There’s Nothing to ‘Forgive’ When You Help an Aging Parent Recognize the Value in Assisted Living
October 29 is National Forgiveness Day. While you may not have realized this was actually a day of celebration to some degree, it can actually be an important one for a lot of people. It’s a time to remember that forgiveness is a gift. It is perhaps one of the best gifts one can give others, including themselves.
One topic that can fracture a relationship, especially between an adult child and their aging parent happens to be assisted living. Many parents assume their adult children will be there for them when they need it. Yet, when those same adult children begin talking about assisted living as an elder care option for their future, they might be offended. They may be hurt. They might even become angry.
Anger often precedes a fractured relationship.
Whether this is a minor fracture or a compound break, when somebody’s feelings are hurt, when they feel insulted, slighted, or abandoned, they might say or even do things to hurt their loved one back. When people are hurting, they often react by hurting or trying to hurt those same people who caused them pain.
It’s often not a direct and conscious effort, but rather the result of the pain one feels. For an aging senior who is already struggling with basic tasks of everyday life, who is counting on their adult child to help them, they might feel taken aback when the topic turns to assisted living.
This is often because they have misconceptions about what assisted living is. Many elderly people assume assisted living means they are being passed off onto someone else. They think it is like other types of facility care where they are just going to go and wait for the end of their life to arrive.
Assisted living is nothing like that. In fact, when many seniors move into an assisted living facility for the first time, only then do they realize why it is one of the best elder care options to consider.
What happens at assisted living?
Everyone is different so the results are not going to be the same, but in many cases aging seniors discover activities to pursue, make new friends, reconnect with old friends, and feel quality of life improving.
That is one of the main reasons why adult children and other loved ones will sit down and recommend assisted living, even though they expect a negative reaction from their aging parent or other senior.
How can you forgive in difficult times?
It’s easy, actually. You learn to let it go. Whether forgiveness is for you or that aging parent, a sibling, or someone else, you can either choose to hold onto the hurt, the pain they caused you, and be angry, or you can learn to forgive.
It doesn’t mean you have to forget, but by letting it go, you no longer hold it against them. Whether the senior is unwilling to forgive you or not doesn’t matter. When you learn to forgive, you begin repairing bridges that no one can tear down again. Just remember, it’s one step at a time.
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