Aging Parents

no more, hand up in stop gesture

A Parent’s Perspective: What….Wear an Emergency Alert Necklace!

“You live the closest.  How about you call every morning just to make sure she is okay.” “Am I the ‘she’ you are talking about?” I asked walking in with a tray of appetizers. And then, with a tinge of anger in my voice, “If so, don’t you dare appoint anyone as responsible for checking on me.” Uh oh!  Realizing I had initiated a palpable tension in the room, I offered a feeble laugh. “Guys, I’m not anywhere near there yet. I promise I won’t be the lady crying, ‘I’ve fallen and I can’t get up,’ from the bottom of the cellar steps.” Throughout dinner, I remained cheerful, happy to have my children, their spouses and my grandchildren enjoying the meal I had made for them.  I wanted to remind them that I had shopped, cooked, cleaned the house, and stood on a stepstool to get the good china from the top shelf of the breakfront.  All by myself. That evening, in bed with a magazine, I felt guilty that I had snapped at my children.  I’d been living alone since the last of my four children married ten years ago. Why their sudden concern? And why my failure to graciously accept a plan to “make sure Mom was okay.” I remembered how “difficult” my mother became as she got older. She almost never wore the hearing aids we insisted she needed.  How often I stood outside ringing her doorbell, pounding on the door, and calling her phone with no response.  I knew she was home; I could hear the blaring television. I’d resort to walking around the house and banging on one of her living room windows....
Woman writing story

Dementia: Writing the Story Now You May Never Hear

I’ll never forget the moment I found out my mother’s diagnosis. ‘Your mother has the classic symptoms of Alzheimer’s,’ the geriatric psychiatrist said. I wish I had encouraged Mum to tell me more about her life and recorded her stories. Robin Storey is a ghostwriter specializing in life stories and memoirs....