Understanding the whole person

Spending time with a parent can be enjoyable. Helping feels good when we’re successful. We can be grateful, loving and tireless in our commitment to them. There are times, though, when parents need things we, or even a trained caregiver, cannot provide. As hard as we try to be part of a parent’s life, we will never be their peer. We will never have shared the same experiences from the same perspective. We can be sympathetic and supportive but will never have walked in their shoes. Everyone, no matter how much of a “loner” they are, needs to be part of a community of peers. They need to be around other people just like them. Find ways to help them get connected. If getting out of their home is difficult, talk with them about why it’s so important to them to stay home. Offer an opportunity for them to be part of a community with the same interests and abilities. If they are willing to try, they may find that leaving a house behind can allow them to find a much better life.