Parents often think they are super heroes and will never get sick or have an accident. My parents were this type. When I was growing up, we did not really talk about these things. It was good in some cases and bad in other cases. We never had major issues while I was growing up. My mom had Alzheimer’s later in life when I was out of college and working. My dad was there for both of us.
Let’s fast forward to the first Sunday in October this year. My friend from college and I were watching the Chicago Bears play. My phone rang, and it was the front door of the apartment building. Most of the time, it is usually people pressing the wrong numbers, so I didn’t answer it. A few minutes we hear a knock at my door. It was my friend and her husband. She was my aide for several years. She received a voice mail from my dad. He was in the hospital.
Now I was getting scared because my dad is 89 years old. My friend took me to the hospital to see him. My dad fell down the basement stairs and broke one of his vertebrae in his neck and hurt his shoulder. The doctors were surprised that he was not hurt worse.
He was in the hospital for several days and in rehab for several weeks. Now he is home, but he cannot drive yet and will have an operation in a few weeks.
This is really stressing me out a lot. My dad usually brings some cooked meals and other stuff. Yes, I live on my own, but you know things break and other issues happen. I have a lot of cousins, but they only realize that I am on my own, so I don’t need help. That is not the case at all – I do need help.
If you have a child with a disability and other children too, I highly recommend that you make sure that your kids know that they will help out with the one who has a disability. I am not saying that the one with the disability will need help. Who knows down the line, they might need help. You have to make sure they have this in their minds forever.
One thing that I am noticing now is that my parents never asked for help from family members. If they did ask, my parents would say that they were OK. In my opinion, you have to allow family members to help because you will need help some time in your life. Right now, nobody is helping my dad from our extended family. His friend from church is taking him places. I feel bad for the guy, but there is nothing that l can do.
If or when you start hiring personal care assistants to help out and you find a special person, make sure they stay in your family. I am not saying to keep them as an aide, but if you are in a bind, they will help out. I have two people who are stepping up and helping me. You don’t know how blessed I am to have them.
This topic is hard to talk about because each family is so different. One family might help out without asking and another family might be like my family who is just the opposite. You have to deal with what you have. It is all about life.