Burden is defined as a heavy load; that which is borne with difficulty; obligation.
As we age in life, we each look at different scenarios in our own lives as being burdensome or not. Many times we select a lifestyle that we feel is not causing hardship or burden on our families or friends, but what is their reality? What one person perceives as a burden may not be what another does.
Take for example, Esther, she retired and moved away from family to live in a nice warm climate. As the years passed and health issues became a factor, Esther feels that moving back to live with or near family may cause the family to feel burdened by her and her problems. On the other hand, Esther’s daughter, Nancy, feels that it is a burden to have to fly back and forth for her mother’s urgent health issues.
Esther is concerned with giving up her independence, her home, her friends, the climate and the life she has created over many years. Nancy is concerned about having to periodically leave her job, her family and her life to take care of her mother in another state, and be ready to do so at a moment’s notice. These two women love each other and don’t want to burden one another, but what is the solution?
There is no easy answer, but there is a solution to get to a place of deeper understanding: Communicate! We sometimes assume that we know what the other party is thinking or feeling, but in reality we don’t. Esther may think she will be a burden on her family if she lives nearby, but Nancy may want to spend more time with her mother and would enjoy seeing her regularly. Maybe Esther feels happy and at home right where she is and is willing to hire some assistance so she can stay put, and Nancy does not have to fly back and forth so much.
Whatever decision is reached, it should be reached through respectful communication, caring and compassion.
The article was written by our colleague and friend Judy Rough and published in the Living Well Magazine. Judy is the owner of Carefree Transitions, LLC a Senior Move Management company in Arizona who works with seniors and their families on the emotional as well as the physical aspects of moving. If you know someone who would benefit from Judy’s services in Arizona, you can reach her at 480-200- 3415.
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