Elderly Parents ~ When The Roles Start To Reverse

elderly care

“Nothing in life is to be feared.  It is only to be understood.”  ~  Marie Curie

The last several years I have witnessed my friends caring for their aging parents.  What a hard transition!  Now it seems to be that time for me.   How do you know when to step in?  You want to be respectful of their wants and needs and of their freedom.  You see them struggle and you know you could make their lives easier.  Sometimes they don’t want to let you!

My Mom is the biggest martyr in the Universe, and she won’t let anyone help with my Dad.  I finally said the other day, “Ma!  It would be hard for someone in their 20’s or 30’s to take care of Dad.  You’re 73!  He’s taking years off your life.  Let us help you!”  I think that sunk in a little.

It’s all so weird.  I can see my Mom is terrified of my Dad dying and I can see he is getting scared too.  Neither one of them even talks about the fact that he is going to die soon.  I told my Mom that at least they could talk about it and they probably wouldn’t be so afraid.  She said no, they never do.

It’s so weird the way some couples stay together, even though they act like they hate each other.  They love each other, they hate each other.  They love to hate each other and they hate to love each other.  They wouldn’t have it any other way.  The ‘ol ball and chain.

Even though my Dad is a pain in the ass to my Mom, he’s her pain in the ass and she doesn’t want to loose him.  Here I am after 50 years, still trying to teach them to communicate.  Who’s the crazy one!?  😉

It must be so hard to slowly (or quickly) loose your freedom.  You loose your healthy body, you loose your license, you loose your dignity.  You pee your pants…  You loose your teeth, your eyesight, your hearing.  You loose a lot and you have a lot to loose.

One thing you gain is a lot of wisdom over the years.  I hope that we all remember that the elderly are wise.  They have had a lot of life experience and they have a lot of stories.  Listen some time, they have a lot to share and we should all value the aging population.  They need our love and our hugs and our respect.  We need to hear and learn from their stories, their lessons and understand their perspective.

Maybe people wouldn’t be so afraid of dying if they were always respected and valued in their communities and the lines of communication were more open.  Let’s all work on closing the generation gap.

“If we wish to grow old gracefully we must commence by being young cheerfully.”

~ Marie Corelli

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