At a gathering today I listened to one of the speakers sharing thoughts on elder care. He spoke about the sacrifices that friends and family make for people who are either homebound or in need of peripheral care. There are a number of people I’m acquainted with who are also elderly but have taken on the additional role of being either the eyes, ears or hands of others who are not capable of performing certain tasks.
I think of one woman who has lived a very long as well hard life during her career. After she retired, she took it upon herself to help as many women she knew who were in need. From taking them to doctors appointments to Sunday services, she has been there for many. I’m certain most of the general public have no idea the sacrifices she has made for others simply because she speaks softly and shows no outwards signs of anything she’s done for others as being a sacrifice of her time. She simply does what she believes is necessary for others in a very quiet fashion.
I’ve had my taste of what some of the people in our community do in heartfelt fashions to make the lives of those who cannot live by themselves without someone checking on them every day and performing necessary tasks. A dear client of mine whose mother is nearly blind is the child who has the job of providing for her needs and checking up on her daily. His mother has told me how much she appreciates what her son does for her and still considers herself a burden because of her loss of vision. I think the next time I see him I’m going to call him “Mr. Mom” because of the great job he does for his mother.
There is an elderly couple I know who should consider themselves very fortunate to have four of their children living in the area. Since the couple can’t drive, the four evidently came to an agreement on the splitting up of duties on a monthly basis. Between the two parents they suffer from diminished eyesight, nearly complete hearing loss, and heart disease. It amazes me at times how some people discover that their parents are needing care and instead of offering personal assistance, they ship them off to the nearest elderly care facility without considering other alternatives as well as a little sacrifice on their part. So much for giving back to those who’ve given.
A woman I know who is about 15 years younger that her oldest sister who still lives in her own home stops over to see her every day and does a few chores for her. Since I know her sister is nearly deaf, I ask her younger sister once how she manages to communicate with her nearly deaf sister. She said, “You know Joe, it was very hard to deal with at first due to the frustration of repeating myself all the time, but after I started speaking slowly and clearly with love, it became much easier for me and my spirit.”