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The difficulties of being a good daughter

August 19, 2008 - Cheryl Clarke
How does one muster the strength to force the issue when it is time for one's parents to go into assisted living without feeling like it is a betrayal of duty to them? Feeling like I owe something to them, to take care of them in their declining years as they took care of me as a defenseless infant is constantly at the back of my mind these days as I watch my parents fade away. They are both in poor health, though my mother seems to be failing faster than my dad, and yet they insist on maintaining their "independence" not recognizing the risk they are putting themselves at by doing so. Without meaning to, by helping them with their chores and shopping, I am enabling them to remain at risk, and the risk is about to increase with winter coming soon. I worry about them constantly, and they are only about 10 minutes away from me, however, it would be too far to help them if some disaster was to occur. My mother is losing her memory and her vitality is fading away with each passing day. I know she isn't eating properly and just waiting on my dad, who is in his chair 24/7, is taking all her strength, leaving her with none to fix herself meals. They don't like the food provided by the senior meal service, we have been there twice, and they just end up throwing it away. I have reluctantly talked to their doctor about my concerns, hoping they will listen to him and see the logic of getting themselves into a place where they can be properly cared for. I am praying they will listen, and make the move before a fall or an illness or worse forces them into skilled nursing care. I know I am not alone in this, but sometimes I feel like I am. Maybe others who have faced or are facing this have some words of wisdom or advice for me. It would certainly be appreciated.


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