Care For My Aging Parents
Both of my parents are no longer living, and I clearly remember the challenges met by my family. This is the best short answer I have to one of life’s more difficult questions.
It is common to have uncertainty as our parents come to the end of their lives. All of us will eventually feel the hardship of making the right decisions while we are supporting them. Life may feel paralyzed as you face anger and confusion from everyone involved. Some people may not have the money they need to have assistance. They then find themselves handling many difficult situations alone.
All I know is (no matter what the circumstances are) that this life event, though painful and hard, can always have a beautiful resolution. Hostility is usually the reflection of fear. There are many questions. Your parent may not know where they will live, they may not have many friends living or may not want to be a burden in your life.
When you want to have the most comfortable arrangement possible, calming their fears may be the first step. Try to find out exactly what they are scared of and listen to how they are feeling. Then come up with practical options to help them. If they feel disconnected from their peers, look for groups where people their age are meeting, like churches, libraries, and neighborhood gatherings. If they think they are a burden to your life, then show them all the fun that can be had in your times together. You can play games, get excited about a great new TV show or book. Ask them questions! Let them tell you stories of their past, when they were a newlywed or when they were children. You never know what you might learn about them. If your relationship growing up was healthy, try to remember how much patience they had for you when you were exploring and growing as a child. And then tell them something you remember about how it felt growing up in their care. (Maybe you have never told them before.)
Remember that your ENERGY will influence theirs. They may find inner peace and courage because of the love you show them. Most important: this is a complicated time, to say the least. The stress and grief can be wearisome to even the strongest of relationships. Remember to take care of yourself, see your friends and eat healthily. Because the truth is, every stage of life has a beautiful purpose. One that brings to completion the purpose of our lives and our relationships on earth. Try not to let either of your fears cause you to miss the lasting moments that will bring you closer to each other and God.
A beautiful letter I found, See: A Letter From a Mother to Her Daughter
To learn more, listen to the CV Podcast: The Big Picture – Grief