Caring for Aging Parents

Buddha taught that life is a cycle of birth, aging, sickness, and death.  Many of us are at a point in our lives where we are becoming aware of the aging of our parents.   and I have reached that point.  As we live further apart and don’t see each other as often, each visit makes the signs of aging a bit more noticeable.  Many of us watch our parents help their own parents in their twilight years and wonder how easy or difficult that process will be when we (and our parents) have reached those respective ages.

While my parents are both in their sixties, very active and in good health, and I’m in my early late thirties (to paraphrase Hedwig), I have reached a point where I’m becoming more aware of their aging and wondering for myself what that journey together will be like.  Will I move back to the United States to care for them?  What challenges and illnesses will they face?  And how will we make that journey together in a caring and graveful manner?

The thoughts that led to this post were prompted while I was listing to an interesting story on the subject from National Public Radio’s All Things Considered.  Click here for the link to the story.

Some of the other bloggers I read have written very eloquently on the subjects of aging parents and the loss of parents.  I wonder what my reflections will be when that time comes?

In the meantime, there is no reason to get so caught up in the future when there is a beautiful day starting.  There are loaves of bread and biscotti to bake, errands to run, and a general contractor to plead with and bully.  In short, it is a Saturday morning.


5 thoughts on “Caring for Aging Parents

  1. I totally understand your feeling because I am torn by that idea as well. Even though I believe I have done a lot of things for my mom and family, there are things I wish I could do more…Moving back to take care of our parent or living our life like we want to, either way it takes an enormous sacrifice. I am asking myself everyday…BTW, thanks a lot for the Love of Siam CD, I really love it. I do not know that you know Claudie too lol and I thought it’s from my Thai friend named Chris as well. But thanks a lot!

  2. Let the aging parent in on the conversation…. What is important is to realize that aging is a process (Gail Sheehy’s book Passages outlines this well). It begins the minute we are born and ends the minute we breathe our last breath. The body can, and does, age at a faster rate than the mind ages. What the younger generation forgets, or is unaware of, is the importance of each person’s dignity and worth as a human being whatever their age or physical or mental well-being. I think it is important to talk about this process throughout one’s life with parents and children, oldsters and youngsters. Children need to be around older generations, grandparents, great grandparents, and build relationships with them. I was fortunate, as you know, Chris, to have a wonderful relationship with my paternal grandparents throughout my growing up years and well into my adult years. I have memories of a great grandfather and great grandmother. You also knew your grandparents on both sides as well as some great grandparents. Your understanding of the aging process, the necessity of respecting the individual will be greater because of those relationships and the experiences you had with people of different generations. The other comments are enlightening in their quick move onto another subject or not addressing the issue you raised at all. Hmmm…. Mom

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