Turning the Tables: Caring for Mom and Dad

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I’ve said it many times how blessed I am to have both of my parents here on earth, both bodies are a little slower but the minds are very sharp and very much intact.  

I was talking with friends last night about how many of us are now turning the tables, that is, we are starting to care more for our parents than the other way around.  I watch a lot of my friends who, at times, are the principal or only caregiver to parents. It’s hard on them and I thank God there are five of us to work it for my parents…and, some days, it’s even hard for us and we truly do try to work it evenly to make sure the folks are cool.

The more I talk to friends about caregiving, the more I see how much of a Latino thing it is for us to take care of our ‘jefes’, it is not even a question of whether we will care for them;  it’s a matter of figuring out how to make it happen because we WILL care for them.

As my brothers and sisters will tell you,   I tend to regress back to my role as the bossy, older sister and go crazy when any of my siblings make changes to the schedule (yeah, I’m a little control freaking too) or don’t pick things up around the common areas of the house.  I’ve been told that ‘ni saludo’ that I don’t even say ‘hi’ before I’m there trying to get things in order and yelling them at the same time.   

I’ve gotta work on being more flexible especially about having the house picked up and in order …You can always tell when one of us 5 has been cooking as the refrigerator is rearranged every time to fit whomever’s day it is to be with our parents … if it drives me crazy at times, it must drive them crazy too

When I sign off for the night, I’ll be going to spend the night at my parents’…they always tell me, “we don’t need someone here all of the time”, but I do know that they sleep better when one of us is around. I’m the one who’s up and down all night checking on them … now I’m so doing what they’ve always done for me. I’m just glad that they are here with us … I still need my parents.

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