Think hard – do you remember any of Shakespeare’s “Seven Ages of Man” poem? It starts out with the most memorable line of the prose…

All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women are merely players. They have their exists and their entrances, and one man in his time plays many parts.

I think of this line a lot, lately. I’m a 30-year old man who is about to be father to a newborn child, who has been husband to a wonderful woman for four years, and who has become caretaker to a mother and grandmother whose health continues to decline.

One of the most striking billboards I ever saw along Highway 41 featured a middle-aged woman and her two aging parents with one bold simple slogan – roles change. It really struck me, you know? Time goes by at different speeds throughout our lives, at time seeming to stand still. We swim in those moments of stability when everyone is still around, safe and sound, and we harken back to them as times are changing.

Although the norm is slowly changing, we live in a culture where talking about senior care can be uncomfortable. We focus on the fear of the unknown and worry about what might happen to our parents and grandparents. In the midst of all that’s happening to them though, we lose sight of how our own roles are changing – how the child suddenly becomes a caregiver and decision-maker for the parent.

So if you’re in a situation where your own role is changing, remember to take care of yourself. Lean on a spouse, siblings, and friends. Talk about how you feel and how these changes are shaping your new norm. We can’t stop the flow of time, but we absolutely can provide it with a framework, either positive or negative, for how we live with change.

Heartwood Homes maintains the feeling of home and family. As you explore senior living options with your loved ones, take note of what’s important to you. I’m confident that you’ll see a lot of what you’re looking for right here with us.

~Kristopher, Oshkosh – Heartwood Homes Advocate