Taking Care of Our Elders

Be Well Be Happy

My parents raised seven children and gave us everything. They were there for us throughout all the trials and tribulations one goes through while growing up. Yes, they chose to have us all. We did not owe them anything, but we knew there was an obligation to care for them in sickness or health. They brought us into this world and provided us with a safe home with love and affection. We were a family that stood by one another and tried to do the right thing. Unfortunately, my mom at the young age of 61 died of cancer, and we were only able to care for her for two years while she was sick. 

My dad lived until 83, but suffered with Alzheimer’s.  We cared for him with the help of hired caregivers in his own home. It was difficult but we were able to keep him somewhat comfortable and visit with him on a regular basis. He was a great guy and gave us so much love and support throughout the years. He was our rock.

Not everyone can afford to live in their own home with hired help full time. There are community-based services through NYC Human Resources Administration that can help defray the cost to keep your loved one at home in familiar surroundings. If you need to select a place that will better address the needs of your loved one, there are some beautiful assisted living homes that help in the transition for an aging parent. People are afraid to move into them, but there are some nice ones with so many social activities to stay engaged, active and happy. It is so important to visit regularly and be a part of your love one’s new life. Too many people are left alone as they get older. Even if they don’t remember you, they need you to be there for them. You remember them.

I think it is really important to take care of our aging population. We will all grow old one day and how do we want to be treated? We all want to live a long, beautiful life, but realistically we may become sick or injured at some point in our lives.

Who will care for you?  Does it make sense to make arrangements for yourself so you are in a place where you want to be? 

Yes, I think it is necessary to make plans. My experience so far has been that you need to know how you want to live if you can’t take care of yourself. I am thinking as long as I am near the water in a beautiful home with music in the afternoons and tea time with my friends I will be ok. Yoga everyday and maybe happy hour too! Meditation, healthy food and good company.

I want my family to visit me even if I don’t remember you. You remember me, and know how I have lived and brought you up to do the right thing. It is our obligation as a society to take care of our elders. They are so full of wisdom and spirit, offering their life’s experience. Do not forget where you come from. One life to live. Live it well. Love and honor your family, and stay close even when times get tough.

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