Watching people at a nursing home made me realize something. You get back what you pour in.
When someone is old and scared and who has forgotten who they are… Will their child berate them for little things beyond their control? Or will they sit there, quiet and understanding, and share whatever memories come easy?
When someone is old and wheelchair bound, unable to care for themselves.. Will their child tend to their needs? Or will their child need to sweep the floor and put away the laundry first?
When someone is old and lonely, their partner passed away, will their child wrap them up in a hug and hold their hand? Or will they sit politely a few feet away?
At the end of life so many roles are reversed.
How would you like your children to treat you if they become your caregiver?
Will your child understand that a person not being able to care for themselves is not manipulation or “trying to get attention”?
Will your child understand the value of human closeness and contact?
Will your child think about how lonely and scared you might be, and visit you often?
Will your child think of the things that might help you be more comfortable?
Will your child be able to cope with emotionally difficult situations?
Nursing homes really drive home the point of “Treat others how you want to be treated.” Not because you’re investing in your child’s future care of you…
But because helping a dependent human being feel safe, cared for, and loved.. Is the right thing to do. No matter how old or young they are.
(Originally posted to my FB wall on Oct 30 2013)