Changes in Lifetime Relationships Can Be Positive

Change and Continuity Influence Aging Families


Although many things change, some things do stay the same, Barb Fuller said. For example, Dad may not hear as well, but he still has a great sense of humor. Mom may move a lot slower, but she still likes to go shopping.

It can be comforting for adult children to continue to share these special parts of their parents’ lives, Barb continued. “It is as much fun to laugh with Dad now as it was 10 years ago. Taking time to appreciate those special qualities may make it easier to deal with more difficult issues.”

However, Barb added, not everything is the same. “Mom, who could always walk faster and shop longer than you, now may move at a slower pace. Frustration and impatience, along with sadness and guilt, are just some of the feelings you may have as you notice changes in your parent,” she said.

It’s a matter of change and continuity: some things in the relationship have changed and some have stayed the same. Adult children can expect those dynamics to make relationships with their parents both challenging and rewarding, Barb said. “Take time to know your parent as a person. Make opportunities for learning about your parent’s memories and dreams.”


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