Am I Making the Right Choices for my Elderly Folks?

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My parents have always been so independent and able to make their own decisions until the past few years. Slowly, they began to depend on me and now want me to take care of very big decisions. Scary!

I’ve had a lot on my agenda these days. When I’m not trying to take care of fires in my own life and my parents’, I’m second guessing myself on every decision I make. Right now we’re waiting on hospice to send out an evaluator for my daddy. He’s down to about 95 pounds soaking wet and what’s more troubling is he is depressed. He hates being useless and having to depend on Mama to help him with everything. He’s quit walking and almost quit eating. He sleeps most of the time.

Elderly Parents Need Help, and Their Children Do Too

I try to make it over to see my parents once a day. I take them meals and groceries. I chat and ask Mama if there’s anything I can do. I’m going to quit asking and just go over and do what I can. Mama always says, “Oh, no. I’ve got it.” She seems to think she has to do it all but last week she gave in and said she knows now she does need help.

This is a time in my life when I really wish I had a sibling. I think I’d even settle for a really pain-in-the-neck sibling. At least our fights would be a distraction from it all and I’d have someone who knows exactly what I’m going through. Okay, the pity party’s over with.

My grown children are now coming over more often to see my daddy and that makes him very happy — as long as they don’t stay too long. He gets tired so easily.

Remembering Good Times

I find myself looking back on all the great times I’ve had with my parents more and more. I think about all the things my daddy has taught me — how to change a flat tire, how to build a fence, how to pour concrete and do carpentry work. He never shooed me away and I loved being his “go-fer.”

He also is looking back more. He asks me, “Do you remember when?’ quite often now. He’s told me stories lately about his childhood that I’ve never heard before; like his first job, a trip his family took from Oklahoma to California when he was a teenager. I love these stories.

I know what’s coming for me is not going to be easy. That’s okay. As long as I can make it as good as I can for my parents. I know I’ll make mistakes — that’s a given. But if I can manage to keep a good attitude and always consider their wishes, it will be okay. We’ll get through like we always have — as a family.

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