When we live busy lives with spouse and children to care for, we are often caught not spending enough time with our aging parents. If we are fortunate enough to live close to them we might drop over quickly to see if they need something, but often than not we will phone to check in.
The phone call is quick and expedient. A quick hello, how are you, the kids are fine, and then you say goodbye because you need to get dinner or something. Mom said everything is fine, so you take her at her word. Even if you stop by periodically, you run in for a few minutes, chat about the weather and things, then you are off again.
Unfortunately, that is life these days, however you might be missing some vital signals and warning signs that unless you see first hand and ask the questions you will never know. Why? Because Mom doesn’t want to bother you and your Father told her not to tell you. Whatever it is, it’s their little secret. This happens quite frequently.
As the folks age and continue to live alone and are independent, we become comfortable not having to worry about them. It is important that we periodically take some quality time with your parents to see how they are actually doing. Develop a base line measure of their life, activities, and physical abilities. Then as time proceeds do it again, just to stay tuned in to the subtle changes that may be occurring.
Life is funny, we think we will have the folks forever, then without warning — or was there some warnings and signs — they are old and sick. We didn’t see it coming.