Assisting Aging Parents – Who, What, When, Where, How, Why?

I recently rushed down to Florida to help take care of, and maybe say goodbye to, a father who might be dying.  On one level, of course, we all of us are dying and might be doing it soon.   But the possibility of his end seemed to be not so philosophical, more, possibly, immediate.

My mother who is both staunchly independent and optimistic (especially when it comes to belief in her ability to get my dad through any setback) was anguished.  (Me too.)  Getting here sooner rather than later seemed imperative.

But the body is a funny organism.  Thankfully, my dad’s seems better right now; and the possibility of what might be, or not be, is again a little more remote.

Some family members, religious, attribute the improvement to prayer.  I’m glad enough of prayer, but also think some stern, but cheerful, cajoling (of my father, not the Almighty) may have had something to do with it.  Whatever – something has triggered a re-pivot of mind which allows the body to hang on again.

Typically, what complicates everything, aside from the worry and sadness, is practicality.  Helping aging parents feels, at times, like the reporting of a news story–full of who, what, where, when, how.  Who can/will help?  What can they do?  Where can I find them?  When will they come?  And then, most importantly, how will we get the sick person, and especially his wife, i.e. my mother, to accept such help?  (Why is it so difficult?)

The very qualities that may help long-term survivors survive make them nearly impossible to assist.   You find yourself arguing endlessly with that stubborn making-the-best-of-it-on-your-own endurance – a characteristic that you value in yourself and almost anyone else.    (And, truly, secretly, in them too.)    (Ssshhh…..)

Explore posts in the same categories: Stress, Vicissitudes of Life

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