Balancing Child and Parent Roles
Everything about life is different right now. I did not expect that Mother’s Day would underscore this point as it did. My mother has been living alone for the last decade after the love of her life died after fifty-three years of marriage. She moved from her home state to live close-by two of her sons and build herself a new life outside of her comfort zone.
My brothers are trying their best to keep her safe from the virus by limiting their interactions. My brother and I had a three-way call on Mother’s Day. Much to our surprise she had re-arranged the furniture not just in one room but between rooms. I am still scratching my head on how she moved the heavy furniture herself. Thank goodness the piano remained in place.
We feel the strain of balancing our role as children and while feeling like her parent at times. Her latest strategy was to shut off her phone in an effort to limit our oversight. Social isolation reveals the hazards of Mom living alone with multiple chronic conditions. There are three areas that concern me most:
- Daily activities including; bathing, dressing, toileting, eating, grooming and other tasks may become harder to accomplish and we may miss the signals.
- Self-management and tracking of medication goes astray now that routine medical appointments are now telehealth visits.
- Home safety check-ups are more important now that our senior family members are spending more time indoors and alone.
Our team has created a new tool for home safety for all of us, parents and children, to use. Try it out for yourself and those you love.