WellesleyWeston Magazine

SPRING 2015

Launched in 2005, WellesleyWeston Magazine is a quarterly publication tailored to Wellesley and Weston residents and edited to enrich the experience of living in two of Massachusetts' most desirable communities.

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"Everyone starts crying, and you wrap it up all in a bow," Metchik says. Other times, though, it takes more than a conversation. Such was the case when children contacted Metchik after their mother fell down the stairs. They wanted her to move to a safer environment, but the mother insisted she was fine and refused to consider moving. One of the five siblings felt the mother's wishes should be respected. Then a few weeks later, the mother fell again. This time, she had to be hospitalized. "Sometimes the crisis creates the opportunity," Metchik says. "So when someone ends up in a hospital that can be an opportunity to look at the whole situation again." Finding Support My father suffered from Alzheimer's. In the early stages, my mother cared for him. Eventually, his wandering, his emotional instability, and his physical needs became too much for her to handle. Still, he wanted to stay home. On the pretext of an outing – a fiblet, as Metchik would call it – we took him to a home that cared for patients in the early to middle stages of Alzheimer's. The setting was cheerful and homelike. We decorated Dad's room with family photos – he still recognized all of us – and hooked up a VCR so he could watch his favorite operas. At first, he would keep asking when he was going home, but eventually became accustomed to his new surroundings. I asked Metchik if it had been wrong to deceive him. On the con- trary, she says. "It would be almost cruel to be brutally honest and say, 'You have Alzheimer's. Mom can't take it anymore.' " While honesty may not always be the best policy, family members often feel pangs of guilt. The Weston council and other nonprofits and religious organizations offer support groups. "I think it's invaluable to sit with other middle age children who are going through the exact same thing," Metchik says. It's also important for them to recognize that "sometimes things just don't go well," she says. "What I always say to adult children in this situation is that you try to do better for your kids." 90 W e l l e s l e y W e s t o n M a g a z i n e | s p r i n g 2 0 1 5 When Aging Comes Between Parent and Child M E D I A B A K E R Y "I'd say for the most part kids love their parents and want to provide for their parents" – G a y l e T h i e m e t h e d i r e c t o r o f t h e W e l l e s l e y C o u n c i l o n A g i n g .

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