Yes, You ARE a Burden on Your Family And 5 Things You Can Do About It!

Originally published in Dependent Living magazine.



Middle-aged children having to care for their ailing parents is one of the fastest-growing economic sectors in this country.  And who’s to blame?  You, you hospital bed-bound leech!  Sure, you brought them into this world and you changed their diapers all those years, but is turn-around really fair play in this situation?  How would you have felt if at their age you were forced to feed your aging father strained carrots for the rest of his seemingly endless life?  Most self-aware invalids can sense that seething hostility and resentment bubbling just under the surface as their indentured offspring change the soiled sheets on that monstrous bed that has found its way into the middle of what is now their ironically named living room.  But, luckily, there’s something you can do about it.



· Make sure your will is complete

Not only is your presence a strain on your family’s patience, you’re also a strain on their pocketbooks.  If they could have afforded it, don’t you think you would’ve been holed away in some vermin-infested “care facility” years ago?  Of course you’re creating a financial strain!  So, stop thinking about yourself for a change.  Have you made out your will yet?  Because I hope your family is well-compensated.


· Don’t talk a lot

Do you really think you have anything to say about The Great War that your family hasn’t already been entertained by in some Hollywood blockbuster?  Certainly not.  And it’s a lot easier for them to ignore you when you’re not babbling on incoherently about how “coloreds used to know their place”. Out of sight, out of mind, right?  Our greatest generation has also become our noisiest one.  Let’s put a muzzle on it, jabberjaw.


· Don’t eat a lot, either

Food is expensive, y’know.  Even baby food starts to add up.  Now, let’s look at a simple cause/effect chain.  The less you eat, the weaker you become.  The weaker you are, the harder it is for your immune system to stave off illness.  The faster the illness spreads, the quicker you’ll die.  And the sooner you’re dead, the sooner your long-suffering family can get back to their daily routines.  Seems easy enough.


· Smell less terrible

Do something about your breath.  Drinking water and breathing with your mouth closed will cut that manure smell down significantly.  But what if your breath isn’t the (only) odor problem?  And what if you’re having trouble locating the source of the odiferous malfeasance?  Pre-school-aged children are notoriously forthcoming about telling you when and where you smell, so get your grandson on your lap and let him do the work for you!


· Just die already

C’mon.  Let’s get it over with, old bones.  It’s as simple as that.  The quickest way from point A to point B is a straight line.  Just like that old adage, the quickest way to your family not having to care for you is for you to be dead.  So, what are you waiting for, oldie?  You’ve got a boat to catch!



So, there you have it.  Five simple solutions to an economically and emotionally straining situation.  With just a little effort on your part, everyone can live happily ever after.  Well, not everyone, but you know what I mean.