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Senior Articles of Interest:

Alzheimer's Disease

Cancer: A Death Sentence for the Elderly?

Depression among the Elderly

Health Insurance 101 for Senior Citizens 

Long term care insurance: What is it really?

Medical Conditions and Information for the Elderly

Medicare: How will it help me?

Medicaid Program: What do I need to know?

Medication Information for the Elderly

Nursing Homes: What critical information should I know?

Personal Safety for Grandma and Grandpa

Prescription Medication: You have to get it right

Psychiatric Medications

Social Security: Can I get it now?

Senior Care Psychological Consulting

Caregiving Articles of Interest:

Is Elderly Care at Home the Best Choice?

Caregiving- Families Don't Always Play Fair

How The Sandwich Generation Can Help Their Parents Create a Legacy of Meaning  

Five Things You Must Do When Traveling With Older Parents   

Avoid Identity Theft from Obituaries   

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Natural Order of Things - Of Life

By Dorothy Bley

It never ceases to amaze me at the way everything works, develops and falls into place. God has created such a wonderful system with a natural order to everything. In His infinite wisdom, God has created a plan to ease our pain and make the loss of a parent bearable.

As children, we are dependent on our parents. They provide all we need and some of what we want. Our parents find great joy in helping us take that first step, tasting green peas for the first time, and going from diapers to the potty. To loose a parent would be devastating to a child.

Growing older, our parents are still very much a part of our lives, but we are not totally dependent on them. We are starting our own life, career, and/or family. Time is spent with friends, as well as, family. Losing a parent, as a young adult is still hard to deal with, but we cope and move on.

As we age and become older adults, the relationship with our parents starts to change again. Our parents start to depend on us to provide what they need and some of what they want. This shift of roles is hard to accept for most of us. It is hard to go from being the child, to being the "parent". There is no joy in helping them take a step, feeding them green peas, or going from the potty to diapers. The loss of a person's independence is tough. It is tough on the parent who can not longer eat or dress unassisted. It is tough on the child who provides this assistance.

The role change is stressful emotionally and physically. Changing the diaper of a ten pound infant is considerable easier than changing a 110 pound adult. The infant smiles at you, giggles, and rewards you with a coo. The adult frowns at you, mumbles, and curses you for not changing her fast enough. Your toddler makes cute little faces as you offer him food from your plate. The adult turns up her nose as you offer her homemade soup. Your teenage son gives you a hug for making him a doctor's appointment to discuss acne and other adolescent problems. Your mother slaps you when you tell her she has a follow up doctor's appointment to get her medications refilled.

Is losing a parent as devastating at this stage of life as it would have been years ago? Are you worn out from the additional physical work of taking care of your parent? Do you look at the wrinkled, mean, demanding person and wonder where your mother/father went?

My theory: God has created the life cycle for us so we can survive. He has worked His plan so by the time we must give up our parents, we are so physically and emotionally tired, we are relieved. Guilt should not be felt for feeling this relief. Caring for our parents shows they were successful in raising us to follow God's commandment: Honor thy father and mother. We must be proud of the task we have completed.

This is the natural order of things. We enter this world totally dependent on our parents and our parents leave this world totally dependent on us.

Dorothy Bley

Dorothy Bley is a mother, grandmother, and Godmother. She has written and presented numerous workshops on childhood education and nurturing parent skills. Just recently she has started putting all this experience into print. Some of her recent work is featured on  

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Additional Information and webpage by Paul Susic MA Licensed Psychologist Ph.D. Candidate                                      

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