Trying to show consideration to a 96-year-old I suggest we aim for 11am. Said I would phone around 9:30. “You can call as early as 7,” she replied. What I don’t want to do is have to rush. If you wake me, it’s fine. I’ll have the information and can go back to sleep. I don’t want to rush to get ready…and that’s something you should put in your blog. so adult children–if they don’t know it already, realize that at a certain point, aging parents don’t like to rush.”
R. says she can’t speak for all aging parents, but being on time is important to her (and she still goes out a lot). To do that comfortably, however, she can’t rush. If we think about it, we realize older people do begin to slow down; they simply take more time than younger people to do things. It’s why she likes to plan well ahead. (Doesn’t like surprises, she says.) No doubt it gives her a feeling of control which, of course, supports independence. So I will telephone R once I know when I can pick her up–even as early as 7am.
I got to thinking: I spend a lot of my life on fast forward. I probably rush without thinking about it. I try to organize, but something unforeseen gets squeezed into my schedule more times than not. And I’ll be mindful of not speeding on the freeway to her home, even if I’m rushing to be on time. I don’t want to keep her waiting–not one minute; but then again, I must admit I’d hate to get a speeding ticket.