A New Landscape

The progress outside in the yard makes up for the lack of progress inside the house. I will say that outside makes me happier than inside, so that is fine until the weather turns cold again.
I have a yard. It was always there, just buried under junipers and pine needles. Now that I can see it, it makes the place look twice as big, an optical illusion of course. I still have a very small yard but it is plenty to take care of. Where to start?
I went out and pounded in some shepherds hooks to hang bird feeders on, and then added a bird bath so some of the wild life is happy with the changes. I’m afraid the bunny rabbits and mice that were holing up under the junipers aren’t pleased with the new landscape – but – oh well. You can’t please everyone, I am told.
Step by step I have adjusted to this move. I must say, I am more in tune than ever with the problems older people face when they can no longer care for a home, or need care themselves. The things we do (with the best of intentions) to care for our parents, such as move them into a facility so they will be looked after, can cause trauma and emotional problems that can trigger a dangerous, downhill slide. The loss of one’s comfort zone is real. Recognize and honor that struggle, don’t ignore it.
So what should you do? What are the alternatives? Unfortunately, there is never one simple answer. As always, the key to any successful change is communication. Emotional support, talking, visiting, all those things that are made difficult because of our busy lives, are so important, so vitally important to a person going through change.
Sometimes, as your parents age, something has to be done. Other times, maybe it is best to do nothing. If you do nothing, though, you may fight a battle of feeling guilty for not doing anything. Try hard not to make changes just to keep yourself from feeling guilty.
Mom is 94 now. Time is limited. No, this aging thing is not easy, not easy at all.

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About Barbara K Tyner

A graduate of UCCS with a degree in English Lit., Barbara writes Children's Literature and fiction. Her popular children's series, The Badger Books, is co-authored with Barbara's daughter, Laura. Her first novel, "Wait Here, Wait There" deals with grief and Alzheimer's, two topics that are very difficult to manage in real life. Barbara volunteers doing school programs and speaking to support groups. National Parks, hiking, and snow-shoeing are in her list of favorite hobbies.
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