Caring for Aging Parents

I have been so busy lately between work, researching for the second edition of the Cherry Blossoms book, kids starting school, and caring for my mother. Unfortunately my mother was diagnosed with early Altzheimer’s. She is very forgetful and knows it, which makes her depressed. I try to encourage her and support her, but it is difficult. Patience is not my best virtue. As I live in a household where the dog listens best, having my mother seemingly not pay any attention to what I say is about the last straw. Yes, my voice sometimes gets sharp; it makes my mother nervous and even more forgetful. I told her to speak up and remind me to calm down. I need her help in that. I have read up on literature provided by Altzheimer’s organizations and know this is going to be my big challenge in life, this learning patience.

I am so glad that I finished Cherry Blossoms in Twilight while my mother was just in the early stages of losing her memory. Now, I know her stories better than she. She still has times when her memory sharpens as she thinks of the old days, but the new days are just not there. It is difficult to look forward to anything and every day becomes the same when you can’t remember what happened. For now she safely lives in a senior apartment complex, but stays with me often partly so I can make sure she is eating well.

My stepmom’s mother, who is nearly blind, has just learned that she will probably not walk again. She, too, is fighting depression and the thought that there is nothing left to live for. She, too, is upset that she who was once strong and vibrant must now depend on others for help. We can say these older ladies are spoiled indeed to have children who care for them and a nice place to stay, but it is still difficult for them to face the future. What can we children do but be there with love and hugs and encouraging words. The sun will still shine warmly on their faces, the birds still sing for them, the flowers are still beautiful and sweet. We have to point out the beauty that remains for them, constantly push the darkness back for them. That is our labor of love that they deserve from us.


About moonbridgebooks

Co-author of Cherry Blossoms in Twilight, a WWII Japan memoir of her mother's childhood; author of Poems That Come to Mind, for caregivers of dementia patients; Co-author/Editor of Battlefield Doc, a medic's memoir of combat duty during the Korean War; life writing enthusiast; loves history and culture (especially Japan), poetry, and cats
This entry was posted in aging. Bookmark the permalink.