February 12, 2014 Leave a comment
When one spouse starts having a decline in health due to aging, the other spouse usually has to pick up the slack. Not only do they do the caregiving, but also the other person’s share of household duties, billpaying, gardening, shopping, pharmacy runs, getting the mail, taking care of the pets, all the transportation responsibilities, and any other myriad of things that come up. Once married, we agree to a lifelong decision of caring for each other for better, and for worse. Unfortunately, the worse part usually comes at the end of our lives when we don’t have the strength and vitality of youth to energize us for the caring. Imagine if you were 70 or 80 years of age and suddenly had a new baby to care for. That is what caring for a partner feels like to the older adult. There is a drastic change in life that happens unexpectedly. It shouldn’t seem unexpected because we all age, but, we all think, it won’t happen to me.
There may be adult diapers and adult formulas to buy. There may be caregivers hired to be there when the spouse can’t be, or wants to go out for respite. A baby monitor may need to be purchased to listen if the person has to sleep downstairs becuase they can’t physically make it up to their bedroom. Their life has come full circle.
Living with Aloha is what we, in Hawaii do and would like to see others practice its meaning of kindness, unity, and agreeable, with humility, and patience. Understanding and patience is needed for all in the family circle that provide care and companionship for the loved spouse and relative. Children should be instructed about how to be compassionate, without pity, to the older adults in their lives. Every life is worthwhile to the end. Until death do us part.
Thanks for reading!