Parents age and stop protecting us

Parents age and stop protecting us

Accepting that our parents are aging can be tricky. From one day to the next, we have to protect them, solve their problems and put in place the greatest demonstration of love: looking after them.

Parents age and stop protecting us

Last update: June 02, 2022

As parents age, progressively losing their autonomy, our reality changes completely. They say that it is the law of life, that time presents unexpected twists and that those who always carried us on their wings can no longer bear our weight. It is then that our heroes lose the cloak with which they covered our backs.

Our responsibility is immense, as well as terrifying. It is not easy to face that phase in which, suddenly, the roles seem to change almost by magic: children must be parents and parents must learn to let themselves be helped.

Although they are still valid in many respects, often their authority fails, fatigue immobilizes and health is more capricious than ever.

It is not easy to accept it. Pride does not fail, but prevails with the same youthful impetus, refusing to accept the fragility of the body and the various changes.

After all, after a lifetime of protecting and carrying the weight of the world on your shoulders, it is difficult to delegate. Even less how to accept your vulnerability.

The inner child we carry within us usually experiences great pain and anxiety when we see parents stop looking after themselves. A change that is not without difficulties that we end up accepting.

Our parents have taken care of us all our lives. Taking care of them when they are no longer alone is the greatest act of love and honesty.

The changes to accept as parents get older

Good parents are not the ones who give life, but those who give love. When we are lucky enough to grow up surrounded by that affection and constant dedication, it hurts to see them grow old. Noticing the age that weighs on them is almost unexpected. One day, suddenly, they alter their routine.

It may be that their health is failing for the first time and the doctor says that "the years are starting to take their toll." A sudden forgetfulness or difficulty may arise and, almost without knowing how, we discover how fragile they have become. They, who first managed everything, unexpectedly they become figures who need more help than they can offer.

An article by Dr Christine A. Price and Whitney A. Brosi of Montclair State University indicates that we will become an ever-older society. It is therefore necessary to adopt adequate strategies in the family environment.

It is not easy to accept that parents get older nor address the factors that accompany this process. This is why it is interesting to analyze the phases that make it up.

Parents have been strong for us all our life. Eventually, there comes a time when we have to be strong for them.

1. Self-sufficiency

Parents are self-sufficient for almost the entire life cycle. They are independent and always there for us, they help, guide and protect us. It doesn't matter if we are already adults and no longer live with them, in their mind we are still their children.

2. The relationship of dependence

As parents get older they start to need our help. Old age has nothing to do with age or wrinkles, but with the loss of autonomy.

When that addictive phase comes where they need us to go to the doctor, take medications, or perform certain tasks, then that all changes.

If not long ago they were omniscient figures who dealt with everything, at a given moment this reality takes a 180º turn. And a part of us, the child we still carry within us, suffers and is stressed by this change. But be careful, because even the oldest adult does.

Parents will not always ask us for help when they need it, they are not used to it. Therefore, we must be aware, close and intuitive to anticipate those needs.

3. Constant help

Cooking for them, washing them, holding them by the hand when sadness or fear grips them, making them smile, accompanying them to medical visits ... In old age, when parents are already dependent figures, they receive the purest love that exists from their children.

It is bestowed through constant dedication, compassion and affection. Although it is a difficult phase, we can continue to enjoy it and to discover them in another way.

We must have the courage to accept the cycle of life. Seeing our parents aging is a normal and a phase that we must know how to exploit to intensify the emotional bond with them.

4. Crisis management as parents get older

Aging brings with it moments of crisis that put a strain on our management skills. As parents get older and reach old age, it is common to face accidents, illnesses and unexpected diagnoses.

Nobody prepares us for that stage where anything from dementia to a broken hip can arise. However, as children, we find the strength to face any situation; we become as strong as they have been for us.

We try to celebrate and enjoy every moment of our parents while they are still with us.

5. Terminus

We enjoy the company of our parents as long as we have them next to us. Let's do it every day, by talking to them on the phone or spending time together whenever possible. Because parents are not eternal.

We are only brief tenants in this world where there is only one certainty: life will end sooner or later. We take advantage of the presence of the people we love, especially those who gave everything for us: our parents.

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