It can come as a shock when you really look at a parent and realise they they ARE getting older. They are not immortal as you always thought.
So how can you help them and yourself come to terms with this?
The most immediate reaction as a mid-lifer is denial. Full stop!
“It can’t be, can it??! Mum or Dad has always been so – healthy, vibrant, active, strong, present, independent….” add your own story and thoughts in here…
As “mid-lifers” it is easy to overlook the signs of ageing in ourselves and in others.. the achy joints in the morning (which are OK after 10 minutes) or the need for reading glasses when the arms become too short!
But your parents – no! They are “fine”. Well they complain a bit but.. Really?
Until the day when you give them a hug and they say “Gently dear, I am getting too old for a bear hug”, or they feel suddenly frail to you or the fire has gone from their eyes. Or you see them from a distance and realise that their posture has become more stooped and they no longer hold themselves erect very well. They start to “look old” in the mirror to themselves too!
So now what do you do? Ignore the obvious, try to broach the subject, step in and “save the day” or what?
It isn’t easy, is it? Your approach also depends on so many other factors too:
- your relationship to your loved one
- how often you see them
- the level and depth to the communications you can have
- their, and your, attitude to ageing
- their sensitivity to themselves and their own state of mind
- everyone’s coping strategies for life e.g. denial, bluster, action..
- how straight you can be and how well they can listen in return (and vice versa)
- their state of health and energy levels
- their state of mind and levels of understanding
- and more…
Great Guidelines for Later Life has these very conversations and actions at the heart of the course. They are explored in various topics, as they relate to those areas of life. As a result we can have similar conversations, with subtle differences, several times. It helps to reinforce and support the process.
This is a good thing – each time a subject is aired there can be new realisations and actions. Time and the thinking changes with time and experience and so new actions become possible too.
This is one of the most powerful aspects to the whole Course. There is no one answer. Each person has to create that for themselves and their life circumstances and desires.
We look at the taxing subject of ageing in various topic modules – these include in their health, vitality and wellbeing and how they can improve and support their health over time; medical aspects of life; family and relationships and how they change with time; home and lifestyle and the adaptations which may be needed; Freedom at the End of Life and the need to choose how they live, and ultimately, how they die.
YOUR partnership, as a mid-lifer and a family member, can make an immense difference to the seniors. This is why the Course is just as relevent to you and your life as it is for theirs!
So often in helping the seniors we have to turn our own life and experience around. The conversations we have, for and with them and also on our own (but frequently only with ourselves), may need to fundamentally change.
Getting older is a series of little bereavements and griefs.
When you get to see this as a positive – as a release and a simplifying of life – life becomes more enjoyable vs a burden.
None of these conversations are easy. They are helped by having other people to guide and support you to find your own solutions. That is why I encourage YOU to invest in your own future, as well as your parents – it will make your future much easier too.
You can find out more information about Great Guidelines for Later Life by clicking here: GG4LL Course
Here is an outline of all the topics in the course.
© Great Guidelines for Later Life 2017. All Rights Reserved.
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Gayle Palmer, the creator of Great Guidelines for Later Life - The world’s most thorough, comprehensive and supportive, one-stop resource for all seniors and their families who are ready to get their lives in order before they die AND help them to live out their days having a life they love, clear in the knowledge that they have done everything they need to. She has developed various courses, programmes and workshops for seniors and their families to work through, leaving no stone un-turned.
Gayle’s experience of over 25 years as an Osteopath, treating thousands of people and helping them through similar worries and concerns only strengthens her knowledge and commitment to you too. Her expertise is not only in the physical realm but emotional, mental and spiritual too. All Rights are Reserved.