“ If Momma ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy!” There is a mountain of truth to that statement!
Many of our lives have been guided by trying to please our parents, moms in particular. This will be a major influence as we make decisions concerning their care as they age.
We love our parents and want the best for them.
We want to fix everything, make it all right like they did for us as children. They did not always know the right answers for us, and neither do we for them.
The fact is, aging and health issues cause unhappiness and stress on loved ones. This can play out as anger and resentment toward those closest to them; especially adult children who are simply trying to help.
Five things to consider when helping aging parents.
#1 Accept the situation as it is, not what you wish it were. Try to look objectively at current conditions and make choices accordingly. Is your loved one still capable of caring for themselves and their home? Can you make some needed adjustments to their home to make it a safe place for them to stay? Could you hire someone to stay nights with them?
#2 Include all of your family in the decision making process. What you decide will ultimately have an affect on your household. Will it mean more time away from home for you? Is it an option to open your home up to care for them? What will that involve? Will your family be supportive?
#3 Carefully consider the cost before moving them into your home. You need not feel guilty because your circumstances prevent you from caring for a loved one in your home. There are many legitimate reasons this option is not always the best for all concerned. You have your own health and your family to consider. You may be talking about a 24/7 change that could last years.
#4 Realize you cannot fill all their voids. Should a move from their home be required, you are not responsible for how your loved one will adjust to new surroundings. It is your responsibility to see to the best of your ability the care is adequate. However, happiness depends upon them.
#5 Find support for yourself and your family. This probably should be number one on the list; support is invaluable. As those who have walked the path before share their experiences, you will save yourself much heartache. You also will realize you are not the only one going through these tough times.
Each time I write an article such as this, I find myself missing Mother all the more. My choices were not always the best; they were the best I knew at the time. Caring for her those years was difficult, often heart-wrenching, tiring, and foremost, the most rewarding time of my life. I treasured each smile, kiss and hug from Mother during those years. It was a God-given honor to care for her, I praise God for that opportunity.
If you cannot hug your mother (or poppa) this year, find a momma to hug on; hugs never go out of style and all mommas need more than one; and so do we “kids”.
Hugs and blessings,
Please let me hear from you on this one; what have you found helpful? Perhaps you can encourage someone who is struggling with this issue. Check out my store; learn more about Mom and me in my book, MY MOTHER MY CHILD.