I have an overwhelming number and variety of things to get done this month, related either to aging relatives or children who refuse to do homework. But I want to take the time to mention this book that I read last month: A Bittersweet Season: Caring for Our Aging Parents and Ourselves, by Jane Gross. 2011, Alfred A. Knopf. The author also started the NY Times blog The New Old Age. http://newoldage.blogs.nytimes.com/
Here are just three of the many helpful things I read in this book:
“Denial runs deep, and the odds that you are reading this book to prepare for something that hasn’t yet happened are slim, no matter how much I wish otherwise. More than likely, you’re already in the thick of things, as I was, and have already made your share of panicky mistakes. There’s little to be gained by going back down the pointless highway of second-guessing yourself. I, you, most of us do the best we can, just as our parents did the best they could with us when we were children, getting tons of things wrong, or just a few, some because of omission and some commission but guided, except in rare instances, by good intentions.” P. 56
“You can judge the quality of geriatric care from hospital to hospital by how they manage dentures.”
One of the main indicators that a person is reaching a state of dependency on others is whether she can rise from a chair without pushing off with her hands.
As soon as I read that last one, I panicked and had to try it myself. No, I haven’t reached a state of dependency yet, it seems, but I hope and pray when my turn approaches that I’ll do something about it before I reach that point. Today I needed to actually do some paid work, but it was a rare sunny day here, so I bagged the work and instead went for a walk in the park with Youngest Daughter. I have not been getting any exercise. There are some times when procrastination is just good for one’s mental health.