Dr. Amy D’Aprix
is an
internationally recognized
gerontologist and expert
on issues related to aging.
She has extensive
background working with
older adults and their
caregiving families, as
well as educating other
professionals about the
needs of these individuals.
Many people find it difficult to be on the receiving end of care.
Recently, I’ve been getting a lot of questions from adult children
who tell me their moms or dads have helped family, friends and
neighbours their whole lives. Now, they’re the ones who need care,
and are feeling uncomfortable about it.
That’s normal. For some people, the shift fromproviding care to needing
it feels like losing a sense of purpose and meaning.
For anyone struggling with this transition, start with this question: what
do you like about assisting others? Usually, the answer has to do with
feeling great satisfaction in making someone’s life easier, and tapping
into qualities such as kindness and patience. Think of how happy people
feel when they give, or even talk about giving. Why shouldn’t they give
others the opportunity to experience that same happiness by offering
help?
Giving and receiving are intertwined. When we’re the giver, we’re also the
receiver, and the reverse is true. Adapting to this change of perspective
is not easy. For anyone who has a family member struggling with that,
just remind them that being a grateful receiver now is the gift they can
offer someone else. That way others, too, can experience the pleasures
of giving.
If you have a question for
Dr. Amy, please contact us at