Everyone is talking about their parents. Lately it seems the main topic of conversation when we get together to socialize with people is “their parents.” Here are excerpts from a few recent conversations.
“I went to Alberta so I could be with my Mom during her geriatric assessment. They told me she has Alzheimer’s. When I shared the news with her she said cheerfully, “Well everyone has something wrong with them.”
“My Mom says a handy thing about growing old is you don’t need to buy new books. You can just read the same ones over and over, because right after you finish a book you forget what it’s about.”
” We are busy planning my mother-in-law’s 90th birthday party. She is very excited about it and really looking forward to it. She keeps asking how many people she can invite and she doesn’t believe us when we say, “As many as you want.”
“I know my Dad needs to give up his driver’s licence. His driving is downright dangerous. But how do we tell him? “
“I haven’t been to Saskatchewan for a long time to see Mom. She has dementia and she hasn’t recognized me for a couple of years.”
“My mom still swims for an hour everyday—six days a week. She’d swim on Sunday too but my Dad put his foot down about that.”
“Mom should be in an assisted living place, but she won’t go; so we end up driving the hundred kilometers to her home every week to help her with housework and yard work.”
“This week I have to take both my mother and my mother-in-law to appointments. I take my mom grocery shopping every week. ”
“My mother-in-law admits this last stage of her life is the hardest. ‘Growing old is not for cowards’, she says honestly.”
I notice not only do all my friends seem to be talking about their parents, but when I talk to my sister and brothers we usually include something about our parents in our conversation as well—how we think they are doing health wise—what we need to do to support them, or what family activities we should plan for them to enjoy.
A decade or so ago conversations with our friends revolved around our children, now they revolve around our parents.
I don’t really mind talking about aging parents. It is helpful to know how other people are supporting their elderly mothers and fathers; but it is interesting to note the way the subject can at times completely monopolize the conversation of the fifty-something crowd.