As Chief Medical Editor for NBC News and host of the popular MSNBC show, Dr. Nancy, Dr. Nancy Snyderman offers health-care and medical advice every day. When it came to the next chapter in her own parents' life, the discussion was a family affair.
By Dr. Nancy Snyderman
Parents seem to be encapsulated in time, always remaining the same. Yet, as we grow older, so do they. Eventually, there comes a time when we have to be there for them, as they were once there for us. I grew up in Fort Wayne, Ind., and have always tried to stay true to my Midwestern roots and visit often.
After my siblings and I moved away, I always thought my parents would revel in their newfound freedom as empty nesters. Yet, as they grew older, they soon realized aging comes with its sorrows as well as its benefits. Friends passed on, and family moved farther away from our childhood home. Fort Wayne had quickly become foreign to them. They were looking for a town closer to family to call home.
"Watching my children grow closer to my parents has been a blessing, and having us nearby is a great comfort to them."
My husband, Doug, and I offered our assistance, and so began their trip east. But moving past a certain age can be challenging both mentally and physically. As most people know, moving is more than physically transferring your belongings. The process of finding new doctors, new friends, and even a new favorite take-out restaurant can be a journey, but at least we are there to help.
Watching my children grow closer to my parents has been a blessing, and having us nearby is a great comfort to them. However, all of us have to be careful to respect one another's boundaries. We live in homes with doors and telephones; it's important not to overuse either. Communication is important in any relationship, and with family, it's vital. I am so thankful to have my parents nearby, and to be involved in this new chapter in their lives.