Q&A: Honouring my Alzheimer’s parent

Q: Can you tell me what it means to “honour” a parent who has become increasingly cranky, feisty, disagreeable, and demanding as a result of Alzheimer’s disease and the ageing process? My mum was once a sweet, caring, and soft-spoken woman, but all that has changed dramatically over the past few years.

A: There’s no doubt about it — caring for an ageing loved one involves sacrifice and self-discipline, especially in situations like yours.

We should begin, then, by defining “honour.” Honour implies choosing to give great respect and care to our elders — not grudgingly, but from a principle of love and out of genuine concern for their needs. True honour is placing the highest value on our loved ones regardless of whether they deserve it or not.

Once you’ve made this choice, the key issue is knowing how to carry it out. The art of honouring a cranky elder is based on intuitive knowledge. That knowledge, in turn, is rooted in your love for and commitment to your mother. Out of that commitment and your day-to-day interactions with her will grow an awareness of practical ways you can serve her and care for her immediate needs. This might mean sharing your home and offering financial support. It could also involve seeking support services, filling out endless health insurance forms, providing transportation, and communicating with doctors.

Finally, remember that it’s never too late — or too soon — to love and honour your elders. As you seek to honour your mother, your love for her will grow and your relationship with her will be enriched.

​​© 2018 Focus on the Family.  All rights reserved.  Used by permission.

Share

Share on facebook
Share on whatsapp
Share on email

MORE

MARRIAGE

PARENTING

article-40-questions-ask-children-dinner

40 Questions to Ask Your Children at the Dinner Table

Having conversations with our children is critical for building a solid foundation of trust, demonstrating steadfast love, and teaching them how to grow as a young person. These 40 questions to ask your children are a great starting point for conversations around the dining table.

Read More >

FAMILY Q&A

Q&A: Love Must Be Tough

Question: In your book “Love Must Be Tough” you suggest some ways unmarried people can build healthy relationships and not smother each other. Would you

Read More >