It’s not easy getting old. And it’s not easy when a parent gets old, and you approach the time when difficult decisions need to be made to ensure your parent’s well-being. Especially when you’re still learning about senior care, and what options you have to help your parents.
My mother passed away last September, and it’s been tough on my father. He turned 80 recently, and he lives several hours north of me, outside of Boston. While he’s still very sharp, he tires easily and prefers not to drive at night or in inclement weather. He recently downsized from a large home to a smaller townhouse, but it’s still a lot of work for him.
I am hoping that my father is able to move closer to me in the next few months. But in the meantime, I’m trying to find ways to make his life easier.
I’ve discovered a few options, but there is one that’s particularly interesting: Seniors Helping Seniors. This organization connects seniors who are able to provide assistance to others who could use an extra hand. I like a couple of things about this organization. I like that it can provide help in a wide variety of ways – like the shopping and cleaning that are becoming increasing burdens to my father. But I like the senior-to-senior aspect most of all.
Seniors Helping Seniors is staffed by elderly people – peers to those they help. So hopefully the caregiver would be a friendly new face – someone who could become a friend. I know my father’s been lonely; while I’m in constant touch, it’s not the same as having someone who visits. Later this year, after he sells his townhome, I’ll be able to provide comfort, companionship, and love. But for now, I want to keep the world open to him and bring positive new people into his life.
There’s a branch of Seniors Helping Seniors located near him in Boston, and I understand that there are branches located throughout the country. So if you’re like me, and have parents who need a little extra care – or maybe a new friend – you ought to see if there’s a branch near your parents. They may offer you and your parents the care and peace of mind that can become more elusive as we get older.