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Monday, August 20, 2012

What truly is a burden?

Burden is defined as a heavy load; that which is borne with difficulty; obligation.
As we age in life, we each look at different scenarios in our own lives as being burdensome or not. Many times we select a lifestyle that we feel is not causing hardship or burden on our families or friends, but what is the reality? What one person perceives as a burden may not be what another does. Take Esther for example, she retired away from family to live in a nice warm climate. As the years past and health issues became a factor, Esther may feel that moving back to live with or near family may cause the family to feel they are now burdened by her and her health issues. On the other hand, Esther’s daughter, Nancy, feels that it is a burden to have to fly back and forth for her mother’s urgent health issues.

Esther is concerned with giving up her independence, her home, her friends, the climate and the life she created over many years. Nancy is concerned about having to periodically leave her job, her family and her life to take care of her mother in another state and be ready to do so at a moment’s notice. These two women love each other and don’t want to burden the other, but what is the solution?

There is no easy answer, but there is a solution to get to a place of deep understanding. Communicate! We sometimes assume that we know what the other party is thinking or feeling, but in reality we don’t. Esther may think she will be a burden on her family if she lives nearby, but Nancy may want to spend more time with her mother and would enjoy seeing her regularly. Maybe Esther feels happy and at home right where she is and is willing to hire some assistance so she can stay put and Nancy does not have to fly back and forth so much.

Whatever decision is reached, it should be reached through respectful communication, caring and compassion.

Blog posting provided by Judy Rough, CSA
Owner of Carefree Transitions, LLC - a Senior Move Management company.

Judy works with seniors and their families on the emotional, as well as the physical aspects of moving. She can be reached at or 480-200-3415