A friend described her life as a casserole, layers of delicious things with surprises through them. My life is more like a brownie studded with nuts. Sometimes you enjoy the crunch, other times you break a tooth.
Dealing with the elder generation is a bit like that. Most times, it can be very sweet and pleasant. Other times, you wind up suffering the complications of OPD. Old People's Disease. My cousin coined the phrase. For example, being called to run out and buy a pair of pinking shears because "they are a good price."
How does one cope? Sit yourself down, listen to me whine, add a few cheezes, and then we'll have a good laugh.