They’ve raised us.
They grow old.
It’s a question we all will ask ourselves one day. Whether you grew up an only child or the middle child. Unless God takes them early, you will have to someday take responsibility for your aging parents. With long term illnesses like Alzheimer’s, Dementia, COPD, Etc; the responsibilities increase. The question remains: are you legally responsible for your parent when he/she gets old? (Leave your answers on the comment box).
My thoughts on that is that you are. You owe your parent the same commitment they gave while raising you. Whether you had an abusive parent, one that spoiled you rotten, or sometimes absent. They did what they knew to do. They projected unto you what had influenced them as you might do to your own child. Learn the art of forgiveness and help create meaning to your aging parent’s life.
Now you might ask, well, how much of a responsibility you’re talking about? The details are almost irrelevant. If your parents planned their elder years financially and ahead of time, for you moving forward will be easier to handle. If they created a living will or another legal documents regarding the delegation of their care, again, you’re lucky. If not, just do your best to keep a smile on their faces everyday till the very end. It will be hard to deal with but don’t worry as you navigate through it things will get easier Keep reading this blog for more tips and encouragements weekly. You will learn many lessons that you did not know you still had to learn in life. You will learn the different stages of grieving as you see the changes begin to happen. Don’t get discourage. Just try your best daily.
Back to how much of a responsibility you have towards your aging parents… Here’s a vey basic list.
- Regular visits
- Communicate with other family members/siblings
- Quality of life
- Affordable care (in many states the children are financially responsible)
This post is not intended to persuade you to forget about yourself and take care of your aging parents solely. No. You also as an individual have needs and should be very realistic about them. Share with your siblings the responsibilities and communicate openly with them. If you’re in it alone, hire a care giver / sitter, part-time or full-time. That can help you to create more time to relax and rebuild. There are Adult Day Cares and Home Care Service companies out in the community where you stay that can help you out. Be sure to keep in mind that you are still important and valuable.