When an elder person in your life begins to decline there are many many issues to be dealt with and decisions to be made. If you're lucky, this can be done gradually so that both you and the elder have time to adjust to the role changes.
With my friend, MA, the changes have come on quite suddenly and neither one of us had time to to prepare. All of a sudden, this meticulous housekeeper has papers strewn all over her den, dust covers the furniture, dishes sit in the sink. When before MA retained pertinent details for not just days, but years, now she is confused about what day it is, what and when her appointments are.
This is the beginning of a descent. I have been here before - with my father, with my mother-in-law, and with my friend's mother. So, we begin the process together. First, I must ask her if she wants me to take on this role of caregiver? Does she trust me with helping her make decisions and changes? The answer is yes.
Next, we must gather information. How much money is there. Is there enough for her needs and for her disabled daughter's needs? If not, what do we do?
Can MA stay living independently? Is she safe? Is she taking proper care of herself, i.e. taking medications appropriately? If not, where will she go? Or will we get help coming in?
All of my friends have seen me in this role with the above-mentioned people. They all want me as their advocate when they get to this stage. It's a nice compliment. I can honestly say I am a gift when it comes to this particular issue.
My lesson in all of this. I am trying to use these experiences to help me understand what is going to happen to me--to all of us, actually--when we get to be elders. And I am hoping this experience will help me accept it more gracefully so that I don't resist the changes too darn much.
Thank you all for the kind wishes as I take on this additional role at this point in my life.
Insecure Writers Support Group
Welcome to Following the Whispers blog
Thank you so much for taking the time to visit. Hope you enjoy your stay. I blog here on Monday and Tuesday. This blog was created at the time my memoir came out, in February, 2009. Its motto was: creating a life of inner peace and self-acceptance from the depths of despair.
"ONLY ONE THING IS MORE FRIGHTENING THAN SPEAKING YOUR TRUTH, AND THAT IS NOT SPEAKING IT." Naomi Wolf
"We are called human beings, not human doings."
Wes Nisker, Buddhist teacher
"The way to do is to be."