As a child our parents control all elements of our health and well-being. Later, as we reach maturity, we’re seen as autonomous equals. Time marches on, our parents health and well-being becomes jeopardized, causing us to assume responsibility on their behalf.
When I was six years old my parents were in their late twenties. They provided me with everything I needed to be flourish, giving me a solid foundation to become a successful adult:
- Health & Dental Care
- Social Interaction; Attending Birthdays & Family Gatherings
Through my adolescence I was given more responsibility while my parents continued to provide full care….even when my choices were not so sound. They offered me choices which were easy for a small child to navigate. As I grew the choices they offered me expanded. The more I proved my ability to make sound decisions, the more freedom they allowed me.
Now, decades later, I’m the one who is put in the position of assessing my parents abilities to make sound decisions. Our roles have reversed, I’m the one who is requiring my parents to include me in their decision making:
- Housing; Selling the family home & finding the perfect retirement community
- Food; Monitoring their cupboards & refrigerator, making sure they have proper nutrition
- Health Care; Coordinated phone calls to doctors & care providers, transportation arranged
- Education; Attending seminars on senior issues, caregiver respite & eldercare
- Social Interaction; Sunday church services, daycare activities, family gatherings, holidays & birthdays
Lucky for me life’s transitions are unfolding slowing, giving me the opportunity to appreciate the experience and savor the remaining time I have with my parents.
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