Dad? Well, hes doing alright. As he says, Im in pretty good shape, for the shape Im in. Hes a man of few and sometimes peculiar words. He is, however, Dad. And he didnt get this far (and some days far seems a lot further than others) by pretending to be anyone else.
Hes reached a point in life where he realizes maybe some things need changing, and that he really cant 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 its 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.
Weve talked in the past about having conversations, and thats 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 havent even been upstairs (except to store things) and the sheer size of the place only emphasizes that youre alone? Or the fact that youre 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 youre trying to juggle schedules. And this time out, Im 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 youd like to catch a ride next time out. Chances are, theyre wondering where you are and assuming that if you needed a ride, youd call. Isnt that what youd 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 isnt all about wheelchairs, ramps, handrails and so on (but if it increases independence and safety, great!), sometimes its just about changes.
Were here to help however we can, even if its a phone number. However, the one who needs to make decisions is the same one who always has you, Dad. Keep in touch.