Grateful and Spry, like most ideas, was born out of a necessity. Ten years ago, I had my first experience with taking care of a family member when my father was confined in a hospital—his first after three decades of good health. A year ago, I found myself in a similar situation (being the caregiver, that is), this time for my mother.
If there is anything I have realized, it is how much it is an honor to take care of my parents. Yes, the tables have turned. At times, it is the child who becomes the parent, when the parents themselves have lost part of their independence. And Yes, there is nothing easy here—for both parties.
But somehow, aside from the occasional head-scratching every time I get a hospital bill, I do not complain. For me, there is no better way of paying it forward to one’s parents.
But having said this, I am conscious that I too have to take care of my own health and general well-being.
When I was very young, I had my taste of having been bedridden for two years, and remembered such odd emotions as resentment for other family member who were carrying on with their normal lives and in fact, having a blast enjoying their elementary years. While such early experience allowed me to empathize with my parent and her current situation, it is a feeling I do not want to re-live for myself. At least as long as I can help it.
When passengers ride a plane, a flight attendance would always remind them to “in emergencies, attend to your own oxygen mask before you help your child with his.” This website follows the same philosophy. My belief: A healthy caregiver makes for more quality care for parents.
– Suzy T. (aka GratefulMe)