Finding a positive environment for my parents

Yesterday, my brothers and I visited with the retirement community. We need help on navigating the next steps.

The community relations director shared some additional insights on how our parents are doing. She shared that my parents are having a “dignity issue” — as in they are not aging with the grace they expected and can’t recognize it now.

As their children, we want to provide them with the right environment to give them meaning and purpose to their lives, keep them safe and enjoy each day.

Kate Swaffer posted this video and before watching, I suggest you go get tissues.

What is that? This short films shows a son and his father and provides great insight into the nature of the role reversal as our parents progress through dementia.

Personally, I’m struggling to determine how I feel about the choices we have in helping my parents. I felt this video helps one understand how challenging it can be to care for a parent and reminds us how important it is that we provide them with the same patience and love they gave to us growing up.

The community around my parents — friends, neighbors, the retirement community — is telling us they need more help. We need to provide a more complete safety net for them … now.

What is the right environment for them? How can we enhance each day they are on this planet? How can we surround them with a loving, nurturing environment as their dementia progresses?

I’m not as ready as I thought I would be when the day came to make these choices. Puddled.

2 thoughts on “Finding a positive environment for my parents

  1. Dear Kay,

    Thank you for sharing What is that. It is so profound, and no matter how many times I watch it, I cry!

    My husband was mostly very frustrated with his role as carer for his father, and then he watched it. It moved him deeply, and he was able to just sit still for his dad for great lengths of time, holding his hand and waiting for hi to get his words out.

    Feeling ‘Puddled’ is better than being immobilised or worse, angry. As they change, you change, and getting used to the new roles is very challenging. Losing them as the parents you once knew is perhaps even worse, and this video does really help us with that aspect too.

    With love and hope, always.

  2. Good one Kay. Simple and powerful. Perhaps we need to play more with our parents. Mine were not “huggers,” but I am teaching them to hug better and to say I love you.


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