You haven't lived if you haven't made mistakes. Mistakes are how we learn, and how we live.
I have made my share of mistakes. In fact, I can think of a number of mistakes my husband and I have made, when it comes to his autistic brother, "Bil". These include:
1. Not getting involved in his life soon enough - when his father kept saying (when we tried to bring up Bil's future) "everything is taken care of"....well, it wasn't. Actually, nothing was taken care of. Surprise.
2. Not applying on his behalf for Medicaid, soon enough, because his mother didn't want us to. We waited until his widowed mother was struggling, trying to pay for his medications (see #1 above) that she had to say "yes". Erroneously, she thought that applying for Medicaid was something that "decent" people didn't do. But many people don't know that the major beneficiaries of Medicaid, a joint state/federal program, are the elderly, and the disabled.
By the time she allowed us to go forward, the government had tightened up the requirements. It took over a year, and a first rejection, to get him the benefits that could pay for his medications, and make other services possible.
3. Exercise. Bil never exercised. When not at his sheltered workshop, he mostly stayed in his room. Food became a recreation for him. He loves to eat out. With his mother, he did plenty of it.
We took him walking in the mall once, and his mother ws upset because he may have had an asthma attack. We never tried again.
Yes, he has asthma. But it has also been well controlled for years.
So, why would we want Bil to exercise more, something he doesn't seek out on his own? For starters, he is overweight bordering on obesity. He does get a little exercise now, at his day program, the program he goes to twice a week (they have exercise videos he enjoys).
But last week, I saw something worrisome.
In our back yard, there is an Adirondack chair.
At a Memorial Day BBQ, Bil ended up sitting in one of our two Adirondack chairs. The problem?
He couldn't get out of this chair without help.
Bil is in his late 50's. If you can't get out of a chair in your late 50's, you have a problem. I've received some education in fall prevention, and I know that your ability to get out of a chair ( a simple sounding thing if you are young) can predict much about your life as a senior. You need that muscle strength. Without muscle strength and balance, you become susceptible to falls.
Bil is starting to show signs of vulnerability to falling. And now I know another mistake - we never paid attention to his physical fitness. His mother has a long history of falls. Falls are deadly for seniors.
And now -what do we do, in a way that he will accept? That is our latest challenge. Right now, I don't have an answer. If you have a suggestion, I welcome it.
Join Sanch and Corinne for #FridayReflections.
Today's prompt - "Write a post about making mistakes"