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What Are the Kids Thinking?

Excerpt from Daily Cures, Wisdom for Healthy Aging by Connie Mason Michaelis

Families go through the aging process together. Everyone is involved. There seems to be a role reversal at some point when the kids are caring for the parent. Adult children are observing subtle changes in their parents. The stories all have a familiar ring. “My mom is living alone, and she is fine most of the time, but she is unsteady, and I’m afraid she’ll fall.” “My dad is living by himself, and I think he lives on soup and crackers.” “My folks can’t drive anymore, and they are lonely and depressed.” “Mom forgets to take her medications, and it is affecting her health.” “Dad’s neighborhood is changing, and his new neighbors don’t check on him.”

Does any of this sound familiar? I feel like an expert in this area. Getting my own mother to embrace the idea of retirement living was a challenge. My sisters and I would convene by phone and plan our strategy. If you’ve read my stories, you know that mom was very strong-willed. We wanted to honor her independence and strength, but we were the ones that were losing sleep. Our motives were entirely pure. We had no plans to diminish her independence; we just wanted her to be safe. We did not want to worry anymore. When the move finally happened, it was such a relief knowing that she was safe in her apartment, could get three meals a day, that there were lots of people to visit with, and she had medical attention available if she needed it. When it was all said and done, she knew that it was the right move, and most of all, she knew it made her three daughters very happy. Moms like to make their kids happy!

"If your parents cared for you, care for them. Even if they didn't care for you, if you have the chance, care for them. What goes around comes back around!"

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