Monday is my day off, but I decided that I was going to get a jump start on the week, and address some of the things that were most stressing me. Daughter and I both saw Therapist this morning, and I spent some time at McDonald's working on worship planning. Then I went to the nursing home. I currently have 7 people there. 2 have moved in since I was last there, and 1 is currently in the hospital in Big City. I enjoyed my time with them. It was great to catch up on them. I'd asked someone else to visit them and extend my apologies last week. They all wanted to know about Dad, and all assured me they understood why I hadn't been there in a while. Interestingly, one woman said, "I know this is your day off, but I figured we'd see you today." I told her she knew me too well.
Several of the folks I visited are struggling with their adult children taking over their decision making for them. One man, who is almost 90, remarried several years ago. Their adult children decided their finances should be kept separate. Now their adult children are deciding, separately, where they should live. I guess the fact that they're married doesn't carry much weight with them.
There was the woman who is packing because she wants to go home. She wants to get home health care and is willing to have someone stay with her at night. Will she get to go home? That will be up to her kids. They may or may not go along with her plans. There's the couple whose children have hired someone to check up on them (in the nursing home) every week while the kids are on vacation. Talking on the phone isn't good enough.
It got me to wondering, are we making decisions for Dad? Are we allowing him to control his own life? I'm going to have to watch and make sure that we give Dad the dignity of making his own decisions. We need to make sure we respect him and his ability to determine his own future. Brother called this evening. He's wondering if we should force Dad to face how sick he is. I assured him Dad is dealing with it in his own way, and facing it to the degree he wants to. There is nothing to be gained by forcing to talk about something he doesn't want to talk about.
It is so hard, trying to protect aging parents while giving them the respect they deserve. I hope I will be able to maintain the proper balance.