There are more than 52 million people in the US over age 65 according to the US Census Bureau. Many Americans in the 40 – 65 age range have a least one or more parents who are elderly and need care. It is a stage of life that is often not welcomed for either caregivers or those in need of care. Taking care of helpless, fragile young children is typically seen as more enjoyable and desirable than taking care of vulnerable and fragile older adults.
It is no wonder that in Exodus 20 in the Bible that we are specifically commanded to honor our parents with no “age expiration” limit. God must have known that to honor could involve us swallowing our pride and selfishness on so many levels. Honoring often means a commitment of our time and resources. It is often inconvenient. It may mean resolving to be amicable and respectful while facing the disappointment that our relationship with our parent(s) will never meet our expectations. Honoring them may mean going it alone when other family members choose not to help. Honoring can and often does brings satisfaction, but it can often also bring frustration.
In a world where we often focus on our comfort, it may require some effort to remember our character. Hard choices are often the best. The knowledge that we gave back to those who gave something to us fills our emotional bank account in a way that bears huge dividends. The feeling of “no regrets” when final goodbyes are said is priceless.
It is often difficult to know how best to care for our aging parents or a senior that we love. Finding professional resources and trusted information is critical in helping to care for them. Home care can often be an important step in the care process and should be researched and evaluated. Having an outside care provider assist in the care needs of our loved ones can provide tremendous peace of mind for caregiver and care receiver.