Today’s show is going to be a little bit different. In the past I’ve always interviewed some kind of expert, and that’s been great. We learn a lot from experts. But today, we’re going to right down to where the rubber meets the road and talk with a man who walked the caregiving talk. Dale Gyöngyös left his home in North Carolina and travelled cross-country to Arizona, where he and his brother cared for their 95 year old mother until her passing.
Now I want to quote something one of Dale’s friends wrote me when she heard this show was coming. She said:
As caregivers, we are lost so many times and we struggle. One hears about dealing with aging parents, but experiencing it. So hard. Thank you for choosing Dale. The perfect person with the perfect heart to share his story in an articulate, compassionate and honest way.
That’s the story you will hear in this show. Because Dale and I are good friends, like brothers even, our conversation is about as intimate as it gets. You are invited to listen in as I talk with with the amazing Dale Gyöngyös.
What you will learn:
- Why Dale left his home and family in North Carolina to spend a year and half in the Arizona desert
- Dale Gyöngyös: “Home care for the elderly can be very challenging, and if you don’t keep life in balance, along that route, it can tap you out.”
- About our mutual friend, modern artist Dan Campbell
- About jockeying cars for Dan and and the earthquake that cracked the Washington Monument
- Dale’s background as a stained glass artist and photographer
- How Dale did not fully grasp the gravity of his mom’s mental state (dementia) and lack of mobility
- How Dale felt about not being recognized by his mom.
- About the first great uncertainty of becoming a caregiver.
- How Dale confirmed there is a correlation between food, water, and the thinking process.
- The tricky dynamic of dealing with his older brother, who was living with their mother
- How caregiving got easier as the trust built, and as she came to know that Dale was acting in her best interests
- The plight of the boomer generation: There just aren’t enough caregivers to do the job, and how those who do the job well have a rare skill.
- How the revolving door of caregivers created problems.
- The general lack of privacy with three people in the house, and how Dale handled his mother’s nakedness
- The destructive cycle of his mom’s not wanting to drink so that she won’t need to pee, and the resulting urinary track infections
- How Dale learned to make as many moments in the day as beautiful as they could be
- How Dale dealt with his mom’s death
I want to take a moment to talk about what it means to be a gentleman. We men are getting a lot of confusing messages nowadays. We see powerful, rich men behaving badly and we think, “Maybe that’s what it takes to get ahead.” But I urge you, my brothers, to consider an alternative male role model. By worldly measures, Dale is not rich. He lays tile and works part time at Lowes. By worldly measures, he is not powerful. He is truly humble and only agreed to this interview because he believes it will help. But Dale has proved himself to be one of the richest, most powerful people I know. He is man of integrity, of honor, and of love. Dale is a true gentleman, and I can see why he is beloved by so many, including me.
Dale briefly mentioned that he is a photographer, and I’m happy to tell you that he’s put together a collection of his favorite pictures just for Dance Past Sunset listeners. Use the link below to download the collection, plus sign up for my newsletter, which I send out a few times a year to announce new shows and programs I think are helpful to caregivers. Dale’s photos are gorgeous, so you’re going to want to check them out for sure.
Coming up next time on Dance Past Sunset is the story of a boomer who took an unusual route to his sunset years by moving outside the US, where he and his wife work and live a high quality life for a fraction of the cost of living in the US. The show is loaded with good information about international living, so you won’t want to miss my next show. Until then my muchachos and muchachettes, make the most of every moment cuz it’s its the only moment you’ve got.
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