Friday, October 13, 2006

Where does modesty go in the elderly?

I had a conversation this evening with my sister, about Dad and his lack of modesty. Was he always like this or is modesty something the elderly don't find useful? We don't know the answer, and it doesn't matter anyway, but I needed to talk it out.

I check in on Dad often and have had to ask him not to wander out without clothes on. I don't want to see my 90 year old dad nude and I have had to condition myself to accept his walking around in just jockey shorts. But I simply was not prepared for what I saw today. I arrived to collect Dad for the drive to his date's house and out he walks in a pair of the protective underpants I'd bought him for his latest medical problem. That's it, just Dad in a pair of slightly saggy disposable underpants. I was blown away! It was not a pretty site. But Dad? Oblivious to my disgust.

I have to throw these images out and substitute them with the indelible images I have of a handsome man. It's simply not worth the energy I spent emailing every pathetic detail to my sisters and brother, willing them to participate in this caregiver thing and begging for help. When I was offered support, it was for me to vent; rehashing what got me going in the first place. Simply not worth the effort. So I've learned, many years later, to simply throw the bad stuff out. You've heard of the book Elder Rage? I need to read it, it has to have been written by someone like me.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Marcy, Your Dad may not be modest but at least he's still alive. I saw a lot of naked old men when we lived in Sun Lakes, AZ. It disturbed me to think that one day(should I be so fortunate!) I would look like that. Your article brought back to me the way my Mom looked the day she died. She was 81. Be thankful you still have your Dad around.