Remember Father’s Day in kindergarten? Maybe you drew a picture of your family and the teacher scrawled Happy Father’s Day on the top. Maybe you went around in a circle, with each kid talking about why he loves his father. As kids, it was natural to look up to our fathers. We thought they were supermen who could leap buildings and save us from any sticky situation.

Fast forward to adulthood, and we suddenly see our fathers as regular human beings with flaws and all. And as they get older, we may find ourselves in the position of caregiver instead of receiver. Suddenly our parents need us, and although we still need them, we must put that aside in order to care for their needs first.

This is a big transition for an adult child and it’s an even bigger shock when parental ill health means they can no longer live alone and/or need 24 hour care. This is when Father’s Day becomes a challenge – how can we celebrate a father who is ill, needy, possibly grumpy? Where has the father we once knew disappeared to? What’s the point of this holiday anyway?

As nurses and nurse’s assistants, you see firsthand the difficulties children of chronically ill parents face. You may see them coming to visit on Sunday with a card and a sour expression on their faces. You have the opportunity to bring smiles to the room and remind everyone of the joy of appreciating your parents and all they have done for you. Wish your patients and their families a Happy Father’s Day and encourage them to reminisce about the joyful times they have had as a family. Share what Father’s Day means to you so they can see the day in a different light. You can even bring a card or a flower to show your patients you remembered the holiday.

The Towne Nursing family wishes you and your family a Father’s Day filled with love and joy!