If you take time to look up 'care' in the Dictionary (I have gone through four such dictionaries in my long life) you will find a lot of definitions: provide for, look after, - the list of word and phrases fills a large space on page 236. 'I don't care', 'be careful', 'I am so careless'. It is a much-used word and it means different things to different people.
Robert Crampton talks about it yesterday in his usual back page article in the Saturday Times. He talks about taking his grown-up daughter phoning to say she thought she might have broken an ankle - could they pick her up and take her hospital for an XRay? The answer was of course. yes!
At the end of the page he says - and I quote -"Childcare start with their first breath and ends with your last". A philosophy I tend to agree with. Although these days I don't think everyone falls into that bracket.
But I myself think that a subtle change creeps in - maybe when one is about eighty-ish. Suddenly the emphasis changes round and the child/parent relationship tends to swap sides. I don't know what you think - and maybe it applies more when like me you only have one child - but suddenly I begin to realise that I have to ask "who is caring for who?"
This certainly was the case last week when I had a scam. My computer skills are basic. What I do every day on the computer I can do well. But veer away from the everyday things and I have to come clean and say I have absolutely no idea how the wretched thing 'thinks'. My gut instinct is to ring my son and call "help" (the reverse of daughter calling Dad above and calling 'help' over a sprained ankle).
When I said to my son that I was thinking about getting a smart phone instead of carrying on with my 'old fashioned push-button antiquity' he visibly paled and said no - you stay as you are. I think a whole lot of images passed through his head in a short time of some of the difficulties I would face and what I would do with them!!
Oh, Pat, you are so right about the balance of caring! I used to be the one to do crafts with, sew clothes, mend clothes, cook special things ....... Now my nieces are 30 - 40 and they are doing for me! I still have my brother and sister but my husband and I had no children so ... They all insisted that I get a smart phone - they use theirs so easily and I can barely get mine to function. I basically carry it (when I remember) for emergency usage and that doesn't always work out well!! I prefer my desk top computer but they tap away on their cell phones and mostly don't even have computers!!! Life never stands still.
Your son seems to have inherited your common sense!
In my mother's last days, the roles had certainly reversed. It was our honor to care for her. She wanted to be at home and we all made that possible for her, despite the fact that she was very difficult due to the fluctuating levels of ammonia caused by the liver failure. She was often not in her right mind.
I struggle with technology myself. We talk about perhaps we should buy a new computer. Ours is 10 years old and is bogging down a bit at times. But honestly, neither of us want to learn a new system. We'd rather be patient!
Knowing how to use the tools we choose is a constant learning process. Every new phone or computer comes with a small learning curve. I do not think we need to know "how these things work; it is knowing how to use them" which is important. If you buy an iPhone, your carer might be the ideal person to show you how to use it. A tech person tends to give a tech explanation which deviates the simple "how to use it:" Step #1, #2...explanation.
Too many people buy smart phones because they think they ought to have one because everybody else has, not necessarily because they have a real need for one. I only have a simple Nokia push button phone because all I wanted was a phone that makes phone calls, receives them and also allows texting. I have no need in my life for all the other myriad of things that many people feel that they can't do without on a phone. I reckon your son gave you good advice.
Another interesting and thought provoking post, Pat!
During my long career as a nurse, I cared for thousands of people and wouldn't trade those experiences for anything.
I hear you about smart phones. Last autumn our older son insisted we needed smart phones so he got us two, changed our carrier (we were ready for that) and to this day, we both use them just for calls and texts, to DS1's dismay.
i think your son was very wise with his advice. Apart from any other problems that may arise in your not being familiar with what a Smart Phone can do - it is by no means an instrument just for doing some touch typing and producing a masterpiece - your hand shake would make the use thereof a nightmare and potential minefield.
It is an interesting change in the balance of who cares for who in parent child dynamics. I am a senior and my sons come over often. I finally got my first smart phone and am glad I did. I went in with my oldest son to a Verizon store, bought the phone and they set it all up for me in the store. Hey, now I can take pictures with my phone and also read emails when I am in a waiting room, etc. Kind of handy. I think you are making lots of wise choices that are well suited to you.
Weaver, your thoughts on parent/child caring switching around are spot on! And, I think your son's advice to stay as you are with your phone is also spot on!
I love reading your thought provoking blogs. And, that you keep on, keeping on - for a long time to come.
I say, Pat, if you want an i phone, just go for it. I am the same as you, no computer experience, so I bought an iPhone and do not put any information such as banking on it. I download books and music that I am willing to pay for on it. I love it and can use it to look up news etc. it is really a small piece of magic. It takes great photos that also show up on my ipad. I also make my grocery list on it. It has a calendar and also a calculator.. I think you would really do well with one. If you have any problems just ask any kid and they can help. G.G.
My mother is eighty next year, no longer drives and has essential tremors. She uses an iPad for basic browsing and You Tube. Someone told her she needed a smart phone, but all she uses it for is making and receiving calls. I have not connected her to email or apps on either device. I have recently moved back to my home town to support her into the future, but very conscious of not doing too much too soon and taking away her independence and sense of self. I think the term they use now is elder care. I trust that my (only) son will step up too when I need his help. He is still in his 20s.
Also my 2 girls text me every day or so as i am alone and am afraid of dying and nobody finding me or my dog for weeks..lol. texting is very easy with an iphone. I only answer this phone if I know the caller as it shows up on the screen. I also have a home phone.
Thank you for your good advice and your stories about your lives - it is such a two-way process between us isn't it? Rachel and Derek - between you you have made up my mind not to get aa smart phone - my son will no doubt be delighted.
I thought your son had already made up your mind for you. I cannot handle such responsibility.
If you want one Weave, have one.
You are so right Pat. I have thought also that it is now my children who are caring for me. Checking up to see how I am if they haven't had the time to visit one week, offering to do my shopping while our lift was being overhauled, and so on. And I'd be lost without them when I get a problem with my laptop. As for my mobile phone, I keep it with me in case of an emergency!
I'm happy not to have a smartphone considering how much time people seem to waste with them.
Yes, we see many examples of children taking care of parents. It happens when families stay together. Both of my children live far away so I will have to find some other plan.
What I would do without my oldest I really don't know. The other two both live in Oz, so it's down to him to help when needed; which he does magnificently.
I cared for my mother during the last part of her life and it was an honour and a pleasure to do so - an opportunity to thank her for all the times she cared for me. I don't think she ever quite got used to the idea, but could no longer do some things for herself and didn't like the idea of strangers coming to care for her either. As I see it the advantages of the smart-phone are these: you can access the internet when you are out and about and you always have a decent quality, but rather fiddly, camera with you. They are certainly no easier to use than a computer.
Have just returned from a holiday Pat, and needed to catch up on your recent posts.
So sorry you had the distress of a scam.
Part of my holiday 'Outback experience' was an astronomy
lecture, direct star observations, and technology assisted telescopic visuals and information. Someone in the group explained that with a Star Gazer app on a Smart phone, you can point your phone camera up to the heavens and all is identified and overlaid with the appropriate patterns and descriptions, and proceeded to show me. Amazing...but I am a basic phone person, confused by much of technology.
Re 'care' - my Mum won't let go the reins and treats my 68 year old brother and myself in exactly the same way she did when we were teenagers. "No, you listen to me, I mean it" is her mantra.- Pam, Aust.
Like Rachel, I think your tremor would make using a smartphone very difficult for you. A typo on a blog post is nothing more than that, but typing/touching/swiping something on your phone that you did not intend to could lead to all sorts of problems.
For more than a decade, between us we were all taking care of my grandparents one way or another. My Mum did most of it; her work place was close by so that she spent nearly every lunch break there. Saturday mornings were usually my turn; I cleaned and did errands, and if the weather was good, I would go for a short walk with my grandmother (who by then was blind). I also read the magazines to her that she no longer could read herself. Our Dad did most of the shopping, as he was the only one driving in our family.
One time, my grandmother had to go to hospital for an operation. My Mum went with her to do sort out all the formalities. When the person behind the desk asked my Mum who she was in relation to the patient, she said "I am Mrs. Engel's mother" - of course she meant to say "Mrs. Engel is my mother", but she later said to us that it was very telling that she had accidentally said it the other way round.
If you really want more access to the internet during the day just bring your lap top through from the 'office,' and put it on your coffee table, ready to access at all times.
Thanks to you all. I have definitely decided not to invest (probably not the right word as they go out of date so quickly) in a smart phone. Rachel - I like my laptop where it is and really don't mind how often I go to it - I need the exercise of walking up and down the bungalow and also my computer room - unlike my sitting room - looks over my back garden.
In conclusion and therefore Weave I really do not think you needed to be considering having a smart phone.
Late to the party about the iPhone purchase, but, their one redeeming feature that could benefit you greatly is that there are so many voice activated capabilities. Siri, call ABC. Siri, how do you GEF? Siri, what’s the time, Siri, message XYZ. just something more to add to the conversation. Worth thinking about.
Post a Comment