WHEN PORTLAND BABY BOOMER MATH ADDS UP FOR OTHERS IN NEED
It’ll happen sooner than later if it hasn’t already.
The phone rings. The familiar voice on the other end is stressed.
They need help. Not for themselves, but someone close.
Your mother or father, or close family friend, needs help.
The voice feels urgent.
Can you come right now, they ask?
You’re a thousand miles away. Two thousand.
You have you’re own situation and can’t go, but that’s not what you say.
Instead, you say you’ll call back after checking with your support system, your wife, husband, kids, the works.
Your spouse hears the news and the two of you sit down and work it out.
How bad is it, they ask?
Who’s on scene with them?
Are they helping?
As much as ever.
On a scale of 1 – 10, how urgent did the call sound?
Eight or nine.
On a scale of 1 – 10, how much are their kids doing?
I don’t know.
How much have they done in the past?
On a scale to ten, zero. They don’t know what to do.
This is the boomer phone call to expect, and you want to get it right.
If the need feels like a nine, you want the response of those on hand to reach nine. If there’s three boomer aged kids, and each moves the care-needle to three, problem solved.
That’s not happening very often. Or often enough.
Maybe your situation is too tight to leave, but you want to do something.
Start with this: identify friends and family closed to the call for help.
Who is the last person they talked to? Who is the most competent? Start a list with phone numbers.
Begin calling from the bottom of the list. Use this script:
“Hi Joe, I got a call about Harry and Sally. They don’t sound so good. Have you seen them lately? Could you give them a call and make a date to stop in? I know they’d be happy to see you.”
Make the call to everyone on the list until the phone lines hum. Those who are gravely ill but living at home without caregivers on site need a boost. Phone calls can do that.
Once you get the calls rolling and the dates set, follow up with your own call and ask how they’re doing.
Seniors understand the nature of making time; boomers are learning the importance.
Of all the medical advances and surgical fixes, no one has yet to create more time. There’s no measure of how much sick people cherish the time you spend on them either. They might act like they don’t want you there, or want your phone calls, or even your smallest effort.
But, they do.
Your job is to do the right thing and push forward. Your boomer outreach to others creates good will and hope. It starts the momentum of care that drags uncertainty and dread away. However many thousands of miles away, your call isn’t urgent or pleading. It’s the human element in your voice that penetrates agendas and circumstances for people who wonder what to do.
Time spent with those you care about multiplies on the calendar. There’s no scientific ratio, but five minutes spent on the phone, thirty minutes driving, and an hour or two of listening and talking can fill the afflicted’s heart with years of joy. Just knowing someone cares enough to mobilize a makeshift network boosts spirits upward.
Whether it’s your Mom, Dad, old neighbor, a coach, or teacher, your effort isn’t the work of a busy body horning in.
It’s the work of a busy heart giving love. Show what boomer love really is. Make the call.
You don’t have to mention boomerpdx. Call it your own idea. Like Billy Preston says, you gotta have something.