Author: Nicole/Friday, June 30, 2017/Categories: Catholic Charities Aging Services
Q. I am a 79-year-old mother who is being “smothered” by my children. All of a sudden they think I can’t do anything on my own. They think I should stop driving, sell my house, the list goes on and on.
My husband passed away several years ago and I have been just fine on my own. I feel I am in good health and really just want them to stop worrying about me. Do you have any suggestions?
A. You are obviously a very good parent and are so blessed to have caring, concerned children. Before we get into the specifics, is this a sudden new concern? Did something happen to cause this “over protectiveness?” Have you asked them why they feel this way?
After you have established the facts and feelings, you can have a great conversation with them about putting things in place to alleviate their concern. Here are some things to consider:
• Check in with one of your children on a daily basis. Arrange a time and which of your children will be your contact. If you use email or social media, send them an email or message on Facebook to let them know you are fine. Establish a time of day for this to occur. Consistency will eventually alleviate some of their concern.
• Plan for emergencies. If you have not already done so, set up Healthcare and Financial Power of Attorney documents. This also includes Healthcare Advance Directives. They will help your children know they each might have a specific role to fulfill in case of an illness or injury.
• Let your kids know where you keep important documents. This includes any wills as well as financial documents.
• Even though it is hard to have these discussions, it might be a good idea to have a worst case scenario talk with them. Let them know what your wishes are if you would not be able to care for yourself or if you had to leave your home.
Once everyone is giving a chance to openly discuss their feelings and they all know what your wishes are, then these feelings of anxiety should decrease.
Being prepared and having a plan are strong tools each of us can use to avoid those crisis situations when unfortunate decisions are often made.
Contact Lynda Koivunen, Assistant Director of Aging Services, at 608-826-8003 or firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any aging-related questions or to learn more about our programs.
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