A Few weeks ago, I responded to the post of another blogger who was writing about her experience dealing with her elderly mother in a Nursing/Assisted living Home. I responded with a comment about my own experience of growing old with my aged parents. that comment makes up the basis/foundation of this post...
Several years ago I sold my home in Holland, MI and moved two hours south to Coldwater Lake, MI to live with and care for my 2 "80 something" parents. We are at the very beginning of the process of decline...memory loss, physical limitations really restricting them for the first time, lot's more aches and pains as well as more and more medical issues, etc.
My father is 3 years older then my Mother is in decline overdrive, Mum I would say is in 3rd gear. But in both of their cases I find that I am shocked daily, befuddled & stunned by some new unusual behavior, attitude or reaction of these two people I have known and loved for over 50 years. They are changing so fast now that my ability to accept it is lagging seriously behind. How often I have wondered lately: "Who is this person in my Father's body?!"
But then something occurs and there they are...just like they always were. I know this is normal and it isn't going to stop until the day they or I move on from here. Really, deep down I am OK with that...I understand. Though it doesn't really matter if I do or don't understand and accept it because it is going to happen anyway.
All i can do is carry them through the present, making sure things are taken care of, that they are safe and the needs of the home are met. These are two of the hardest working people, I have ever met yet they no longer have the stamina or the inclination to keep things up the way they did just a few months (or years) ago!
But this is life....it is reality and it will happen one way or another...no matter if I like or accept it or not. It certainly makes more sense and is easier if I do.
What is weird is dealing with these people who I seemingly don't know anymore. And they are aging at different rates of speed...Father fast out-pacing my Mum. Who knows what that will ultimately mean but it is already a point of contention between the two. My father does not do enough stuff around the house anymore to satisfy my mom and dad feels nagged and picked on when she points this out. that is one of many examples.
So in addition to Son, Caretaker, Gardener, Lawn Maintenance, Driver, Handy man, etc I am also a Referee!>
Anyway...I ended my comment on the other blog by saying honestly and accurately that no matter what happens here...there is NO PLACE would rather Be then here with my beloved Mum & Pawp.