Now that I have even more time to hang around with people who are aging, I am noticing a few things. Like the desire to remain independent and yet the need to have some help.
Several times lately, I have realized that people need help doing things like going to doctor's appointments and the like. But they don't want to inconvenience anyone. So they go by themselves. And then they become confused about the parking lots or the big buildings or long hallways. Which causes their blood pressure to go up or their self esteem to go down.
One especially notices the elderly couple. They have each other, right? But one is having a procedure, and the other needs to go get the car and bring it around to the front of the building so the patient can be put into the car by the nursing staff. Regular protocol. Except the driver is worried s/he can't find the car or find the way out of the parking lot or the front of the building or .... and s/he doesn't want to inconvenience the staff who might have to wait a long time. If they could just go together and find the car themselves....?
I am so glad that my mother lives in a facility that provides transportation to all of her medical care with people who help her. I can usually go with her if there is something special, and I simply insist that I am free to go and she is not inconveniencing me. But I worry about a lot of the people I see, that in their desire to remain independent, they end up putting themselves through an ordeal that they really don't have to go through.
There is a huge need for elder care of all kinds in our communities. Even couples need help, especially in these big medical centers and facilities. And not everyone has a flexible schedule as I do. I am grateful for the people I know who not only visit the elderly but are on call to give them rides and accompany them to the store, to church, and to their doctor's appointments.