Rules of Engagement for Caregivers and Receivers

Sep 22nd, 2008 | By Dr Jerry D Elrod | Category: Senior Moments Blog

A series of rules which may be useful in keeping lines of communication and caring open is offered to those who are willing to assume the discipline of persistent and patient attention for those important in our lives.

Rule One: Do not abandon your aging parent(s)! No matter your age, if your parents are beginning to show signs of dependency, be sure you refer to this rule daily.

Rule Two: Do not forget, ignore, or procrastinate on Rule One. It’s easy to do. But, every lost moment with a parent, or some other aging acquaintance, is a moment lost forever. When my favorite aunt died, I realized how many times I had avoided just stopping by, always assuming I would be less busy “next time.” Now the joy of her humor, the spice of her wit are only held in memory.

These rules are essential to the welfare of the giver and the receiver. The receiver gets so much out of the attention, presence and thoughtfulness of the giver. The giver is given the satisfaction of discovering how emotionally healthy a thing it is to give.

So, a day comes when you don’t stop by. Well, it is time then for Rule 3: Do not let a day go by without calling. The telephone is still an important link for communication. Or, if not the telephone, and your receiver is computer savvy, how about instant messaging or email?

Essential to caring for a receiver is to share with them loads of caring. I don’t always have lots of news to share with my Mother during the nightly call, but we love the sound of one another’s voice, the sense that, at least briefly, we touched each other today. Do it! Don’t let anything else interfere.

Rule 4: For so long as it is possible, give your care receiver the opportunity to take the initiative to be in touch with you. Such initiative requires mental exercise and acumen necessary to good mental health.

Today’s reminder: :P ick up the phone and give the gift that says you “care enough to be the very best” to those important in your life.

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