Friday, February 4, 2011

Being a Burden.I

I was just talking to an acquaintance of mine whose 92-year old father is suffering from worsening dementia. He has no more short term memory, has to be reminded what he is doing and who is with him, and is becoming somewhat childlike in demeanor. Apparently, he and my friend's mother still live together in a condo, and the mother, who I assume is also in her nineties is pretty much his sole support. He relies on her almost exclusively, becoming agitated if she leaves the room for very long.
While I am sympathetic towards her father's situation, I had more concern for her poor mother, as I have some idea of what it's like having to look after someone like this. I asked my friend whether there was any home help coming in or whether she or her siblings helped out much. She sighed and said that there was a weekly aide and that the siblings tried to help, but that the mother was pretty adamant about taking care of her husband herself, refusing most offers of assistance, and most likely refusing any mention of moving to Assisted Living. She didn't want to be a burden on her family, was her reasoning. And I just thought, not again!
My father's situation wasn't identical but it was certainly close enough. He expressed the same fear about being a burden to us, swearing he could take care of himself. What he didn't understand is the same thing my friend's mother and countless other parents in this situation don't understand. You're being a much heavier and more difficult burden by not accepting the help! TBC

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