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Charlotte Amalie
Friday, June 21, 2024
HomeCommentaryOpen forumOpen Forum: Taking Care of Parents Is Rewarding

Open Forum: Taking Care of Parents Is Rewarding

Emily and Otto Tranberg in 2008 at the Aldershville Center for Senior Citizens. (Source file photo)
Emily and Otto Tranberg in 2008 at the Aldershville Center for Senior Citizens. (Source file photo)

“Once a man and twice a child and everything is just for a while” (Bob Marley). This phrase makes more sense when you are providing care for your elderly parents. It is not an easy undertaking, but it is extremely rewarding. There is satisfaction in knowing that you are there for the two people responsible for your existence. It is very difficult to watch a parent devolve and succumb to any number of disease states that affect our elderly population, yet there is extreme solace in knowing they are not alone and that you are there to alleviate any suffering.

Actually, most of the time in caregiving is spent learning many aspects about your parents that you never would have known had it not been for providing primary care of the same.

I realize it is more convenient to place elderly parents in geriatric facilities; however, your children and grandchildren are cheated of developing meaningful relationships and memories with said relatives.

It is indeed challenging to provide care for Alzheimer’s parents or critically ill relatives; however, keeping them in their own homes where things are familiar goes a long way to improving quality of life. We should all remember the major sacrifices our parents have made raising us from infants to adulthood, so any sacrifices we can make to indulge them in their elderly years is miniscule by comparison. It is very difficult at times yet simultaneously rewarding to provide such care. Additional help may be required, and hopefully, the department of Human Services can facilitate the process of accessing the nursing care needed to accommodate our elderly in this community.

I acknowledge the fact that most people cannot sacrifice the time necessary to spend with a disabled parent; however, there are resources available to you to assist in this undertaking.

At a time when our parents are most vulnerable, we should make every effort to improve quality of life. Again, it is not a simple task, but it is extremely rewarding. Heartbreaking at times but enlightening and motivating in others. Trust me on this one. I know from experience.

Glenn Webster

Editor’s note: St. Thomas resident Glenn Webster is a member of the Board of Elections.

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