Your parents took care of you — wiped your nose, helped you with your homework, looked for a good college or apartment with you, and maybe even walked you down the aisle. So now that they are older, perhaps more feeble and well past their income earning years, they need your help. No, they don’t need help with their homework, but they might need help in finding a good apartment — that is, long term care facility. And the needs of one set of parents are different from the needs of the next set of parents, just like when you were a child and your needs and those of your siblings or your neighbors were different.

If you’ve followed my story, you know that my brothers and I are trying to care for our aging mother. And the issues we face are perhaps the same as those that you are facing, caring for your own parents. Or not. In any case, it continues to be my hope that my journey-on-display will be some help and comfort for anyone who is standing in my shoes.

We have divided Mom’s bills, leaving some of them with her and taking others on ourselves so as to allow her some control without giving her so much that it is overwhelming to her. None of us are convinced that her doctor is the best for her. Neither is she. To be fair, he has not been bad for her. He has been a part of her routine for many years, but not like a family friend, sort of like the Department of Transportation — its always there, but not exactly warm and fuzzy. So we discussed a possible switch to another physician.

“No thank you,” was Mom’s entire response.

Is it because she likes this doctor? Does she trust him, or is it inertia? We want what is best for Mom, and it may well be that switching doctors would be the best thing for her. So we probed a little further.

“No thank you,” was the predictable response.

So we continue, hoping to help Mom’s golden years be as comfortable as possible. We have taken some of the financial burden off her. We have introduced her to a possible long-term care facility and have gotten her acquainted with a few people at the facility. We aren’t trying to control her. Not that much, anyway. Just enough for her own good. Just like she did for us.

Please keep sharing your stories and feedback.