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DEALING WITH THE FAMILY
As time marches on, many seniors find themselves at odds with their family over independence issues like living alone. If you are having problems coping with living alone, you should be forthcoming with the problems. Family generally love too much. They want you to be forty again and when they realize that you are not, they tend to overprotect and smother.
At the same time, you must realize that you have a roll in this theatre. You say that everything is fine, but your son or daughter can see that they are not. Maybe you have burnt yourself, left the dishes for tomorrow, or perhaps the refrigerator is empty? You must realize there is a problem, at least there is an appearance of a problem. They love you, over react and want you to immediately sell your home and either move in with them, go to a retirement center or take an apartment near them.
To prevent such problems you should be honest. Offer to discuss your limitations with your doctor and your family. Involve your pastor, support groups, and friends. Seek out community assistance options and find out which ones are helpful to you. Seek solutions that take care of the problems. Involve your family and you will make the decisions. You may need to have visiting nurse care, meals on wheels, a friend as a room mate, or other solutions. Remember, your family cares and if they see you have needs, they will also try to seek solutions. However, if there is a lot of distance, you must realize that there will be times that family just can't help. Their lives and problems may prevent immediate assistance. That means to be independent you should try to find independent solutions. Your church, social clubs, community agencies, doctor, insurance company and others may have answers for you. So you are not 40 anymore, who is? Absolute independence and freedom requires absolute responsibility and safety.
So be honest with yourself first, look for possible problems and solutions and then discuss the options with your family. By that time it is taken care of and they are at ease, and you may find your life easier and better too!
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