It’s an emotional experience when taking care of an elderly parent especially if you are the only family member who lives nearby and the responsibility lies on you.
I have visited my mother many times before but this time was different. She wasn’t as sharp and strong as in my previous visits. My mother is a fighter, and she’s strong willed and doesn’t give up easily. I’m grateful I’ve inherited many of her positive characteristics.
As I started helping her with things around her condominium, it dawned on me that my mother was actually helping me with my life lessons. The first and most important lesson being patience.
If you haven’t experienced caring for an elderly parent, I hope my life lessons will serve as a guide to help you if and when you need them. If you have already been blessed with caring for an elderly parent, then perhaps you can relate to the following lessons:
- Have patience
- Show love, compassion and respect
- Be flexible and adaptable
- Be a good listener
- Have a sense of humor
Besides the above five lessons, I believe it’s very important to become familiar with the aging process. We should research and understand what our aging parents are going through especially if they have certain diseases, disabilities, etc.
Another issue that elderly parents deal with is seeing their friends pass away. They begin wondering when their time will come.
Getting to the beach to watch the sunset was an important outing to do. It’s amazing how much the sun’s golden rays can energize the body, mind and spirit. We leave the beach feeling renewed and rejuvenated. My hope is that we can share many more sunsets together.
Each of us will deal with our elderly parent situations differently. Even siblings will have differences. I prefer to follow what my mother asks me to do and leave the rest to my sister who is a nurse and to my sister who lives nearby. I try to give my mother as much comfort as she needs, after all, isn’t that what she did for me when I was growing up and needed help? She deserves all the love, respect and dignity that her loved ones can give her.
Best of all, I feel blessed and honored to have had the opportunity to give back to my mother.