Young adults who’ve to look after aged parents

by Rahim Said

I have young neighbours who are looking after their aged parents and appear impatient with them, at times. So, let me as an older fellow condo dweller. reflect on this cycle of life and offer them some unsolicited advice.

As we journey through life, the roles we once knew with our parents gradually reverse. Those who cared for us, nurtured us, and guided us now require our support. It is a poignant reminder of the circle of life, a chance to give back the love and patience they showed us.

Here’re some reflections on how we can approach this vital phase with empathy and gratitude.

Let them grow old with the same love that they let you grow. Remember the countless nights they stayed up with you when you were sick or scared. Just as they enveloped you in their unconditional love, it is now our turn to ensure their golden years are filled with warmth and affection.

Let them speak and tell repeated stories with the same patience and interest that they heard yours as a child. Those endless tales of their youth or your childhood that they recount are more than just stories; they are threads connecting the past to the present. Listen with the same eagerness they showed when you babbled about your day at school.

Let them overcome, like so many times when they let you win. Whether it was a board game or a childhood race, they often let you triumph to boost your confidence. Now, let them feel victorious in their battles with age and health, providing encouragement without taking over their independence.

Let them enjoy their friends just as they let you. The companionship of friends brings joy and solace. Just as they arranged playdates and sleepovers for you, support their social interactions, even if it means going out of your way to drive them to a friend’s house or community event.

Let them enjoy the talks with their grandchildren because they see you in them. Watching their grandchildren grow offers them a precious second chance at parenting. Encourage and cherish these moments, for they are building bridges across generations.

Let them enjoy living among the objects that have accompanied them for a long time, because they suffer when they feel that you tear pieces of this life away. Every object, every piece of furniture, carries memories and stories. Understand that their reluctance to part with these items is not about materialism but about holding onto a tangible part of their history.

Let them be wrong, like so many times you have been wrong and they didn’t embarrass you by correcting you. Allow them the dignity of their mistakes. We all stumble, and just as they gently guided us without shaming, we must extend the same courtesy.

LET THEM LIVE and try to make them happy the last stretch of the path they have left to go. Give them your hand, just like they gave you their hand when you started your path.

This journey with our parents is not just about caregiving; it is an opportunity to repay the love and sacrifice with compassion and respect. It is about cherishing the time we have left together and ensuring their twilight years are filled with joy and contentment.

In caring for our aged parents, we find ourselves learning anew the virtues of patience, kindness, and unconditional love.

As they once did for us, let us now stand by them, making every day a little brighter, a little easier, and a lot more loving.

Dr. Rahim Said is a human behaviourist and regular contributor on digital media platforms. He is a professional management consultant, a corporate trainer and an executive coach specialising in coaching of senior executives and individual entrepreneurs with the purpose of modifying their behaviour in the pursuit of their cherished missions. (The views expressed by our columnist are entirely his own)