Charlotte Canion, author of You Have to Laugh to Keep from Crying: How to Parent Your Parents, beautifully offers advice to those who are struggling to manage responsibilities of their aging family members. The hardest part of growing up is knowing your parents are growing old.
In the end its all about making time, not having the time. My mom is a stroke survivor but before that at the age of 86, she was still cooking, cleaning, shopping for the family and she was still playing poker with her girl friends every Friday night. All that stopped and then changed after her stroke. She does not cook or clean any more. Happily she did start playing her Lotto numbers again, she goes to the corner deli with my sister once a week for her numbers and a few things like milk and eggs, believe me we are so very happy that she is interested in gambling again. This makes us smile.
My daughter and niece both help us and spend as much time as they can with their Nanna.
Canion says, “The thought of our parents aging is a frightening one, but my book will teach you how to laugh through the journey. Discover the power of laughter and see how it will help you cope with the task of parenting our parents, a task that will be inevitable for most of us. Whether you are on the threshold of seeking a nursing facility for an aging loved one, have a parent living with you, or think these issues are far down the road, my book helps prepare for and face obstacles you may have never dreamt.
To care for the ones who once cared for us is one of the highest honors. Truth is, it does take a village. Love. Respect. Patience. Forgiveness. Memories are all you will have left once your parents are gone.
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