More Than Being Filial – Caring For My Elders

When we get older one thing is for sure – our parents will get old, too.   Are you ready for that time?  The time when it’s no longer your parent who’s going to look after your welfare, but the other way around?  How do you view this?  Does it worry you as a burden, or would you like to prepare early on being the filial child? “If older caregivers have health problems themselves and become mentally or emotionally stressed, they’re at a higher risk of dying,” said Richard Schulz, a professor of psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh.




Sacrifice Is A Natural Thing For Parents

Some parents tend to give everything they can for their children’s welfare and security.  Parents sacrifice a lot of themselves by working hard and setting goals that they try to meet in whatever way they can, even if it means less rest and less time for themselves.  They set aside what they want to do in life just to provide the needs and wants of their children.  Their happiness often depends on how well they can support and raise their children to be better than them in every way.  Being a parent is a tough challenge that comes within our lifetime.


The responsibilities and duties of my own parents come beyond themselves because they have more than one life to take care of.  They always think of how to sustain the everyday challenges and ways to fight back as life pushes them through the corner of hardships.  My parents sacrificed a lot for us just to see us reaching our dreams and wants in life, and they expect nothing much in return.   Making both ends meet is my parents’ exceptional talent.




Pay Back Time Or Giving Back?

Time will come when my parents would no longer be able to work as much as they used to. Even doing their activities of daily living will one day be impossible for them to perform.   As my parents continue to grow old, they can depend on no one else but us, their children.   It is our turn to tend and care for them, not the way they cared and looked after us because we can never equal that.   But the closest we can do for them is to support them, especially on how they wish to be in their days of retirement. Older parents might do better to try to understand and address the child’s concerns. According to Karen Fingerman PhD, “We found in our research that when the middle-aged adult is worried about the aging parent, the parent is both annoyed by that and feels more loved.”  It may be difficult for us to give them their old age needs because of many things running down on our own plate, but proper parent care and planning have a variety of ways for our parents to feel loved and at the same time cared for by us.


If we think of their old age as payback time, it will just burden us.   But if we think of it as an act of gratitude for what our parents have done for us, it becomes easier as we think of it as the time to give back. After all, we will not be who we are if not for them.


Planning Ahead Of Time Makes Things Easier

Planning care for our parents early on is the least we can do for the sacrifices they’ve done for us.  It can help lessen the hassle of knowing that we have outgrown our parents in making a living.  By the time our parents can no longer strive for life, planned parent care is indeed the greatest gift we can give them.

Planned parent care compromises insights into things that our parent wants to have, in the sense that they will feel content and happy in their current state.  Planning early on for the retirement of our parents is something manageable while we still don’t have much responsibility.   We do the planning with them.  Ask away the stuff they want or need when they reach a certain age, the age where they feel that they can no longer do the usual things they used to do in the past years.


Looking after our parents’ welfare especially when they are old is one of the best ways to communicate to them how grateful we are for all that they have done for us.




When we come to that age wherein we are the ones who are giving the care our parents need, they can view this as very fulfilling, especially seeing us become successful enough to provide them with their needs such as medication.


Sadly, the last thing to think about is when our parents step up to graduate life.   But before that day comes, it would be nice that they feel our filial love through our care in their old age. “When your days as a caregiver have ended, you’ll want to look back and know you did the best you could for your parent,” Alexis Abramson, Ph.D. says. “You’ll want to know you made the most of the last days, months and years with your loved one — surviving the bad times but always remembering to seek out and cherish the good. Just as important, you will want to have a life to return to, filled with people you love, activities that interest you, and the good health to enjoy them.”