aging parents

"What do you want your legacy to your community and your children to be after you’re gone?"
No matter what care path is right for you and your loved one, reach out for the help and resources that are readily available
We were gathered at my grandmother's home for a final visit. Coming together for this was sad but it was also more joyful than I could have imagined. We sat with her and shared stories, photos, laughter.
My parents married on a five-day furlough during WWII. Mom and Dad remained passionate about their relationship until their last breaths 60 years later. They communicated well. When disagreements arose, they agreed to disagree.
An oncology study by the Vanderbilt Ingram Cancer Center, confirms what many cancer survivors already know -- patients with strong support networks are not only more likely to survive, they also experience reduced occurrences of cancer resurgence.
Clarification: Babymama is NOT my biological mother, but a birth mother we met two days before she gave birth to the infant
For years, I saved articles on how to determine whether an elderly person needs more help or a change of living situation. But when the time came to intervene with my own mother -- widowed and living alone -- I was utterly unprepared for the emotions that flared and the strain it put on our relationship.
July is my father's birthday month and I've recently returned from my latest trip to visit him in Florida. Over the past year he's faced a string of health challenges and though we live 700 miles apart, I manage to be his medical advocate and go-to girl.
'I love my mother -- but sometimes I hate her, too.' Saying those words out loud -- or even to yourself in your head -- can be a painful acknowledgment that even late in life we can't always make our relationships with our parents work out the way we want them to.
The question before us was "Are we caring with compassion or control?" I was sitting in a session at a recent geriatric conference in the north east. The speaker threw out this question... and I must admit, in all my years of being involved with, concerned about and responsible for providing care to someone "chronologically superior" (Yep, another new term since "old, aging, senior, and elderly" are the latest terms to become politically incorrect.) I had never thought of it in quite that way.