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Old September 3rd, 2012, 07:26 AM
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Caring for Aging Parents

As some of you know, although my DM is not sick, she is aging and she's entering that time in her life when she wants to be closer to her children when we are most busy with our own families. She wants to be assured that she'll be loved and cared for while we're running and facing empty nests in the next decade.

Family dynamics have determined that I will always be her primary care giver. I have already asked my siblings for help, but both DM and my sibs have relationship issues that impede assistance. So I'm already dealing with some of the things that primary care givers deal with: guilt when setting boundaries. This is what I have learned so far.

Knowing what my boundaries are and saying "no" when they are crossed is necessary to a healthy relationship. I've already learned this when I became a parent, but somehow I have a hard time following this with my own DM: The most important boundary is ME-TIME. I should take some to care for myself everyday. Wind down, relax, exercise... whatever it is I need to refresh. I have to be almost religious about it. Although I still feel a little guilty, I also know it is necessary.

Hope this helps someone else who is entering this time in our lives.
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