“I am sorry you have to stress over us.” It was a sentence said to me by my mother just yesterday, meaning about herself and my father, who both are elderly with their own health problems.
There is an illusion that we all try to hang on until the point we can not anymore, and that is getting older. I have written about it before in my blog, but this time, it is not myself who is getting older but rather, it is my parents who are already old. As an only child, it all falls upon myself to make sure that they are well taken care of.
As much as I would want to be able to take care of my parents myself together with my Wifey, it is nigh impossible. In addition to very different needs we all have, having the space would be quite expensive and would require compromises from each party when it comes to location, for instance. We would prefer Spain as we are comfortable there, my mother wouldn’t really object to that except that she can not really travel anymore. My father could travel but prefers the cold weather in Finland over the warmth of Spain and most likely would never consider moving to Spain.
This poses the dilemma that I and my Wifey are facing; should we make the compromise and put our lives in Spain to hold whilst we concentrate on taking care of my parents? Or should we try to ensure a good nursing home for my father, where it is safe to walk and live even when we are not around.
When my grandfather was still alive, his later years were marred with mobility problems. He was so stubborn that it took him years to admit that he needed to use a cane when he went for his daily walks to the shop. And what I can see from my father.. he definitely starts to remind my grandfather more and more.
I admit that it is great to live in the countryside with the clear air and no traffic jams, but when it comes to getting older and having the necessary services further away than in towns and cities, that poses a challenge for us, and especially for the elderly.
Sometimes, I wish I wasn’t the only child, so I would have siblings who would share the burden. My father has two siblings, and they did their share on trying to convince my grandfather to start to use the cane. But maybe that is what my mother meant when she said that sentence.
On the other hand, they took care of me when I was small, and now that they need my help, I will be there to help them.