Even Frail Parents Should Have a SayLiz Taylor in Medical Week News suggests that our elderly parents have the right to make their own decisions, even if we consider those decisions to be wrong. That’s a hard word, but one that offers respect to them.
She says, “We are parents to our children, but we are never parents to our parents. It may feel that way sometimes, but it's important to know that a healthy relationship with our parent even when we're providing care is still an adult-to-adult transaction. You can disagree with your mom, consider her her own worst enemy, tell her she's heading toward disaster. But she doesn't have to "mind" you or pay attention.”
We have a friend whose father was a life long missionary. Now retired, he still travels the world, visiting missionaries. I asked my friend how he handles this. After all, his dad is getting older. He says, “I know that someday I may have to go to Africa to retrieve him, but I know he’ll go out doing what he loves the most. I owe him that much.”
Interesting perspective. I try to remember that in dealing with my mom. What is it that causes me to want to protect and control her? I know I don’t want her to suffer from foolish mistakes, but who am I to insist that her decisions are foolish?