My clientele consists of both individuals and families. For proactive individuals who want to ensure that their aging journey takes the roads they personally choose, I help them to plan for the future. Abdicating responsibility for making healthy choices f or our future can unfortunately mean that we may possibly wind up forfeiting the opportunity to do so later. Ensuring that does not happen is immensely rewarding for me as well as for the people I help. When families contact me, it is usually because a crisis or untenable situation requires significant changes for the family, especially involving an elderly family member who is without the benefit of earlier planning. This person is floundering, feeling lost, lonely, unsettled, unhappy, frightened, or the like. Mary Ann was such an individual.
When families contact me, it is usually because a crisis or untenable situation requires significant changes for the family, especially involving an elderly family member who is without the benefit of earlier planning. This person is floundering, feeling lost, lonely, unsettled, unhappy, frightened, or the like. Mary Ann was such an individual.
In her defense, Mary Ann was unaware of the toll her neediness took on daughter June and the family. She did not realize that on weekdays June got up two hours early to get the children to school and then com e to her house to make sure she was out of bed, dressed and fed before going to work herself. Nor did she understand why June could not answer her multiple phone calls during the day or stay to eat and chat or go for a walk after preparing the evening meal . June felt exhausted and overwhelmed, and she missed spending time with her husband and children. Mary Ann felt lonely and bored and particularly unhappy and annoyed that June did not spend more time visiting with her on weekends. Had Mary Ann’s memory be en better, she would have realized that the reason June came by every single day was because she had landed in the hospital three times in the last 12 months for a variety of preventable reasons, all centered around her inability to manage on her own. Had she been able, she would have understood that the demands she constantly made on June were unrealistic. The situation became untenable for June when she had to miss her own daughter’s piano recital for the second time and finally recognized that not only h ad she let her child down, she had neglected her own wellbeing and the wellbeing of her family for far too long.
Solutions for Everyone
To relieve June’s stress, she and I met to discuss Mary Ann’s challenges and goals for her immediate and future wellbeing. During this discovery session we also discussed June’s own personal goals. June then introduced me to Mary Ann to perform a clinical assessment. During the assessment, Mary Ann shared that walking in the city park’s large garden and watching horticulture shows on TV were two of her favorite activities. She was a lively conversationalist and eager to explore ways to get back out into nature instead of being isolated at home. She got a bit defensive when June commented that she needed help around the house but did admit that she understood that she “needed a nudge to start things now and then.”