No One Wants to be Neglected or Forgotten
“I Don’t Want To Be Forgotten”
This is a phrase I’ve heard so many times when I work with the elderly getting their legal paperwork in order. It is truly one of the greatest fears many of our aging parents have – being forgotten. They fear their own children will forget about them during the course of increasingly demanding and busy lives. They fear their grandchildren and other extended family members will also forget about them and not consider taking the time to visit. There’s this “out of sight, out of mind” aspect to the fear, and it is a valid one.
After raising families, having successful careers and businesses and being the glue that kept families purring along, we humans reach an age at which we begin to feel as if our lives no longer have meaning. Sometimes the last years of a human being’s life can feel endless and terribly lonely. That is true for the healthy as well as those who are dealing with age-related illnesses.
The elderly in our country and culture are not commonly as revered as they are in other cultures.
We tend to want to shuffle our sick and elderly parents off into retirement homes and nursing homes. Once they are tucked away in these places, some adult children make an obligatory visit or two during the course of a year. I recognize it isn’t like this for everyone, but it is a common enough practice that parents have reasons to be concerned.
When people reach the later years of their lives, time spent with loved ones is the greatest gift of all. After all, time is something the elderly have an abundance of, especially if they are confined to their homes, a wheelchair or a bed. And don’t think for a moment if there are cognitive issues that they don’t miss their loved ones. They may not be able to express it, but they still have feelings.
We’re all going to get old, hopefully. And we will have our own fears to face. If you believe in good deeds returning to you and you are caregiving for an aging parent, please make sure you let them know they won’t be forgotten.