Transitioning Parents To The Next Phase In Life Is Anything But Easy!

elderly parents A few weeks back, both of my parents were each experiencing a healthcare crises of their own. We, the adult children, thought it was the perfect time to transition our parents into the next phase. By this, we basically thought the perfect time to get rid of ‘things’, sell their house and move their residence to a retirement home. Wrong!! Once both parents stabilized and are now back in residence, a meeting of the minds has not taken place.

Both parents are back into their daily routines, which in my opinion, are way to much for the average octogenarian to deal with. Both parents are moving a lot slower with some physical stability issues. They also have a large house to maintain, a vegetable as well as flower garden to maintain and several acres to mow/weed/edge. Sounds doable if 20 yrs younger or if have hired help, which they do have on occasion but nothing on a regular basis. They are from an age where one is self-sufficient and takes care of everything themselves, thus, asking for help is not the first thought that comes to mind.

Here we are, back at ground zero. Frustration has once again set in, as we know that it’s a matter of time before another health crises, which just might eliminate the option for a smooth transition to an age appropriate lifestyle change. Huge delimma with all of us adult children questioning whether or not we go ahead and let them stay where they are, still making their own decisions and living with dignity, or do we step in and say its time and we’re going to move you. Never thought this would be so hard.

Our parents brought all 8 of us children up to be independent as well as self-sufficient. In addition, we were taught to use logic in our decision-making yet for some reason, we seem to be witnessing a lack of that in this transitioning exercise. It is ingrained in our psyche to ‘respect our elders,’ which is now creating a mental hurdle for us in the handling of this situation overall. There are also conditions spelled out by both parents, as well as unique health issues, that aren’t making overall choices any easier.

My oldest siblingĀ  obviously carries the most weight but is currently dealing with a health crises of his spouse and therefore unable to offer much assistance. The younger 3 siblings live nearby but are too close to the situation to be totally objective. The decision-making has consequently created 2 camps; the in-towners vs the out of towners. The in-towners are in the trenches and engaged in the day-to-day living entwinement with our parents, while the out of towners are only called in when a crises occurs and the in-towners need help managing.

The out of towners also see the effects the stress has overall on the in-towners and as a consequence, want to put logic into play and get things moving. I am one of the out of towners, currently spending time in the trenches, which allows one to have a better perspective of the big picture. My gut reaction is to have more outside help brought in (not family) as well as continue re-enforcing the idea that we need to continue the ‘conversation of their being a plan in place’ (meaning retirement home etc) with the ongoing movement towards that goal. I do feel that as long as both parents still have quality of life, as well as the siblings caring for them and are mutually working towards the overall goal of transition, then let life continue to play itself out. I will however, continue to be on a heightened state of alert for the next crises and a potential move (not transition) that will have to be made regardless, with dignity of both intact.


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