It’s January 2. The day after New Years. A good friend calls with thanks for our New Year’s Eve Dinner Party. Being together was great. We talk about our plans for the day and rest of the week. My friend is playing bridge today and Friday.
“Are you playing with your friend’s elderly mother today?” I ask. “Not today, but I’ll be playing with them Friday. You know, her mother’s 90, doesn’t hear well–really doesn’t hear well and a lot of our group doesn’t want to play with her because of that– but she’s a good bridge player.
I was appreciative of anything that made my mother happy (she died at 94) and if I can do this for Marcia, I’m happy to. Playing bridge gives Marcia’s mother something to look forward to and gets her out of her house. I play in the foursome with her at least every other week.”
(Over a year ago Marcia lined up a few friends so that her mother had at least one bridge game a week to look forward to. Lunch is always a part of the afternoon and they trade off homes to play in. Marcia arranges the lunch when the foursome plays at her mother’s apartment.)
“I was appreciative of anything that made my mother happy.” These words resonate. When we are trying to help our parents age well, especially as they get older and older, most likely fewer opportunities exist to make them happy. Indeed we may need to be creative and resourceful, which could involve recruiting a few friends. Obviously helping aging and old parents stay involved is a key to making them happy. Feeling accepted by younger people makes them happy. Getting out of the house for something fun and/or entertaining makes them happy.
And it makes my friend happy. She’s doing something that enhances an old person’s life; it’s bridge and she enjoys that too. A win-win for everyone.
Changing weekly: “Of Current Interest”(right sidebar). Links to timely information and research from top universities, plus some free and some fun stuff–to help parents age well.