As a busy professional and working Mom, I occasionally find myself wishing for just a little downtime…to read, watch TV, just take it easy.  Well, last week I had the chance to do just that, and let me tell you, it was not fun.  I had the flu, and along with it, the requisite downtime.

At first I was a little too miserable to be bored, but after a few days my mind kicked back into high gear but somehow my body just wasn’t on the same page.  And after a few days of staring at the T.V., there’s nothing good on anymore, no matter how many channels you have!  If you’re reading this and are silently hoping I’ll stop whining, I must tell you that it’s one thing to hear about the flu epidemic on the news, but it’s very humbling to find yourself completely leveled by it.

And this got me thinking about the parallels between my temporary situation with the flu, and the physical decline we experience as older adults.  How very hard it must be to feel exactly the same inside as when you were young, but no longer be able to do what you once took for granted.  How hard it must be to feel let down by your own body.

As geriatric care managers, we help older adults and their families cope with the changes that come with aging, and often talk to family caregivers about the challenges they face.  But no matter how much we think we understand,  this week reminded me that most of us really don’t know what it’s like (having not lived it yet), and need to try to find new ways to be even more sensitive, digging deeper to find extra sources of compassion and patience!

Feeling grateful,