Saturday, December 4, 2010

Caregiver: Seeing Your Aging Parent The Way They Were

Caregiving is one of the most demanding roles anyone can undertake. If you are performing as a caregiver now or you know you will be in the near future, there are some techniques you may find useful. The one thing that always helped me when I was feeling stressed or became impatient was this:

Remember your aging parent the way they were.

Before they grew old, they were young. Before their bodies and perhaps their minds turned against them, they were healthy, vibrant and vital. Remember this.

So many of us look at the elderly and see just what's in front of them now. Well, how did they get like this? They lived a long life. They weren't born looking and acting like they are now.

Get out picture albums. Hopefully you have photos from when they were babies, toddlers and growing up. This puts things in perspective! Remember what it was like to be a teenager? They had those same feelings too. They fell in love. They married. They had and loved you. They struggled, laughed and cried.

And on the way, they grew old. We should be grateful. Look at the people who've lost their parents when they were young. That's grief! Our parents don't like what aging has done to their bodies. Imagine what it must feel like. Now they need help.

So when we are frustrated with some detail or feel like caregiving is taking it's toll, go off by yourself for some quiet time and reflect. Think about the person they were before you ever came along.

The way they were...