As COVID 19 closes schools, limits medical resources and is making nursing homes risky, society is relying on more help from family. In my house asking for help was not encouraged. The old saying “if you want it done right, do it yourself” was our motto. As a result, I struggle to know how to give help.
I was on the phone with my Dad recently – this alone was unusual; I talk to my dad about twice a year on the phone. This time I heard confusion in his voice. He had brought his wife to the hospital, and was upset that he didn’t understand what the doctor was saying. He heard the words, but he was in distress and struggled to understand the impact. His wife was dying from cancer. He struggled trying to get permission to see her and struggled to get the help that he thought she needed. He lost her within 3 days. She did put up a good fight.
For the first time since I have known him, he is living alone. He will be 84 this year. He has buried two wives and just lost his oldest brother and sister in law. He has experienced loss and now faces he a lot of changes. He is in the process of emptying a house and waiting for it to sell. I think he needs help but not sure how to do that while respecting his choices.
His situation inspired me to do a little research so I could help him. It is easier for me to take action instead of worrying about it. My first step – get information! This includes a Google search and then start with discussing his financial situation, get an update on his health and exploring what he wants to do next. I now have the opportunity to see another side of my father and develop my caregiving side.
By Mary Guldan-Lindstrom, CPA