Monday, July 23, 2007

Elder Care?

How do you care for people who want to be independent and take care of themselves? My father-in-law is here and because he hurt his leg on a run, he can’t drive well enough to be safe. So, he is stuck here with me. I know he is an independent and perfectly capable person, but when you are using crutches to get around, you may need a little help every once in a while.

He has been very good about accepting the help that is offered, and I have worked on not offering too quickly or too often and we are getting along fine.

It makes me wonder, how do you parent your parents? I think it is a slow transition, but it is a shock when you realize that is what you are doing. But to what extent are we parenting and where will it lead? Will we care for them in our home or will they go into nursing homes? Then it brings to mind the big question of what will Steve and I do as we age, will we expect our kids to parent us? Will we have a choice? I heard you should be nice to your kids, they pick out your nursing home.

So, no answers, just the questions for now. I am living in the joy that our families bring to us and focusing on doing what needs to be done with grace and love. And wine, or is that whine?


Backofpack said...

This is an excellent book that explores all the questions you posed - I highly recommend it:
Another Country: Navigating the Emotional Terrain of Our Elders by Mary Pipher. Eric and I both read it after his Mom passed away, and really wished we had read it before. No solutions offered, but a thourough and thoughtful discussion of the whole topic.

I remember very well when my mother-in-law came to recover after a severe illness. It was so hard to find that balance for a fiercely independent woman with short-term memory loss and fragile health.

Gather all your patience and love and use it well - by caring for him , you are helping and serving your husband and your children.

Ironayla said...

Your questions remind me of what Mark and Heidi have and are going through. Thankfully for now, Anne is managing life in her new place. Heidi has had to adjust her life to visit with Anne almost daily (plus, having Anne watch...err..babysit her dog helps).

I love your photo btw!! :)

LS said...

I think you should send him out on your lawn tractor to see if he is ready to drive.

Jenny, Maniac #401 said...

Lorri- Love the new photo! I have just recently had this concersation with my Dad. Since he and my uncle had to move my grandparents into a retirement home and get "sitters" for my grandmother. She required 24 hour care, but there were just no nursing homes nearby. Anyway, I think they did a great job of pre-planning with my grandparents and have already begun letteing thier wishes be know to my brothers and myself for whenever their time comes. Advance communication and planning to convey wishes for living the way you want(plus having saved the money to pay for it)! They have provided a great example for me to follow.

Amalia said...

Interesting to know.