Dignity and Respect

Everyone told my mom to get a cane to assist her walking and to feel more secure. Everyone, myself included said it so casually. It seemed an obvious answer to some balance issues she is having. I assumed it would be the magical comfortable solution.

When my stepdad died suddenly in December, I found myself thrust into becoming a part time caregiver to my mom. At first I was at her home everyday for a month. Then it went to twice a week. I help her with whatever she needs assistance with- chores around the house, bills, gardening, shopping or whatever. We just returned from a trip to visit family in New England. I did all the driving as she no longer feels comfortable with highway driving. It was during this trip that my mom decided it was time for a cane. I try very hard to be supportive without being patronizing. I wish for my mom to retain her sense of self and independence.

So it was standing in the cane aisle of Walgreens that I heard my mom heave a heavy sigh. I realized with some guilt and sadness how hard it was for my mom to use a cane. I reassured her it was alright, that many people need assistance. I named some friends who are younger than mom who use a cane. After trying out a few canes we decided on one that was covered in a rose flower pattern.

I am learning that what seems so obvious to others does not always take into account the feelings and emotions of the one involved. I am learning a lot about myself too.

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