The other day I left the following comment on Kat’s blog because her blog post reminded me of my own aging father.
“One of the most painful things that we adult children have to go through is watching our once strong and independant parents grow old, vulnerable and dependant on us. This painful process of taking over and starting to take care for those who cared for us all our lives is a big adjustment to make.”
Father is an authoritative figure, fiercely independant and extremely mindful about cleanliness but a stroke change his personality overnight. The stroke did not have a physical effect thankfully. However, it did leave an impact on him mentally.
Overnight, he became a different person. His memory has become really poor and it pains us to watch him struggle with himself trying to remember things or saying things like “I’m so useless, can’t even remember simple things like that.” Its also hard to watch him looking lost and frustrated because he can’t remember where he kept his things. (You know the kind of feeling you have when you just can’t find something and you want to search endlessly till you find it?) This happens to him daily. He cannot remember to take his medication and sometimes tries to take the same meal twice because he has forgotten that he has eaten.
From being very meticulous about cleanliness, he has become afraid to take his bath. Its a fine line for us to walk to remind him to take his bath without sounding patronising or making him feel bad. He cannot remember how to operate his handphone and often thinks his charger is the handphone instead.Â
After his retirement he learned to use the bus for going to town and drove around the neighbourhood. He now has to depend on us for transport and it must be hard on him, this sudden loss of independance and freedom.
It painful to watch him looking so lost and old. Yes, it is indeed difficult to watch our parents grow old but something we all have to go through for thats the cycle of life.