Wednesday, November 16, 2011

It sounds so simple ...

How many times has someone told me they just moved their parent into an assisted living home or a nursing home?  Stated matter-of-factly, without pouring out their whole story.  How many times did I basically ignore their statement and continue with my own concerns?

 

Not everyone shares openly about the decision or the process, but I'm learning that there has to have been a story.  Even if their parent was in full agreement with the move, or unable to protest the move, there is still a story.  Even if every sibling agreed on every detail along the way, there is still a story.  Even if there is only one choice for where to place their parent, there is still a story.  A story filled with strong emotions, indecision, confusion, difficult discussions, overwhelming fatigue, regrets, and stress.

 

I will never again hear those words, and glibly say "I'm sorry" and move on in the conversation.  I will stop, look them in the eye, ask how it went and let them know I care about them and the struggle they've faced.  And since the struggle rarely ends once their parent is moved, I'll continue to ask how it's going.  I just never knew all that was wrapped up in that sentence.
April E.

2 comments:

  1. I can defnitely identify with your posts. My mother is in the last stages now - unable to talk, feed herself, etc. Your mother might not need it yet, but for the last couple of years, we've gotten a lot of help from the Area Agency on Aging (20 hours a week of help) and hospice (baths, nurse visits, etc.) You'll be in my prayers.
    Janet

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  2. We bought our house because of our dear friend's story. He had to sell his mother's house that he had lived in for more than 30 years, taking care of her--the same house he lived in as a young teen. It was heartbreaking. The only way they could afford a nicer nursing home was to sell. He couldn't afford what even an economy was going for. So, after putting off buying a house for years, we took the leap. We bought their house as is and rented our two bedroom townhome to him at cost.

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