It's a fact of Life...our Parents age. They get to the point where they cannot do certain tasks by themselves, and this is so frustrating, both on their part and also from your point-of-view, their grown-up child or children. Everyone just wants things to go back to "normal" (whatever that is.) Let's just FIX what's wrong, so we can get back to our own lives and jobs and homes and pets.
It's like this broken glass chime in the photo above, things are in such a tangled mess, it becomes almost impossible to fix. It takes TIME, something most of us don't have. And a lot of Patience. If your Parent is angry at their situation, you may find yourself on the receiving end of a lot of verbal abuse. No matter what you do, it is not good enough. The phrase " I don't know..." gets used a lot by your confused Parent. There are some painful decisions to make, and your Parent may have a different opinion on what should be done.
Not making a choice IS Making a Choice. I don't want to go into a Home. I want to stay here and live on my own. I am blind and cannot take care of myself. I don't want a stranger in my Home. The Home care workers are horrible to me. They are telling lies about me. And so it goes on. The situation becomes compounded when you do not live in the same City as your ageing Parent.
Then there are the Parent's possessions. Your Parent has lost their independence, and they may feel they have lost control of their Life. A lot of their possessions have sentimental value to them. You, the adult child, have to help them get rid of their unused stuff. You've tried numerous times, and have merely shuffled the mess from 1 spot to another spot. From the adult child's point-of-view, you may have driven 5 hours to get to your Parent's place, and you have a few hours to clean and get rid of unused stuff. And you start tossing out any broken, unused, not-needed anymore furniture, knick-knacks, linens, dishes, etc. Without asking your Parent.
Have any of you been here, and done that?
At night, another child is there helping the Parent, and Parent is frantically looking around for her favourite skirt, which is nowhere to be found. Probably got tossed into the pile for the Salvation Army. This little elephant ( a Baby gift for you when you were little), he got tossed out, so there you are, digging in the BFI bin, in the basement of your Parent's apartment, using her long grabber thingamajig. People passing by are looking at you a bit strangely. Sigh.....
Anger ...helplessness....frustration...losing control....losing Independence......feeling lost and alone.....
becoming like a child again.....the Parent is the child while the Child becomes the Parent...Helplessness.
Then you remember this saying from Robert Munsch, " ...as long as I'm living, my baby you'll be." And you wish it would all be easy, and that neither you (the adult child) or your Parent, would have to go down this long road ahead.
But after all, illness and Death are part of Life, and that's just the way it is. What are your experiences with parenting a Parent? What strategies have helped you along the way? Comment below, we would love to hear from you!
If you would like to send a Sympathy Tribute, call us at The Camellia, we deliver in Thunder Bay and surrounding area. The Camellia, 30, Hacquoil Rd. Slate River, On