19 Aug 2015
As we get older, so do our parents. Parents are living longer, this is a good thing, it can also be an extra burden and level of stress. For me, both my parents are in their mid 80’s, I thank God everyday they are healthy and still able to get around on their own and still have their independents. Even so, I have had my challenges.
My dad is very very hard of hearing, and is in total denial about it. It isn’t him, it is the TV manufactures, they don’t put good speakers in the TVs anymore. It isn’t his fault he can’t hear me, it is mine, he says I mumble. He starts talking when others are talking because he can’t hear that there is already a conversation going on. I know it must be very frustrating for him, I can see the look of confusion on his face at times and at other times just a long off stare. On top of that my dad has really slowed down, I joke that I could stand still and still walk faster than him.
My mom is hard of hearing but still is able to hear and carry on conversations, she is older than my dad, but gets around much easier and quicker, she is up on the news and aware of her surroundings. She does however, get focused on one thing and then just doesn’t let it go. Her blood pressure medication got changed and she worried and worried as to why. She went in and talked to the doctor about it and still week later she is bring up the fact the he changed her medication and she doesn’t know why. I have to admit, I did snip a bit at her yesterday when she brought it up again and I said “Mom, I thought we handled this weeks ago”, she looked at me and then stopped talking about it. She just doesn’t have enough to do so she worries about the same thing over and over.
Even as blessed as I am with as good as they are, I still chose to make a major life decision and sell my house to move closer to them, I am now within walking distance to their house. It was a major decision, but it was a decision that had to be made. There have been times when my mom has fallen in her house and I was able to be there within a couple of minutes. Things like this will start to happen more and more as the years move on, and I am glad I am close to them.
There is also financial support, they are able to meet their basic living expenses, but major issue like home and vehicle repairs tend to fall on me. Last year their car got to the point it was no longer worth fixing, and I purchased them a new used car. It is just part of being a responsible daughter and by ensuring that I have planned my life properly, I am able to take care of them. Many adult children now days have moved back in with their parents and are expecting their parents to still take care of them, due to a job loss or whatever. What happens when the parents can no longer take care of their adult children, or the grand children?
Part of being self-reliant and a person who prepares is not just about taking care of yourself, your kids and maybe even your husband, it is about taking care of your parents as well. Planning and preparing for your own self-reliance puts you in a position to ensure you are able to help others, those you love, maybe even close friends. Let’s face it, there are some that just can’t take care of themselves, or are all alone, who are they to turn to for help? No one can take care of a loved one as good as family, no one! I love my parents so much that I want to make sure I am there for them, I owe that to them not to mention that I believe in respecting your elders and as the fifth commandment states, honoring them. As a child I honored them by obeying them, as an adult, I honor them by being there for them and taking care of them as needed.
Some of you have it much harder, your parents are ill, that makes taking care of them much harder, especially when you have a full time job, take care of your kinds, house and everything else. It is hard, but, God said he would never put us through anything more than we could handle Corinthians 10:13
Consider as you get your own house in order, are you ready and preparing for your parents as well. Plan for them both medically, physically, and emotionally, there is a great book on this, “How to Care for Aging Parents” that is full of helpful tips.
Planning for the plan to fail
Part of planning is planning for the plan to fail. When I graduated college, I knew I wanted to be successful, work, make good money, save and retire. I knew I didn’t want kids, and didn’t have kids. What I didn’t plan for was having to take care of parents. Now I am playing catch up. I can take care of them financially, and moved to be closer to them, but now I need to prepare for a time in the next few years, or maybe months for a time when I have to have them move under my roof. The key here is that I am planning and preparing for it.
The fact that I am planning, even if the plan and time lines aren’t what I am expecting, I at least am planning, and being aware of what may come. That is all about what this site is about, planning for all things in life that may happen. Taking care of my elderly parents is a part of that plan.
Think about your life and the things you are planning for. You may have money saved up, food saved, and extra piece of property, all for a major disaster. What about the disaster on a smaller scale….taking care of elderly parents and family.