TWICE THE PARENT: When is it time to be your Parent’s Parent?

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Most of us never imagined that our Mothers and Fathers, who brought us in to this world, loved, provided, supported, and essentially helped shape who we became, would ever need us as much or perhaps more than we needed them.

In thinking of our own childhoods, we needed our Parents for a myriad of reasons.  To break it down, we needed them for simple activities of daily living (ADL’s).  Namely eating, bathing, dressing, toileting, transferring(walking) and continence.  But mostly, I propose, we needed (and still need) their love.

Well, time stands still for no man or woman and everyone, if they are so blessed, grows old.  If one is especially blessed, they can live independently their entire life and essentially never need any assistance, direction or hands on care of any kind.  However, the one ingredient all people always needs is love.

While there are many definitions of love, I don’t think I would get much argument that love is looking out for someone’s well- being, even when it is difficult to accomplish, and even when they don’t necessarily understand or agree with it.  Can anyone remember telling a teenage child to do or not do something? They hated you at the time but you knew it was right……….and years later, so did they!

While there is no age that determines “old age”, we must always remember that everyone (who is legally competent) has the right of Self-Determination, which means that they are entitled to make decisions for themselves, even if they are bad decisions.

So, when is it time to become the “Parent to your Parent”?

While I would never mention a specific age, I would suggest that when there is any meaningful “change” in life, i.e., a sickness, death of a spouse, certainly a bad diagnosis, or any inkling, often noticed by friends or relatives who have not seen our Parents in a while, now would be a good time to assess the situation. Sooner is always better than too late…. or never! 

Remember….it is all about LOVE!

This article was submitted by:
Jim Tretola
Certified Senior Advisor (CSA)
Certified Dementia Practitioner (CDP)
Senior Care Consultation of NJ, LLC

For more information, you can contact Jim at 908-377-7702 or

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