Dignity.

I read an end of care post on a national newspaper and it more or less said the poster was not happy about caring for her elderly parents. This hit a raw bone. 

While my mother was alive, this was never an issue. She was disabled from a stroke and my father cared for her. He made a point of turning people away who could have helped. Once she had gone, I erroneously concluded my father would like to come to live with us. We geared up, ready to receive him. I got put in my place at my mother’s funeral. He raised so many barriers and bear traps to his coming to live with us that it was obvious he wanted his independence. 

I was not happy at this decision, but it was his. I would not take that away from him and diminish his twilight years, although I disagreed. What I could and did do was set up a system of carers to accommodate his needs. Sneaky, but I had no choice as I lived so far away from him. My team reported back to me on an ongoing basis unbeknownst to him. He would have thrown a hissy fit if he had clued in to what I had done. 

Had I acted differently, I would have shamed a war vet. He lived and died on his own terms. My father was independent to his last breath, using it to insult his nurses. Go dad, go!

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