Today my 87 year old grandfather came to stay through the weekend. I am delighted that he is here, and I hope to make in him feel welcome.
But I am also anxious about his stay. He requires some “assisted living” such as setting out his pills, fixing his meals, or helping him on the stairs. He doesn’t see or hear well, and he sleeps most of the day. Doesn’t sound like I have a difficult job of taking care of him, does it?
But what if I have him do something he doesn’t want to do?
What if he doesn’t want to take his pills?
What if he doesn’t want to eat?
What if, what if, what if?
How do I treat him with dignity and respect when he may not want to do what is in his best interest? How does one decide what is the in the best interest of a 87 year old man? When do I gently insist on something? When do I back off?
I probably don’t have to be concerned with any of these things. This weekend will just fly by as they all do, and then he’ll be going back to my parent’s house. But ever since I agreed to care for him, I’ve been mulling over these things.
More importantly, while he is here I want him to watch the boys play and walk with us on the drive. I want him to tell stories of his childhood in Arkansas.
I want him to know he is valuable to us.