Swapping roles with your parents

February 14, 2009 by  
Filed under Articles, News

I recently had a discussion with a baby boomer (mid 50’s), like me, who was taking care of her mother who was visiting from a different state. Her mother lives in an assisted living community where she has her own place but people help her with mobile, medical, and personal hygiene issues. After a week of caring for her mother and working , she took some strong medication because she needed a break. She left her mom and went over to a neighbor’s house to take a nap. Her mother was angry and she wanted to leave and fly back home. The friend did not understand why her mother did not understand the burden that was being placed on her. This friend has never had kids. I explained that we are now taking over the parenting role and we must remember how we felt when we were treated as something to just care for as kids. It is difficult to swap roles with our parents in a way that maintains their dignity, yet, keeps them safe and as independent as possible. I would think if you have never been a parent then it would be more difficult. Also, like many of us, she may not have had the best of relationships with her parents at times. But they are our parents, they cared for us the best they could (in most instances). We must do the same for them.

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