A Wilson Times Co. publication · Serving Southern Nash County Since 1947

Don’t forget elderly parents, relatives

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For many of us who are still blessed to have our parents with us here on earth, we are watching the time pass by and seeing them age terribly faster than we would want. As we once were the focal point for them to care for us and make sure we had what we needed to survive in this world, we are slowly finding out that they’re now part of our own focal points. We now have surpassed the “cared for” and have become the caretakers.

Many of you know I am blessed to still have my father with me and very thankful that we reside close to each other so I can take care of many of the things he and his wife cannot. It’s easy to do for the most part. Our communications are wonderful. If there is something they need, my wife and I are there for them, and often take care of things even when they didn’t ask because we know sometimes pride gets in the way of asking.

However, what do you do when you have a parent who lives hours away? You clearly can’t just drive over to cut the grass, mop the floor or fix a leaking pipe as we can with my father.

My wife’s mother lives nearly three and a half hours away. We try to visit as much as possible, although a trip does take planning, as you can imagine.

Two weeks ago, we made a day trip to visit her and bring her a kitten we got for her. While there, we noticed it was extremely hot in her mobile home. Her air conditioner was working, but it just wasn’t big enough to cool her home to a comfortable temperature. Of course, that look came upon my wife’s face and I knew we just had to step in and make things a little better.

Taking care of your elderly parents should be a priority on your list of things to do. It’s clear that not everyone has the same situation and can be at a point in their lives where they can help their parents. It saddens me to see or hear about so many elderly people going without basic needs such as food, medication, gas or even electricity just to juggle their fixed income around to survive another month.

The following weekend, we made the trip back to the coast to bring my mother-in-law a brand new AC unit for her home. We do wish she lived closer so we can take care of her as we do my parents.

Friends, check on your elderly relatives. Don’t just forget who they are because your own life is going a million miles a minute. It’s hot and many times fans just simply do not do the job.

Rodney O’Neal is a resident of southern Nash County.