What it’s like to care for an elderly parent

Sue Friston's mum

Sue Friston’s mum

This week, Final Flinger, Sue Friston shares her experience of what it’s like to care for an elderly parent.

Sue shares honestly and openly:

Mum’s need for supervision and assistance in dressing and washing has noticeably increased in the past few weeks.  Slower.  More frail.

 I notice how easy it is to wish this over.

Excretia, slime and smells press the walls of my disgust.

How often I snap and sigh and feel unequal to the task of all the little things I have to learn how to do for another person.  And lurking ghoul like – the horror that I too wont die before my existence compels someone do this for me.

There are giggly, funny, soft and lovely times too. 

She drew me in for a full hug at the bedtime goodnight peck on cheek. 

“Love you to bits,” she said.  

“I love you too,” I said and realised it was true and such things are never spoken of in this family.  There was tutting whenever kissing happened on the telly. 

The fragility and uncertainty of how long this will last is so different to the timed release capsule which is accompanying children through school years. Immersed in the drowning, scrambling, lurching of coping day to day. Watching them separate, and become more distant, more capable, loving them so much from the very beginning but kind of glad when the house is my own again and not making meals all the time or doing a big shop or giving lifts all over at all times. 

It’s back to front with mum. There was no feeling, no emotion. Just a clamped down response to that which needed doing.  

Now it seems the love is developing like a spring bud in the snow. 

Then she will be gone. 

And I’m kind of afraid of how good that will feel.

Or how unexpectedly bad it will be. 

Thanks Sue

We really appreciate this honest tale of how you are feeling about the care of your mum – the hopes and fears… the rewards and the trials.

Tell us your story of care for an elderly parent

We love to share real experiences. We know it helps others. We hear it when we’re out and about talking to Final Flingers and when folks take the time to email us and say thanks. Email Barbara if you have a story to share. You don’t have to be Shakespeare. Just tell it like it is. 300 words will do the trick… and a nice pic of ordinary days in our ordinary and extraordinary lives.

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