Cynthia Hickman gets right to the point in her August 16, 2021, blog post of “Your Proactive Caregiver Advocate: Dr. Cynthia Speaks!” and it’s a valuable point, to be sure.
Take the Blinders Off-Your Parents Are Aging!
Cynthia Hickman’s life-events regarding the death of her parents are similar to mine. Her father died in 1965 at the age of 46, whereas her mother did not pass away until 2017 when she reached a more advanced age. My father died in 1963 at the age of 48—and the circumstances of his death were a major formative factor in my life. My mother died in 1998 at the age of 77, which—although a more “acceptable” age—is one that heightens my own awareness of mortality, since I am now 72.
Cynthia Hickman talks about the circle of life and points out that the process of our bodies breaking down is nothing more than a natural part of life’s cycle. She goes on to ask the question:
Should We Prepare or Should We Wait?
It is her position that “we must remove the blinders and deal with the reality of our family circle.” She recommends that we acknowledge the actions and patterns of those we love; that we are proactive and self-aware of our roles, and that we embrace readiness rather than run from it.
I have had some major life experiences that form my perspective—and I must report that, like Cynthia, I have a strong belief in “prepare”. Although you can never be in “control” of everything that happens in life, by adopting Cynthia’s mode of thinking you will find yourself in a better position to step into caregiving with less stress and more confidence in your ability to handle life-challenges.
When you avoid confronting difficult topics—often to the point of denial—they only become more challenging because you are ill-prepared. Furthermore, you will create a greater burden for your own children when the time comes that you are in need of care.
Following is a list of my own past blog posts that deal the topic of being prepared.
- Attitudes about Caregiving Education
- The “We don’t need it yet” phenomenon
- Thoughts about Denial
- More about Denial
- Becoming a Caregiver and Planning for the Future
- Burdening Our Kids–Revisited
- Lickity Splickity or Little by Little?
- It Pays to Prepare
- Processing the Pictures
- The Conversation Project