They frequently forget their reading glasses. They doze off during the evening news. They look at their phones with narrowed eyes. By all means, my parents are getting more elderly, and that very thought haunts me at times. One day down the lane, two people who had been last pillars and foundation of my life would no longer be on this earth with me. This thought makes me feel lonesome. It is quite tough at times to witness our parents aging.
When this notion strikes your mind, it is innate about thinking these three things – “What life will be like without them?”, I am getting older, too, and in the clear case that our roles are starting to reverse. Even now, we don’t think of them as old, but the truth is we prefer to be in denial. As a child, we saw our parents as indomitable adults who always worked hard, protected us, and just took care of things. When I think of them, they seem to be frozen at the same age – energetic and young. But now I distinguish a white-haired mum who is fragile, and I see a gray-haired dad who walks at a toddler’s pace.
My parents nurtured me, gave me the courage to confront any unfamiliar situation I would come across. It is a peculiar thing to figure out when we’re in our mid-twenties, still trying, with varying degrees of success, to cruise into adulthood. We have to let-go of the role of being ‘the taken care of’ and moving into the caretaker role. There’s a sometimes – eye-opening moment of “I’m not the kid anymore” that relates to the cognizance that they’ll grow to be more dependent on us. It’s draining to fret about your parents’ well-being. I wish my parents could stay nimble in mind and never become physically or emotionally breakable. Since that’s not possible, we ought to keep certain things in mind.
What would life be without them:
Everyone worries about something happening to their loved ones. But in “God’s life cycle bond agreement,” there is no exception clause of “if our parents could be mortal.” Just like every other being on the earth, my parents won’t live forever. That sounds incredibly scary. We wouldn’t have our father around to counsel us. We wouldn’t get to learn new recipes from our mothers, and we wouldn’t get advice on what dress I should wear for a momentous occasion? OK, well, that I could do without, but you get what I mean. It’s disconcerting to imagine what life would be like without them. So whenever as long as they are with us, we have to honor and cherish every moment possible.
We are getting older, too:
As our parent’s age, so do we. The more grays we get, the more we wrinkles crop up around eyes, the more the skin looks dull and appears crepey, the more I apprehend that quickly time is going by. It is rightly said that – “Time and tide wait for none.” Also, I believe that “The older you get, the faster time goes.” We have to adapt to these changes in a positive way by keeping our aging parents and yourselves contended.
As parents age, they tend to need more support – both physically and emotionally. We once used to be crampy and complain about every silly thing, and now, it’s them who reach out to us because of their loneliness. Nurture, reassure, protect, and love them just like they did. It’s our turn to become a competent caregiver and a caretaker. Old age is called the second childhood. They return to infancy. Now we get to enjoy their childhood. We have to deal with various viewpoints of their lives, from health issues to making big decisions on where they should live next. Do not belittle their concerns. Help them find out some measures of peace and enjoyment in every day.
Assessing the Needs of our parents:
Try to always offer choices and get them involved in the decisions we make. We have to evaluate favorable their health and living conditions. Are they losing weight? Are they paying their bills? Is their vision falling? We have to also consider the pros and cons of them living alone or if they need assistance. Looking into all dimensions possible, we have to make productive and positive choices at the earliest.
We have to understand clearly understand their medical wishes. We must designate a health care representative who can make medical judgments on our parents’ behalf if they are unable to. As they get older, they often forget taking medicines and attending monthly health- checkups. So we can get up reminders for them and also know they are well being.
Loneliness is the biggest killer :
Feeling lonely is part and parcel of getting old. It’s shockingly easy to be left feeling alone and vulnerable. We get engaged with the corporate jobs that we don’t bother to be in touch with our parents. Just like they lend their shoulders when we are in grief, we also have to give them endless hours of undemanding compassion and not let them slide into isolation. We have to elevate their moods and stave off feelings of isolation and loneliness, just like they bought us chocolates during days when we were stubborn. We must be empathetic rather than being sympathetic. Brush of their fears. Now it is our turn to become their safety blanket!
We have to learn to prioritize things and relationships too. One should make it a priority to spend quality time with our parents. Our similes, our semantics, and our symbols all use our parents as our frame of reference. There shouldn’t be any proposition to define our parents. When we were kids, think about all those sleepless nights when they had difficult times to put us to bed at a decent hour. Now, we have to pamper them and make sure that we revert all those sacrifices they made for our bright future.
Change is hard for anyone. We shouldn’t let our feelings get in the way of progress, but we ought to be sensitive as this transition can take a toll on everyone. We need to put in efforts to express our love for them and make them feel appreciated.