I’m sure you have heard statements about 70 being the “new 50” and all the things that boomers are STILL doing at their “advanced” ages. I know I have.
But it brings up a very fundamental question for me. Why do we put people in boxes and have certain expectations for people relating to age?
When Mom is in her 70s or 80s, why do we have to be surprised that she is still cooking, still driving, still taking care of her own needs, and, surprise of all surprises, having fun living a full life? Don’t we all do what we can at every age? So why are the ages over 50 or 60 so different? Why the shock?
For most of our lives it is accepted that we do what we can and ask for help to do those things we can’t. But when we get to the second half of a century, all of a sudden everything we CAN do is a big surprise – like all of a sudden we lose our abilities and faculties?
Aging is part of life. Just as we help children learn and grow and guide teenagers, seniors might need a hand to do SOME things (not all).
The best approach for families with aging loved ones is to communicate and be respectful of each other. When Mom wants to stay in her home, talk about what the issues and obstacles might be to making that happen. Also share the feelings and worry that is on everyone’s minds. Then, together, figure out ways to overcome those obstacles or make a decision that living alone might not be the best solution. In other words, handle it like you would handle any other issue at any other age.
Let me give you an example of a situation that was brought to Keeping In Touch Solutions. Mandy’s 72-year-old mom wanted to stay in her home alone after her husband died. Mandy wanted her to move into a retirement community that was closer to Mandy, had other seniors nearby, and was staffed so that someone would “keep an eye on her.” Both sides dug in and a line was drawn. Their calls, visits and conversations had become constantly tense, not pleasant for either.
Mom wanted independence and respect for her decisions. Mandy wanted to not have to worry about Mom and feel like she was taking care of her. Both sides of the situation were dug in out of love for each other, but still at odds.
Once we talked about it together, both Mandy and Mom understood how each other felt and what each was trying to do. After getting everything out on the table, Mandy agreed to respect Mom’s desire for independence. Mom agreed to let Mandy gift her the Keeping In Touch Solutions daily call service, which meant that someone would call Mom every day to make sure she was safe and OK. It was a solution that both could accept. It removed the obstacle that created all the tension.
It’s fun to teach toddlers and watch them grow. It’s tough to get through puberty and adolescence and then the transition from teen to adult is no piece of cake, either. It’s a challenge to balance work and career with a personal and family life during middle age. Why do we think retirement and aging won’t be any less of a transition and challenge? Or a challenge that can’t be handled well?
Every age has its own unique blessings and challenges. Treat aging as any other stage, because it is just another of the phases of life. Handle the challenge, relish the blessings and care and share with others.
A daily check-in call could be the lifeline, the joy you give someone that makes the biggest difference in their perception of what old age is like.
Contact me at 317-480-1038 today. Let’s make a difference together.
I’m Diana Beam, Founder of Keeping in Touch Solutions. It is my heartfelt desire for every person to live a happy and healthy life in the place they call home, no matter what their age. You can’t put a price on peace of mind for your parents and yourself. It’s priceless . . . and significant.
For that reason, the goal of every Keeping In Touch Solutions program is to provide a caring connection and service that both the elderly and their caregivers can rely on to make living that good life easier.
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