Elderly and Alone, why?
When families forget that you are there because you need their help, not their anger.
I often find myself feeling that I am nothing but a burden for my family and that I cause them much stress. They order me about and tell what I can and can’t do all the time. They complain all the time when I call them to ask for something or ask for a little company once in a while. They gripe about having to clean up my messes and they gripe about helping me get dressed, especially when my limbs just won’t go the way they are supposed to. I wonder how many of you out there feel the same way.
I finally began to understand what was happening; at least I think I did. I was bedridden for several months. When I needed something like help to the bathroom or a drink of water, the family would have to drop what they were doing to help me. They gripped, not because I needed the help, but because they had to stop what they were doing to help me.
Getting old is rough
Getting old means you can't move like you used to move. Your body won't do things like climbing or lifting; even sitting can be painful. Your insides betray you as well. You start with low or high blood pressure. Then on to your inside parts not working. Knee replacement, hip replacement, clotting issues, gall stones, diabetes, obesity, weak eyes, weak limbs, hearing problems, even loss of teeth and weakness of your bones. Then, to top it all off, you begin to rely on your family to help you because you can't do the things you used to do without thinking about it. Grrrrrrrrr!
The worst part is:
Many of the elderly can't even get out of bed without help. It is a constant struggle to remember their medicines, so they don't always take them. It is hard to hear so they must keep saying "what?" when people speak to them. Showers become something they can only do on good days. And they get angry because the check book no longer balances, they can't remember a grandchild's name, or they are a burden.
But the worst part of growing old is that many people automatically assume things. Things such as older means dumber; older means deaf; older means you can't spell or do math anymore. The list is endless. And in some cases they are true, but not in all cases. Some of the elderly are fit, strong, and have a teenager's brain (so to speak). They don't need, or in many cases want, your help. The ones who do need help don't need your harrumphs, exaggerated sighs, or disciplinary attitude because they already know that they are interrupting your routine. They already know they are a burden. And they hate that they can't do things themselves any more.
Hope you enjoy these two little poems about getting old.
Staying with Family
I cried myself to sleep last night, a thing I often do
I felt I wasn’t worth my life, as they told me what to do
I let the tears fall on my pillow fearing that they might hear
For if they knew I cried again they would shout at me, the pair
They leave me here all alone as I wonder where life went
Unless they want or need something then it must be lent
A small silent accident would cause them much regret
Because I left them all alone without giving them a cent
Remember that the elderly have feelings. Don't hurt them more than they already hurt; inside and out.
Time tells, right?
I awake to the beautiful sun shining in my window.
I need to get up, get dressed and face my day (of woe).
I crawl and roll, slide and shove, trying to sit up.
My body only laughs at me as I knock over a cup.
Finally I am sitting up wondering when the shaking will end.
Getting up is difficult but I have things to which I must tend.
I grab the bed table to steady myself, 'till my legs stop wobbling.
I lean on the wall as I walk, on one leg I am still hobbling.
I find a chair and take a break from the efforts I have spent.
It is lousy to get old, I say; you get a back that is bent.
An arm with no strength, health issues galore, a body no longer well.
Time to turn the clock back to a me I remember well.
(Don't we all wish that?)
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© 2015 Cheryl Simonds
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