My hubby and I are getting to the age that many of our friends (and we aren’t far behind) are now starting to care for their parents. Some of them are now complete caretakers and others are starting to give advice to their parents…and others fall into other parts of the spectrum. So far, my husband has just been giving advice and reviewing their finances to make sure they can continue to do what they need to do on their own. After hearing bits and pieces of some very sad stories from friends and acquaintances, and the occasional funny one, I realized how lucky I am that my mother is such a go-getter, that I haven’t yet had to consider the options that are available and what I would do if I needed to be her caretaker. My mother is such an independent person, I just have no idea how I will get her to do what I say is necessary.
Recently, a friend was telling me about her experiences with her mother. Her mother questioned her about the finances over and over until her daughter had to tell her that she had no choice. Her mother asked, “Why?” and her daughter had to tell her, “Because I’m in charge now.” She said it was the hardest thing she has ever had to do. I could feel her pain as she told the story. I know exactly how difficult it would be to say the same thing to my mom.
So, how do you know when you are just butting in where you aren’t needed and when you really need to step in and take control?
I worry about the day I need to let my mother know I’m in charge now. I don’t know how she’ll take it, but I hope it’s as good as my friend’s mother. When told her daughter was now in charge, her response was, “Okay.” And that was that.
“We begin our lives being cared for by our parents and we care for them at the end of theirs. It’s a fair trade.” ~ AEK