Hello again friends!
If you are in the 60-70 year old category and are fortunate enough to have either or both parents still kickin’, you may relate to this. If not, maybe you can share your experiences with me in regards to what I am about to say.
My mom is 91 and for the last few years, it seems that the job of “parenting” has fallen on me and on my siblings! In other words, the children have now become the parents and vice-versa. Not necessarily due to mental issues, at least not in this case, but decision making and attempting to do what is best for them. Even though they might not know or realize it, it is a patience eroding challenge for us.
For instance, as mom lives with my sister, it has been the ongoing case of mom not following an eating regimen. By that I mean, breakfast, lunch and dinner. Her philosophy in life now is…”I’ll eat when I’m hungry and sleep when I’m sleepy!”. (Feasting on a bag of marshmallows at 5:00 pm isn’t really helping the cause.) This, of course, really aggravates my sister as she attempts to keep mom well fed and healthy. Another major point is hearing or better yet, the lack thereof. You try not to raise your voice so that she can hear you but, she may take it personally that you are yelling at her! Now mind you, she does have a hearing aid…just one but, that will have to do as she emphatically does not want another one. “I can hear you, I just don’t understand you!” That’s enough to start another “tantrum” of “well, you didn’t tell me…”.
As one can expect, at the age of 91, heath is a major issue and attempting to get a reasonable explanation of what the symptoms they are experiencing when not feeling well, is a feat in itself. At the doctor’s office, what she may tell the doctor might be totally different or incomplete of what she might have told the sibling accompanying her. Guess who has to set things straight? You got it! The good doctor just smiles and nods as his/her job just got tougher.
All in all, mom is tremendously well for her age. No real problems, just the ones that I can expect to have if I ever reach her age. My siblings and I are very fortunate to still have her with us, cooking our favorite recipes that she hasn’t written down anywhere to leave behind and being so kind and lovable to her grandkids and great-grand kids. Note: I tell my granddaughters…” see that lovable old lady over there? She was really a mean mom when I was your age!” They just laugh at me! Little do they know!
So, we go on…trying to make her life as comfortable as we can and as much as she will let us. We thank the Good Lord for her now and will later on.
If you are in this situation, take comfort in knowing that you are not alone. There are many, many others out there in your shoes with much bigger problems that those mentioned. Just stop and think…each generation is living longer than the previous one. How old will you be before your kids will be “parenting” you? Food for thought.
Thanks for your readership and please spread the word.
Till next time, see you at The Over 50 Corner!