Most of us think that our developmental process of our mind ended in our youth as we become adults. In fact that developmental process goes on throughout life and continues rather late in life. Becoming an Elder and later seeing your children grow into the status of an Elder is a powerful and emotional time in our lives.
An Elder is a member of the oldest generation of a family. It is a position of responsibility within the family. As an Elder looks back at life and tries to put their own life in perspective, they must also groom their successor for the responsibility of becoming an Elder. This can be an emotional time for both. Making a decision on retirement living options often brings these emotions and conflicts into play.
As an Adult Child it is an emotional time because you probably aren’t ready to be an Elder and you certainly don’t want to think about life and how it will be one day without your parents. A frequent reaction is to block it out or deny the process. This can lead to decisions that you may think are good for you and your parents but are in fact otherwise. Staying in their current home may seem like a wise decision to maintain the status quo but is that decision for you or for your parent’s well being?
For an Elder these retirement decisions can be difficult because they bring back emotional memories of times with their own parents, when they too were becoming Elders. For an Elder today, this is all new because their parents never had these kinds of options for living with both, style, comfort, social amenities and access to high quality health care. Disease maintenance and prevention are so much better but more complicated today. With the proper environment and access to care, our parents can live a better, healthier, more socially active and hopefully longer life than previous generations.
For the family this proactive decision can still be very emotional.