Don’t be too busy for elderly family members or those in the community.
Just this month, my wife and I attended a family dinner to celebrate my father-in-law’s 88th birthday. Something he said caught my attention, and I thought I would share it with you. He said he wanted to stay here—even though getting around was becoming harder—because of the love of his family. He said he didn’t want to leave us.
I often think about all our clients, many in nursing homes, some with ailing health, and want to remind each of us not to be too busy to do what our loved ones really want—to spend time with them.
Life goes by too quickly and sometimes we let the more important things slide in all the hustle and bustle. One of my favorite authors, Richard L. Evans, wrote the following about older adults:
“In the eager and active years of youth, it isn’t easy to understand how parents feel as their flock, one by one, leave the family fireside. To be so long the center of a home, so much sought after, and then almost suddenly, to be on the sidelines watching the procession pass by—this is living into loneliness. We may send gifts and messages on special days…or make an occasional quick call. But passing and perfunctory performances are not enough to keep loneliness in its place the whole year round. What they need in their older years, is in part at least, what we needed in the uncertain years of our youth: a sense of belonging, an assurance of being wanted, and the kindly ministrations of loving hearts and hands; not merely dutiful formality, not merely a room in a building, but room in someone’s heart and life.”
Then there are those who have no family of their own. Can we visit them, bring some cheer into their lives and help with their needs? I’m guessing there is no limit to the good that we can do.
Tom Packer is an Elder Law Attorney serving all of Southeast Idaho. As part of his law practice, Tom offers Life Care Planning to deal with the challenges created by long-term illness, disability and incapacity. If you have a question about a Senior’s legal, financial or healthcare needs, please call us.