11 Tishrei 5781 / Tuesday, September 29, 2020 | Torah Reading: Ha'azinu
 
dot  Add to favorites   dot  Set as homepage  
 
   
    Create an account    |    Sign in
  
    My Account     Orders History     Help
 
 
  My Country:  
  United States   
 
   Language:  
  English   
 
   My Currency:  
  US Dollar   
 
   
Home Page Torah Portion Spirituality and Faith Foundations of Judaism Inspirational Stories Family & Daily Life Holidays and Fast Days Israel and Society
   Dating     Marital Harmony     Good Income     Children and Education             
 
  More  
 
 
 
Physical and Emotional Health  
 
HomeFamily & Daily LifePhysical and Emotional HealthFor Elders' Sake
 
  Advanced Search
   Articles
 
   Search
 
            
 

For Elders' Sake    

For Elders' Sake



There is often one adult child who takes over the lion's share of caring for an elderly parent. Often, it's the child who lives closest or who doesn't work full-time…

 



There is nothing quite like coping with aging parents for bringing out the very best in people. And the very worst.

 

The issues that arise when an elderly parent becomes disabled can become an emotional minefield for the kids if they lack maturity and emuna.  Due to the intensity of emotions that accompany this chapter of life, mutual respect and skillful relating are the keys to keeping the family together.

 

When a parent suddenly becomes ill there can arise the need for logistical changes, financial rearrangements and demands on the family's time and energy.

 

And that's only the first level. Then there are thorny emotional issues which can range from: who knows what Mom would want; who is suited to take over Dad's finances; and who is gonna break it to the folks that they can't drive anymore?

 

There is often one adult child who takes over the lion's share of work. That is often the child who lives closest to the parent or doesn't work full-time. This can be handled judiciously, with group consent and financial/moral support from the other siblings, to the credit of the entire family. But when the majority of care falls on one particular child, it can also cause resentment and revive negative feelings that have been dormant for years. Sometimes all hell breaks loose. It is so important to understand that giving honor to elderly parents is a mitzva from the Torah and that that includes sparing them the anguish of having to witness or hear about their grown children fighting “because of them”.

 

For several years, I ran a support group for adult children of people with dementia and I heard about situations where the kids came together and faced the pain, and other situations where the opposite occurred.

 

There is tremendous distress in watching the decline of parents who once took care of us and it feels unnatural, uncomfortable and frightening to change roles with them. None of us wants to witness our parents growing weak, forgetful and unable to continue with the acts of daily living. So, in addition to all the practical challenges, there are strong emotions to contend with, G-d willing in a positive way.

 

Families who have been communicating in a reasonably healthy manner throughout the years are more likely to handle the test of aging parents without major blow-outs and drama. People who have a good relationship with Hashem have the greatest chance of weathering the roller coaster of anxiety and sadness that normally occurs. Personal prayer provides the best outlet for inner turmoil and we need to ask for guidance every step of the way. It is impossible to make important decisions when one is exhausted and angry.

 

Praying for acceptance and patience can make the difference in any big test and this is one of the biggest.

 

Don't our parents deserve to have grown children who work well together to help them through the last stage of life? And don't we owe it to ourselves to be able to look back with self-respect; that we were both conscientious and cordial in the midst of a family tsunami? The one thing that most parents want above all else is unity among their children. This is the absolute worst time to relight old jealousies, resentments and rivalry. Competing and comparing about who does what and who cares more can turn a unique opportunity for expressing love into an ugly family feud that can last for generations.

 

If there are financial issues to be hammered out and this becomes a loaded topic, it is advisable to seek out professional advice with an objective third party. And remember always, that Hashem has His eye on your aged mother. No matter how old she is, she is His daughter.

 

“Even to your old age, I am He. And even to advanced age, I will carry you. I have made and I will bear, yes, I will carry and will save you.” (Isaiah 46:4)

 

Be careful with G-d's child.

 

 





New Comment    New Comment
   See More Articles By Yehudit Channen
   Read more about Physical and Emotional Health




Top of article    Top of article       Email This Article    Email This Article          Share to Facebook       Print version    Print version


 Join the distribution list Join the distribution list
 
 
  
If you would like to receive other related articles or Breslev.co.il features via e-mail, please enter your e-mail address here:

   

 Related Articles Related Articles
 
 

 
Genuine Happiness               Goodbye Prozac, Hello Emuna               Miracles and Medicine
 
 Genuine Happiness  Goodbye Prozac, Hello Emuna  Miracles and Medicine


  0 Talkbacks for this article     

Add Your CommentAdd Your Comment    Add Your Comment    

 
 
  
In Honor of:    In Memory of:
  
 
Like What You Read?
 
Help Breslev Israel spread the light of Rebbe Nachman
across the globe, and be a partner in making a better world.
 
Click here to support Breslev.co.il
  
 
 
 Products of the Day Products of the Day
 
 
 
 
Back  1 2 3  Next
 
 
 
 
  •  
     
  •  
     
  •  
     
  •  
     
  •  
     
 
Back  1 2 3  Next
 
 
 Most talked about Most talked about
 
 
 
 
Up  1 2 3  Down
 
 
 Most read Most read
 
 
 
 
Up  1 2 3  Down
 
 
 Facebook Facebook
 
 
 
 Mailing List Mailing List
 
 
 
Subscribe Here:   
 
   
 

 
 



  
 
 
open toolbar