This is the day you thought would never happen. Your roles in life are reversing. You’re trying to make decisions for yourself and for your ageing parents as well.
Actually, they are the ones who brought you up and made you able to make decisions. Irrespective of being a son or a daughter, it is responsibility of both to think and decide what will be best for the ageing parents.
Be assured that doing good to your parents is not going to alter your life in any way.
The usual concern with most of us is that how do we keep up the pace and ultimately please everyone around us? Each one of us is not alone in life, we have a family, children, a career to think about. One wants to balance everything to keep everyone happy and life as normal as possible.
Just ponder, is it a herculean task to live with the ones who bought you up? Think again, is it a big deal to talk to your parents with love and compassion?
Taking care of the health needs of your ageing parents, giving them medicines and expressing your concern towards them; how much does it cost for you? Those once a day small interactions or a passionate visit or concerning phone calls, with your parents, in no way are going to affect your life. Your parents need just simple care, the real kind.
Make them feel important. While “balancing life”, why are parents usually ignored and are at the receiving end. Why such an imbalance? This attitude of ours gives them the sense of worthlessness.
We are duty bound to take care of our parents which includes making sure they eat, that they take their medicines, and that their money isn’t being misused. Don’t make care look like a burden. If your siblings are not doing their part or are not ready to help, you do your part.
We need to understand that it should not be about “me and my family”. It needs to be equally about your family and your parents. What I mean by that statement is that parents are an integral part of being and living. They are an elderly people in need of constant care and attention.
Start with just interacting with them. Knowing about their illnesses and medicines and their likes and dislikes. Help them with showering, dressing, meals and medicines.
Their health may need more than that. The best word to learn to care about your parents is the same as if your infant child is being cared for and that is not just for a comparison, it is the truth.
Spend quality time instead of stress time. Have them over for a day and dinner instead of needing to pawn them off on someone else. When they are older the best thing you can give them is you. The same way when they gave themselves to you in your childhood. Role reversal.
(Dr. Zubair is a Sr. Geriatric Consultant)
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are the personal opinions of the author.
The facts, analysis, assumptions and perspective appearing in the article do not reflect the views of GK .