Four gifts for our elderly parents when we ourselves are adults:
• Regular phone calls and frequent visits. Everyone likes to be in the loop with the people we love. If you’re too busy as an adult to make regular contact with your parents, you are too busy. Something about your life probably needs re-assessment.
• Room for your parent to think and to speak and to tell stories you, the adult son or daughter, may well have heard a thousand times. Stories are obviously a powerful link to past and serve to re-ignite the soul. Your parents’ repeated telling of the same stories is providing a valuable service.
• Opportunities to be with your children. While a grandchild is not a commodity to be passed around, he or she is the promise of hope to a grandparent. As much contact as possible should be encouraged. Of course there are exceptions. If your parents are relatively sane and sober (when your child is present) then there is much to be gained from encouraging contact.
• Hearty celebrations of milestones. Ignoring or forgetting a parent’s birthday is the same for some as ignoring the parent. If your parents’ birthdays are something you regularly forget there’s something deeper going on with you that may need your attention.