Lou's Labor Of Love: A Guest Blog By Lou Valerio
Louis Valerio is a member of GlamourGals Executive Board. This series of Guest Blogs shares his own experiences of having elderly parents who lived in a senior home.
GlamourGals recognizes that many elderly men and women do not have the mobility to leave the home, so GG volunteers come to them. Like many of our volunteers, Lou made weekly trips to a senior home in New Jersey to visit his parents.
Life. Things don’t always turn out the way we plan.
In 2008, I was traveling to Nairobi; Kenya looking for what I thought was going to be my life after retirement. This new future was going to let me work in the ghettos of Nairobi, helping those infected with HIV.
After two weeks in Kenya, there was little doubt left that that was truly where I belonged. But, as it turned out, something personal was about to affect my future. When I landed in New York City after my time in Kenya, I was met with the news that my mother, Lucy who suffers from Parkinson’s was in the hospital. She had fallen and needed quite a bit of physical therapy. My Dad, Danny, was home alone at 86 unable to cope. It was clear this was where my time was needed most.
While Mom was recovering, Dad ended up in the hospital with heart failure. He had decided, unknown to me, that since she was gone there was no need for him to continue his medications. This was not a good idea.
As they recovered, it became sadly apparent that a return to their three story home was just not possible and senior living would be their future. Although both did not welcome the news they agreed and we moved on.
Over the past 3 years, we have dealt with countless physical and emotional issues. As I look back on the past few years, as hard as they were, I realize it has been a true labor of love.
I want to share this blog with many of you out there in my shoes; maybe some of the wisdom I have gained will be of help or even strength.
Please join me as I visit, love and parent my parents.