Give Your Dad the Best Father’s Day Gift Ever: Your Attention

walkingwithdad.jpgFather’s Day is just around the corner on June 19th. Take the opportunity if you are able to spend some time with dad to make it memorable. Thanks for visiting AdvocareWe provide Aging Life CareTMto area residents throughout the South Florida area.

Are you tired of listening to your elders repeat stories? Do you just chalk the repetition up to memory issues? If so, there are a lot of people who can relate. But here’s something to think about. There may be a reason aside from memory issues that can explain the repetitive stories.

As years go by, most of us gain – or attempt to gain – perspective. By retelling personal stories, elders are often, consciously or subconsciously, trying to reframe their life from the perspective of time. If we give them the gift of attentive listening, we may find their often told stories more interesting, and we may even learn something new about them. Also, since our elders’ history is part of our history, we may learn something new about ourselves.

Listen early on if you can

Before my dad had brain surgery, he had other health problems including surgery that required him to have someone attend to his needs while he healed. At that time, my mother was able to provide most of his care, but I’d often sit with Dad to give her a break. Those times with Dad are now some of my most precious memories.

I clearly remember him laying back in his recliner as I sat on the couch asking him questions about his unusual childhood. He told me interesting stories about events that I’d had no idea were a part of his history. His stories were not only interesting – they helped me understand him better. True, these were not often-repeated stories. However, they were revealing stories about his past. If his life had taken a different turn than the devastating cognitive results from a failed brain surgery, they may have become beloved, oft told tales.

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