11 Responses to “Do You Have Patience with Your Aging Parents?”

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  1. I have definitely noticed this to be true with my parents. While on the one hand, I represent a “breath of fresh air” and liveliness for them when I visited, I have realized that I need to slow down, particularly in my speech. I was motorboating through one thing and another and when I stopped for a second, I realized my parents were back ion the topic of two minutes ago.

    So now when I go to visit, I consciously try to slow down my speech and when I change topics, I take a minute to make sure they’re “with me”.

  2. Dear Ramana,

    The video made me cry!! And so perfect for this post — thank you for sharing this wonderful message.

    Dear Ann,

    You raise an important point re the cadence of our speech alone being too rapid! It’s something I did and had to change as my parents aged. I’m glad you reminded me of it now. Thanks so much for adding to our discussion here.

  3. Great post and video! Thank you both.

    I’ve learned to let go of so much on the road to patience with my mom. None of it was a real loss now that I see it from this side, but it was — and sometimes continues to be — painful to the ego. Patience requires empathy. Empathy requires letting go of your own wants to walk in step with another, no matter how slow their pace.

  4. Dear Lori,

    You really hit the nail on the head about how our caregiving experience can be “painful to the ego.”

    “Patience requires empathy” — so very true and so hard to do consistently over a long period of time, especially if you’re living with your care recipient!

  5. Amy Ball

    You’re right Linda, the pace is slow, both figuratively and physically. The trick for me is to look at the faces of those we encounter on our various errands; Dr. visits, trips to the hardware store, grocery or bakery. Observers eyes seem to tell me that they “see me” to borrow a phrase from Avatar or yoga- “Namasday.” Caring for elderly parents is something that some of us are lucky to have as part of our lives. I hope it makes me a better person, a more human person and one who knows that someday, this may be my path.

  6. Dear Amy,

    Welcome to TLeC! You show great insight and a good attitude towards caregiving, and I hope your journey, and that of your loved ones, now and in the future, is easier as a result.

    You also raise an important point about being aware of those we encounter when out with our Golden Oldies. Yes, some people and businesses “get it,” while others have no awareness about interacting with the aging population. I hope that this awareness increases as we age! As you say, some day this may be our path. Thanks so much for adding your voice here! Namaste.

  7. Karen

    Hi,
    I wish I had read this last year. Both of my parents and a dear aunt all died last year. I loved them all, but many times it was so difficult to visit them.

    I visited often and with love but felt uncomfortable with the repetition of their same stories, complaints or silence over and over. For the first time I realize that it wasn’t their issue, but my own.

    Patience can be so difficult–but as it says on this website, patience can be so wonderful as we spend time together and forget about rushing and time.

    I will take this idea and keep it close to my heart as I go about relating to all I love, no matter what age they are.

    Thank you for the information, it really helped me.
    Karen

  8. Welcome to TLeC, Karen! I am very sorry for all of your losses last year, especially within such a short time period. My deepest condolences to you and your whole family.

    I am happy I was able to help you gain a new perspective on patience. Believe me, when I was younger, I was a much more impatient person than I am now. Life teaches us many lessons and (as you wrote) if we embrace what we’ve learned and use it going forward, we all gain from it.

    Don’t look back and have regrets about what you did or didn’t do. Take comfort in knowing you visited and loved your aunt and parents, and did the best you could at the time with what you knew then! From what you wrote, you must have loved your Golden Oldies dearly and they were lucky to have you in their lives!

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