Did you know that 1st October is designated International Day for Older Persons?
As per the UN Development report published in 2017,
The global population aged 60 years or over numbered 962 million in 2017, more than twice as large as in 1980 when there were 382 million older persons worldwide. The number of older persons is expected to double again by 2050, when it is projected to reach nearly 2.1 billion.
As motionless I lie
I see from the corner of my eye
You, my child scurrying around to get things done.
You stay awake all night, listening to my laboured breathing.
I feel your heart race with twice the speed of mine
Especially when you feel my pace has faltered.
Fear, not my child it’s not yet time
For me to leave you and join my folks long gone
who wait for me to join them;
shuffling patiently to make room for me.
As I lie motionless, I see the fear in your eyes
when you think I’m rambling on about an aunt long gone
or of people shouting or laughing loudly when none exist
But I haven’t lost my mind
It’s just a bit jumbled up.
And memories come tumbling out unbidden
From my head.
For no reason.
As I lie motionless you feed me spoon by spoon
The way I fed you when you were small.
With trepidation, your eyes question: have I failed you?
No my child you have not.
How can I explain that you don’t love me any less when you keep me in professional care.
In the hands of strangers who somehow seem to know me better than I know myself.
Who deftly turn me from side to side, mindful of my aching bones
And make my bed with me inside!
They change my clothes and wash me clean while you feel it should have been you.
But no! Throw out all guilt and feelings of inadequacy
for in this time that’s difficult for
you and me
It is best that strangers attend to me as
I lie motionless and helpless.
Many of my friends have reached the age where they have to look after ailing parents. With most of us already past our prime, it is often difficult for us to physically tend to sick parents.
We are often racked with guilt when we seek the help of professionals to assist in nursing.
But does asking a trained caregiver for assistance amount to neglect or disrespect or even unconcern?
Do share your views on this in the comments below.