Is it just me or does it seem like the last 20 years were all a blur? I know how I arrived at this point in my life but it seems like it’s been a few years verses two decades. I closed my eyes and opened them only to find that my mother is among the quarter-million Americans that are turning 65 every month. Every month! That is astounding. Fortunately, she only has a couple health issues that are manageable so she is able to function without assistance. Unfortunately, this is not the case for millions of other Americans that are her age. There are countless other senior status individuals that need support with daily living activities. In other words, they are in need of a “care giver”. They need someone who cares enough to ensure that they can still manage on a daily basis. For some, this means they must contact an agency that will send a personal caregiver to the home or go to a nursing home. Others have adult children that step in and care for them to the best of their ability.
Children of seniors who accept the responsibility of caring for their parents deserve a standing ovation. Not only are they carrying out their role in their own household, they are also playing a huge role in the life of the parent; almost becoming a puppet or a magician in an attempt to be all things to all people… except themselves. As a caregiver, it’s important to refill once you have emptied yourself. This can be accomplished by reading books, talking with someone for encouragement, deepening your spirituality or taking time each week to do something that you really enjoy. It’s totally acceptable to take the attention off everyone else and turn it towards yourself every now and then. Doing this will help keep you less stressed and more energized.
Caring for an aging parent can give you a sense of pride but it can also cause you to think about how things used to be when you were younger; when your parents were active and vibrant. Try not to dwell on what was but what is. Be grateful that you have an opportunity to care for your parent. Though it may cause you to completely change your established routines, it just serves as a reminder that change is constant. Although we may not be able to change our situation, we can learn how to deal with what life has dealt to us in a positive way.