Our parents nurtured us when we were young, taking care of our needs, making choices on our behalf. They made sure we were safe, secure, healthy and most of all loved.
There’s an old adage, ‘Chose your parents well’, and I certainly did! I have been blessed in every way with an idyllic life and exceptional parents. My mother and father shared the same ideals, goals and priorities about raising their four high-spirited children. Priorities which included our health and education. Mom and Dad saw eye to eye on these, and most things. In order to make sure our needs, and a few of our ‘wants’ were met, they routinely sacrificed their own pleasure and desires to see that we were taken care of.
I’m happy to report that my parents are today, for the most part, happy and healthy. They’ve both become octogenarians. Mom is still driving; Dad has Parkinson’s and the ubiquitous ‘prostate problems’ that so many men seem to suffer with. All in all, for their age, their doing fabulously well. Both are facing the combined sense of loss, mixed with a tinge of guilty relief, at moving out of the family home of forty years. They’d like to stay living independently, but they realize it’s just becoming ‘too much’.
Besides the move, there are other changes happening. Changes which are causing a role reversal child to parent. Caregiver to recipient. My parents also morn the loss of the activities which they can no longer participate in, as well as their physical decline limiting their freedoms. Still, they come from a place of gratitude. Thankful for each day that finds them healthy and autonomous.
A few weeks ago my Mother surprised us kids by saying she NEEDS our input on decision making. She WANTS us to make decisions for her and my father. My sister had an especially difficult time with this concept. She stated that bossing her mother around did not come naturally. She wasn’t sure she was up to the task!
Me on the other hand, while ‘bossing’ my parents around does not come naturally, my intuition and observation has shed clues that ‘directing’ my parents, giving them an ‘either/or’ choice, has helped them make decisions.
For me, I’m aware that the time for healthy parent/child role reversal has arrived. Join me here at Eldercare And You, where I share my personal experiences on this profound end of life journey. Complete with all the twists and turns, joys and sorrows, experienced while caring for my elderly loved ones.
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