As Our Loved Ones Age

asourlovedonesage

Maybe it begins when you realize they are forgetting silly things that you know they well-know.  Maybe you notice when they aren’t as spry as they once were.  Maybe you sense that they aren’t following the conversations or involved in them as they once were.  Maybe you notice that the rituals (daily bed making for example) aren’t completed.  As time goes on, you realize that there’s a little hitch in your loved one’s routine, conversation,  eating habits, sleeping habits and such.

Many times we brush those moments off with the thought that hey, they are getting older.  But how many signs does one need in order to shake up our thinking and begin the growing alarm that our loved ones may need more help?

That is a personal issue for many people as we can easily explain away when we aren’t ready to deal with the issue at hand which is:  our loved ones are aging and need our help.  For some people, it’s a mind-blowing thought (especially if we are their children) when our loved ones have been people we looked up to, respected, revered and who took care of us.  To see them slide even a little can cause us to feel that tinge of panic or to altogether dismiss it because we can’t even begin to go there in our minds.

But let’s been honest – aging happens to us all, so we need to help when we can!  Because someday, it will be our turn.  So what do we do when we begin to notice more frequently, aging signs in our loved ones?

Tread lightly is my advice.  Know your loved one and approach the subject accordingly.  Some people welcome a little help.  Others vehemently oppose it.  Nobody likes someone else to point out that we are functioning at less than our normal ability so be kind as you broach the subject.  Be respectful.  Offer help in a non-judgemental way and allow the conversation to flow in a peaceful way.

Caveat:  unless you see imminent danger, then be proactive and respectful.

It’s not easy for your loved ones to admit that they are weakening or finding their normal routines more difficult.  Getting confused, losing objects and forgetting to eat are tell-tale signs that you need to step up your communication with them.  But do it in a non-threatening way.  Take more time with them when possible.  Encourage them to share with you how they are feeling and what they are noticing if anything.  Do it the way you would like ti done for you.

I have some friends who are noticing their loved ones showing signs of aging that are concerning to the well-being of their loved ones.  It’s not an easy task to flow into the parenting role of a loved one who is older than you.  It’s not always met with gratitude, but instead sometimes it is met with distrust.  It’s scary for your aging loved one to feel that they are not as strong as they once were.  Some fight it and others simply allow the aging process to flow easily.

My advice is to keep your eyes and ears open and to broach the subject with compassion.  Listen to your intuition too as many times we know, we just don’t want to see because it’s hard to think of our loved ones in that way.

I wish you well on this next chapter of your journey.  I’m here if you need a hand to hold as we’ve experienced this as well.  You are not alone.

Shine On!

xo

14 thoughts on “As Our Loved Ones Age

  1. My mother is 80 this year and convinced she will die before she turns 81. We’ve addressed this issue openly and honestly. While she is here, she is cognizant and handling her own affairs well, but her health is declining and we’ve discussed what I need to do after she goes. She found this very comforting, and it relieved my anxiety that I won’t know what she wants. She has had many spiritual events that have helped her understand that her soul doesn’t end when she shucks her worn-out body, so she doesn’t seem to fear what is coming (too much).

    • Karel, how wonderful that you are there to support your Mom and Happy 80th to her! I think when we allay their fears, it makes it easier for them to transition and it makes it easier for us to know what they want as well. I love that she understands that her soul continues on after the physical body is no longer here. That certainly gives me peace as well. I hope that she is here for as long as she deems good for her and that she is here a long time for you as well. She’ll always be with you as you know. xo

      • Her father -my grandfather-continues to come around and visit from the spirit world. He died when I was a toddler and I’m afraid it was many years until I saw a photograph that helped me identify who was coming to visit. My mother sees the spirits of her brothers and father, all who have passed, when they visit her. She is a natural medium.

      • So you as the daughter have it too. Amazing. Delightful and special. A true gift. Recently musically my Dad has been making his presence known. I awoke with the song I danced to with him at my wedding and the next day, in the car, on the radio another of his favorites was playing as the car clock read 3:33pm.

      • They like to cheer us with a message they still care. All my children have inherited the same mediumistic abilities to some extent. Some only recognize it a little, but one recognizes it and works with it a lot!

  2. Respect is important. It’s easy to assume the role of the caretaker and start baby-ing our elderly but it is important, despite their limitations, we are able to leave them some sort of independence and decision-making (much harder said than done).

  3. My dad died of Alzheimer disease and it was a terrible thing to see him die twice for my mom. First in that place in her heart as he slowly no longer recognised her and what they had together from fifty years of marriage. And then when he did actually pass away. As hard as it was, it was a blessing in the end because he literally was no longer functioning at all.
    And it can be very difficult in the early part of the disease as no one is really aware of its dangers. My dad, on occasion as his memory went, would get in the car and try to ‘go home’ which he could only remember as a previous place that he lived. After a panic to find him the police would find him out of petrol hundreds of miles from his ‘current’ home. And as the disease progresses they become agitated because of the confusion, even to the point of being very sneaky by hiding his car keys so that he could leave when my mom was asleep. Even to emotionally and physically lash out in their fear. They can’t help it due to what this disease does to the mind.
    It is a terrible thing to go through for them both, but worse is trying to keep them with you when it reaches that dangerous part. After much pain emotionally and realising that my mom just wasn’t strong enough to help through that stage, it was decided to put him into a home for the safety of himself, let alone those around him and the general public. It is a very difficult decision to make but it has to be done for everyone concerned, as it will only get worse as time goes on.
    As much as we don’t want to lose someone we have been close to for such a long time, there is no other way but to love them, and ourselves, by putting them in a safer environment. We are still able to visit and share what we can until their journey is complete. It is a big thing for them as well as for us.
    Thank you for sharing Yvonne, I hope your journey with your parents is much more gentle than the above ❤ 😀

    • I am so sorry to hear about your Dad Mark. I understand all too well. It is hard to have to make that choice for safety over home, but it must be done sometimes as I well know myself. Visiting is important when we do have to make that choice as so many people in homes don’t have visitors. It always amazes me how they are so starved for affection sometimes and feel forgotten. That’s why we need to take good care of everyone, not just family, because as souls, we are all connected in this lifetime whether we realize it or not. Thank you for sharing your story with me and for your kindness. 🙂 ♥

  4. Pingback: Book Tag: I dare you! – The Cozy Pages

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