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Tip  #1:  Surrender     Different   from   caving,   this   noTon   implies   trusTng   the  process.    What  might  seem  irreconcilable  can   break   through   wondrously.     When   my   mother   passed   at   89,   my   obsTnate   father   suddenly   opened  to  my  cleaning  his  “hoarders  on  steroids”   home.    (Yes,  this  is  a  real  picture  before  I  was  per-­‐ mired  to  intervene.)

Tip   #6:   Understand   what   elders   are   actually  going  through.     Your  parents’  “naughty”  behaviors  aren’t  necessar-­‐ ily  about  you.    What  if  they’re  essenTally  afraid  of   dying?    The  unknown  beckons.    Tired  glory-­‐day  sto-­‐ ries  may  be  all  they  feel  is  leg. Please  accept  my  parTng  encouragements.

Tip   #2:   Self-­‐care   is   not   a   luxury   but   a   necessity    

Beneath   the   surface   turmoil,   you   seek   to   call   forth   benevolent   effort   so   the   best   for   all   concerned   is   arained.

Exactly   when   you’re   drained,   you   must   recharge.     “Extreme  self-­‐care”  doesn’t  equal  selfishness.    Nur-­‐ turing   yourself   is   analogous   to   donning   your   oxygen  mask  first  in  an  airline  emergency.

I   implore   you   to   not   become   a   staTsTc,   though.     Do  not  join  the  63  percent  of  caregivers  who  expe-­‐ rience   higher   mortality   rates   than   non-­‐caregivers   of  comparable  age.

Tip  #3:  Express  appreciajon    

Instead,  permit  me  to  leave  you  with  these  reflec-­‐ Tons:

ImpaTence   incites   crankiness   whereas   kindness   raises   collaboraTon.     What   if   you   expressed   graT-­‐ •    Senior  care  is  a  draining  marathon.    Just  when   tude   for   your   parents’   posiTve   traits   –   silently   or   you  think  you  can’t  take  another  step,  you  will  find   out  loud? strength.    You  may  not  believe  it  now,  but  you  will.

Tip  #4:  Maintain  your  power    

•    Profound  personal  and  familial  transformaTon  is   possible  through  this  journey.    I’ve  healed  a  signifi-­‐ Grace  under  pressure  lowers  everyone’s  stress  lev-­‐ cant  part  of  my  dysfuncTonal  past  by  transmuTng   els.     Don’t   let   exasperaTng   aging   folks’   amtudes,   my  loathing  into  compassion  over  Tme. beliefs   and   acTons   vicTmize   you.     No   one   can   •    Surprising  hidden  gigs  are  embedded  within  the   pinch  your  competence  without  permission. back-­‐   and   spirit-­‐breaking   hardships.     My   father   Tip  #5:  Feel  all  your  feelings   used  his  waning  days  to  impart  priceless  wisdom  –   lessons  that  will  forever  accompany  me  as  his  leg-­‐ Did   you   know   it’s   100   percent   OK   to   experience   acy. so-­‐called  “negaTve”  feelings  such  as  anger  and  re-­‐ sentment?     You   need   not   demonstrate   Mother   Teresa   or   Papal-­‐like   dedicaTon   to   prove   you’re   a   “good”  son  or  daughter.

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Wellness Woman 40 and Beyond - Issue #4