Who Gets to Pull the Plug?

Whoa! Before you say I’ve gone too far, let me explain. I’m speaking metaphorically, as a result of a conversation a group of us grrouches had the other night. It seems that someone from our senior complex had just moved out because her children had decided that it was time for her to move to another facility, one that was not just for seniors, but for seniors who needed more assistance with ADL or activities of daily living, as it is known.

It seems she left kind of dragging and screaming because she didn’t want to go, but the decision had been made for her. Now for some of us, that seemed too high handed. We’re used to making our own decisions and there are no financial strings attached, so why shouldn’t we just go on with business as usual?

When our children are young, we are sometimes guilty of infantilizing them, and when they grow up, they seemingly return the compliment. Why does this happen? Is it because they don’t want the added worry about our welfare, or is it because we have allowed decision making to be taken out of our occasionally faltering hands, and as we remember, it was so much faster to tie our children’s shoe laces than it was for us to to go through the painstaking process of teaching them to tie their own.

No matter what, we need to keep buttoning and tying and lacing up, and straining those little gray cells to keep us independent, for  as long as they go on functioning. Occasional forgetting does not dementia make and does not mean that our driving privileges must be revoked. Getting lost does not go hand in hand with getting old and fender benders are not restricted to senior drivers. In fact,many seniors voluntarily give up night driving when it becomes too stressful.

We like to involve our families when we’re seeking opinions, but asking for some one’s advice is not a guarantee that we will take it. Growing older disgracefully does not involve a surrender of free will and until we get an official diagnosis of senile dementia, we’re going to hang in there. Remember guys, we know all about tough love. We invented it.

One Response to “Who Gets to Pull the Plug?”

  1. That’s a really nice article!

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