Dad? Well, he’s doing alright. As he says, “I’m in pretty good shape, for the shape I’m in.” He’s a man of few — and sometimes peculiar — words. He is, however, Dad. And he didn’t get this far (and some days “far” seems a lot further than others) by pretending to be anyone else.

He’s reached a point in life where he realizes maybe some things need changing, and that he really can’t do as much as he used to — and that was an unexpected epiphany.

Not all aging changes come with disastrous medical problems, disabilities, loss of independence and a need for family crisis intervention. Sometimes we just get older.

While it’s always good to know that if an emergency arises there are various forms of mega-assistance out there, most of the time it may not be needed — at least for now. Sometimes we just need a little help from our friends. Even then, it may be more of “want” than “need.”

We’ve talked in the past about having conversations, and that’s definitely a part of making changes. For example, Dad, how do you tell the kids if you decide you want to move out of the family home? How do you explain that in the last few years you haven’t even been upstairs (except to store things) and the sheer size of the place only emphasizes that you’re alone? Or the fact that you’re beginning to think of a ladder as an adversary rather than a repair tool?

How about deciding to remain home, but wanting to be able to get out and about more often? The bus can work sometimes, but not always, and the wait can get tiresome when you’re trying to juggle schedules. And this time out, I’m not even going to try to put this on the kids (and Dad would rather not, anyway). 

So that leaves you, Dad. Has it been a while since you got together with your friends at the Elks, Lions, Eagles, Veterans meetings, senior center, or wherever?

How about picking up the phone? Give one or two of your buddies a call and let them know you’d like to catch a ride next time out. Chances are, they’re wondering where you are — and assuming that if you needed a ride, you’d call. Isn’t that what you’d think?

How about church? I know a lot of folks who enjoy picking others up on the way and would be glad to do it. Maybe another phone call.

As mentioned at the outset, aging isn’t all about wheelchairs, ramps, handrails and so on (but if it increases independence and safety, great!), sometimes it’s just about changes.

We’re here to help however we can, even if it’s a phone number. However, the one who needs to make decisions is the same one who always has — you, Dad. Keep in touch.

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