boomers care for their elderly parents, while juggling the demands of their lives, balancing their careers, and managing their own aging process… without becoming Baby "Ka-Boomers" and self-combusting?
Rachel Bagby, creator of "DaughterWise Revue: Volume I," the first in a series of seriously funny shows about caring for one's aging parents, says that what is needed are not only better resources for caregivers, but new systems that will enhance the quality of care for those, who like her father, are not in a position to advocate for themselves.
Bagby - a graduate of Stanford Law School, who advocates for her father as she runs back and forth between nursing homes and hospitals, while rearranging the many appointments in her day planner each time a new crisis emerges - believes that if these systems for self-care and elder care are not put in place, the Baby Boomer Generation, in all likelihood, will overwhelmingly become the "Ka-Boomer" Generation, with more caregiving daughters finding themselves without resources and support to successfully manage the care of their elderly loved ones, as well as their own elder care.
A former emergency room administrator who has performed marathon jaunts as a long-distance caregiver for both parents, Bagby observes that "the standards in nursing homes and other eldercare facilities for how long an aging person can be allowed to stay in pain are totally unacceptable." For example, as an orderly called for a nurse's assistance to help manage her father's excruciating pain, the overworked employee said, "I'll be right there," then dashed off to help someone else, completely ignoring her father.
As a "daughterless daughter," Bagby contemplates her elder years, stating, "Who will have the authority and the empathy to say, 'This pain is not acceptable?' Who will advocate for me, and for all of the childless men and women of my generation?"
Bagby's "DaughterWise Revue: Volume I" encourages individual daughters to share their collective wisdom about creating a better system for themselves and for their now aging parents. For example, in an attempt to waylay the constant stresses and demands of being a caregiver, and to create healthier ways of interacting with healthcare professionals and the eldercare system in general, Bagby advocates "bringing one's own beauty" to the nursing home or hospital setting.
"Bring an essential oil, a favorite shawl that can double as a blanket, or the sound of humming," advises Bagby, who often hums as she requests help from an overworked nursing staff. "Music speaks to everybody. People draw near to that, and it brings a sense of comfort and calming," she says.
In "DaughterWise Revue: Volume I," Bagby, who is a former member of famed singer Bobby McFerrin's "Voicestra," shares the journey through the ins and outs of eldercare, bringing heightened awareness, compassion, and wisdom through her music to support those who are facing the challenges of "caring and carrying on."
The interactive performance, which includes vital tips for improving hospital stays, also offers up hilarious product ratings, (including a spoof about the Adult Diaper industry), as well as the DaughterWise Guides™ for receiving the kind of care every caregiving daughter needs in order to sustain herself.
"DaughterWise Revue: Volume I" premieres in Philadelphia at the White Dog Cafe on Monday, April 3rd, 2006 at 7:30pm and will be professionally filmed and released as a DVD in spring of 2006. For more information and to reserve your seat, visit: www.whitedog.com.
Rachel Bagby, JD invites daughters across the country to enter into the conversation by answering the following question: "As a baby boomer daughter, what is your single most important question about easing the pain of caring for your aging parent(s)?"
All daughters who post their questions at: www.AskDaughterWise.com/revue will receive a complimentary VIP code to attend "Easing Your Eldercare" a DaughterWise teleseminar about Baby Boomer daughters' top 10 eldercare questions.
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