Susan Diamond’s blog entry “When Aging Parents Can No Longer ‘Do.’ Ways To Empower So They Can Continue to ‘Do.'” is about empowering aging parents: http://helpparentsagewell.com
I’d like to share a few more examples of empowering aging parents. When my MIL moved from Florida to our hometown, she bought a pontoon boat. This was something she always wanted. My husband was the captain and we took her boating frequently with family and friends. She’d strut out of her retirement community building with her jaunty pink cap to go boating—and I knew she was “showing off” a bit for the other residents. Unfortunately, she fell in the bathroom after a day on the boat and broke her tailbone and pelvis. That was the end of the boating, and the beginning of the vicious cycle of falls, hospitalization, and nursing home rehabilitations.
My MIL then moved in with us and I was her primary caregiver. We had two good years before the next decline. I took her to the senior center twice a week to play bridge. Sometimes we would have lunch and bridge parties at our home. Best of all, she was able to participate in all our family celebrations. When the grandchildren were around (and running amok), she liked to say, “I started all this.”
Pneumonia and congestive heart failure began to ravage her body and she started receiving hospice services. Even then, we put a lot of emphasis on maintaining social relationships and activities. Hospice loves to come in and help people enjoy everything they can do in life. Her hospice group supplied MIL with a transport chair so I could get her out of the house to go to the senior center, and with travel oxygen so she could go to the beach with her daughter.
Even if the last two years in our home became extremely difficult, I feel good that we did the best we could to empower my husband’s mother.