I took my Mom to the doctor the other day. When she checked in, they gave her a tablet and asked her to check that the info on it was correct.
1) My Mom does NOT know how to use a tablet. She doesn’t even own a cell phone. Or a computer. So how was she supposed to operate this devise without my help?
2) The writing was so small and light she wouldn’t have been able to see it even if she understood how to ‘click’ and ‘swipe.’
3) I know it’s 2016 (and, believe me, I’ve tried to get her to up her ‘tech’-nique) but Mom still uses a wall phone, asks for a written-out appointment card and even needs help filling out (paper) medical forms.
Is this what I have to look forward to now? After driving my parents to their doctors appointments, answering their medical questionnaires to ‘100% completion’ and picking up their meds will I, at some point, be asked to ‘go to the doctor for them’ as well?
My parents and I just celebrated our second anniversary of generational living. Has it improved their quality of life? Has it made their lives any easier?
I’ve decided to let them speak for themselves. So I quickly jotted down a few key questions and I’ll share their answers with you. These are things we all wonder about in our own lives so I figured they’d be helpful on a number of levels.
Me: “Are you happy?”
Dad: “I’m learning to deal…”
Me: “How much stress do you feel daily?”
Mom: “A bit.”
Me: “If you could have one wish?”
Mom: “That your Dad’s eyes were better.”
Dad: “That I could get my eyes back.”
My takeaway from this is that, while my parents (after nearly 60 years together) are basically on the same wave length, their commonality works best when they are at their best selves!
1) How could I be so stupid?
2) Marriage is a wonderful institution but who wants to live in an institution?
3) Do vegetarians eat animal crackers?
4) If you see a heat wave should you wave back?
5) Why are there Braille dots on the keypad of the drive thru ATM?
6) Why are softballs hard?
7) Why do banks leave the door wide open but the pens chained to the counter?
8) Why is a professional who invests your money called a broker?
9) Why is it called a drive thru if you have to stop?
10) Why do they call it getting your dog ‘fixed’ if it doesn’t work afterwards?
What’s the difference between ignorance and apathy?
I don’t know and I don’t care.
Sadly, that’s a more truthful answer than you’d like to believe. Elderly people get a bum rap. They’re made fun of and they’re underestimated. Older folks have always been depicted as decrepit and powerless in movies and on TV. They are often seen as victims and tend to be the brunt of youngsters’ jokes.
But the joke isn’t on them… It’s on the jokesters themselves.
Celebrities like Betty White and politicians like Jimmy Carter can teach us all a thing or two. They’ve not let time slow them down. They are as active and as productive as ever.
So, next time you see an elderly person (possibly even walking with the help of a cane or a walker), don’t assume they need your pity or your assistance. They may surprise you!*
*holding the door open for YOU or even bopping you on the head with their handbag like Ruth Buzzi @Laugh-In
For quite some time now I’ve been hoping to convince my Mom to get a hearing aid. She wouldn’t be the only one, by far, as I’ve seen (and heard) those tiny beeping devices in many an ear throughout our community.
It seems like I spend an inordinate amount of time repeating myself because Mom is completely deaf in one ear. So I have to shout out every question and statement in order to be heard.
When I leave, Mom doesn’t hear me say goodbye. When I come in, she doesn’t acknowledge my presence. And when I need an answer (“where is Dad?” “should I get the mail?” “are you ready to go?”), I practically have to stand directly in front of her and let her read my lips.
So, why is she so dead-set against getting a hearing aid and making her life (and that of those around her) easier?
I’ve finally figured it out. Mom likes not being able to hear… some things. It’s not that she has selective hearing and chooses what she hears. No. It’s actually quite brilliant. When Mom is talking to her friends on the phone, she is using her good ear to listen and, therefore, cannot hear all of Dad’s rantings. When she wants to take a nap in the afternoon, she curls up on her ‘good ear’ side and isn’t disturbed by the tv or Dad’s constant questions.That is how I know the ‘real’ answer to the question in the ad: “can you hear me now?” And the answer is: “not unless I want to!”
**** ‘Hear’ (haha) are a few hearing aids I’ve heard about (but not personally used):
What’s the difference between helping and enabling? That’s a tricky question. It’s one that I’ve been battling with myself over for some time now.
The dictionary defines ‘help’ as doing something to make it easier for someone… to aid or assist someone. ‘Enable’ is defined as making something possible or easy. But isn’t that essentially the same thing? At least in literal terms, it sounds like a positive action. So how come I constantly feel like I’m doing my parents an injustice?
Here are some examples:
1) The Mail – getting it saves my parents time and a trip down the elevator. Saving my parents a trip down the elevator keeps them from leaving their home and from having something to do to break up the day.
2) The Store – going to the pharmacy or picking up dinner saves my parents from having to do these chores themselves. Doing these chores for my parents keeps them from leaving their home, having something to do and from socializing with other people.
3) The TV – turning on the tv, taping programs and checking the guide saves my parents from ever having to learn how to operate the remote. Operating the remote myself, instead of insisting they learn how to do it themselves, keeps them reliant on me, doesn’t challenge their brains, keeps them (basically) in the Stone Age and out of touch with technology and the resources of the 21st century.
What’s the difference between HelPing and eNABling? BN HAP (being happy)!