Facing My Parents Getting Older

While my mom is a spirited, energetic, still working full-time nurse, my dad has not aged so well.  In his 70’s, he has had a rough time of it lately.  He needs a walker, and falls a lot.  We kept hoping we could convince him to move to an assisted living facility for his safety, but before we could convince him he fell and broke his hip this past week.  Now, he has no choice in the matter.  It is easy to get frustrated with him as he does repeat himself, tells us the same stories often, and is needing rides places, groceries bought and stocked in the house etc.  Now, he will be able to improve his quality of life so much with someone there to handle his laundry, cooking, go on outings and make new friends.  But I know it is going to be a very hard transition as he is a very independent soul.

This was on Facebook this morning and reminded me that I need to remember that daddy didn’t ask for this.  He cannot change the fact that he is not the man he was physically, and the move is going to be hard because he doesn’t want to have to rely on anyone.

If your parents are getting up there in years remember this, put yourself in their shoes.



“My dear girl, the day you see I’m getting old, I ask you to please be patient, but most of all, try to understand what I’m going through.

If when we talk, I repeat the same thing a thousand times, don’t interrupt to say: “You said the same thing a minute ago”… Just listen, please. Try to remember the times when you were little and I would read the same story night after night until you would fall asleep.

When I don’t want to take a bath, don’t be mad and don’t embarrass me. Remember when I had to run after you making excuses and trying to get you to take a shower when you were just a girl?

When you see how ignorant I am when it comes to new technology, give me the time to learn and don’t look at me that way… remember, honey, I patiently taught you how to do many things like eating appropriately, getting dressed, combing your hair and dealing with life’s issues every day… the day you see I’m getting old, I ask you to please be patient, but most of all, try to understand what I’m going through.

If I occasionally lose track of what we’re talking about, give me the time to remember, and if I can’t, don’t be nervous, impatient or arrogant. Just know in your heart that the most important thing for me is to be with you.

And when my old, tired legs don’t let me move as quickly as before, give me your hand the same way that I offered mine to you when you first walked.

When those days come, don’t feel sad… just be with me, and understand me while I get to the end of my life with love.

I’ll cherish and thank you for the gift of time and joy we shared. With a big smile and the huge love I’ve always had for you, I just want to say, I love you… my darling daughter.”

– Unknown

One comment

  1. That is such a sweet little poem and it speaks a lot of truth. I’m sorry that your dad broke his hip and have been reluctant to assisted living. I know that you are trying your best to look after him and it sounds like you are doing a good job so far. Is he going to stay in assisted living permanently or just for now? If he’s reluctant to the idea maybe you can start of small with at-home care. NJ Senior Care offers a visiting angel program and you can choose to have them come out a few times a week or even make live-in arrangements. Something like that might really benefit your dad.

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