It can be difficult to watch your parents get older, particularly if you’re the caregiver in charge of their well being. You might feel lonely or sad about the changes happening in your parents lives and in the relationship you have with each of them, but there are some encouraging thoughts you can take away from the situation, as well.
Positive Changes Down the Road
There will likely be heartwarming experiences you may have as a caregiver to your parents. The problem is, you might not feel or become aware of them until years later. That’s one reason caregiving can be challenging, because you’re focused on another person and not on yourself.
Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “It is one of the most beautiful compensations of life, that no man can sincerely try to help another without helping himself.”
Seeing the specialness in caregiving in the here and now can be especially tough if your parents or siblings aren’t being supportive. Know that even if your family doesn’t seem to appreciate the care you give, you know you did what was right, and what you’d want someone else to do for you if the situation was reversed.
Embracing the Surprise Sweetness of Old Age
There are surprise moments in being up close and personal with someone aging, and they can often catch you off guard. Just when you’re tired and frustrated your parent will say something very touching, and it can bring about a new sense of tenderness in your heart.
Or, as you’re cleaning up after a fall your parent might hold your hand in a way that sends a chill down your spine because their touch is so filled with gratitude that you’re there.
It is these sweet moments that will take you by surprise as you handle the daily duties involved with caregiving.
You Figure Out How You Want to Age
Your parents teach lessons to you their entire lives, whether they mean to or not. When you see your parents getting older, you learn about the way you want to age, as well. You not only learn to recognize the warning signs of health problems, you also learn about dignity and faith as your parents age.
You’re Reminded of the Specialness and Fragility of Life
There is a boldness we feel when we’re young. Our bodies feel strong and it lures us into believing we’re something we’re not.
Real humanity is seen once we care for an aging parent. We’re reminded of the fragility of life, but also the specialness of it. That infallible confidence we once had as a youth is replaced with wisdom as we see our parents deal with the changes in their bodies. We learn firsthand that life is much more precious than we ever thought before, and these lessons can help us make better choices with our own lives.