「ほっ」と。キャンペーン

Happy Valentine's Day!

今日は新聞の休刊日です^^。
Happy Valentine's Day!

(Mainichi Japan) February 13, 2011
Kaleidoscope of the Heart: To those worried about their elderly parents living far away
香山リカのココロの万華鏡:遠距離介護に悩む人へ /東京

I am occasionally interviewed about "long-distance care," perhaps because my parents live in Hokkaido while I work and live in far off Tokyo.
 私自身、実家が北海道、勤務先が関東、と離れているためもあってか、「遠距離介護」についての取材を受けることがたまにある。

One thing I can say about my own experiences is that, as my parents have entered old age, all kinds of problems I couldn't have even imagined when I was young have popped up, from how to go about treating illnesses to how to deal with daily events like shopping and cleaning.
 たしかに、離れた実家に暮らす親が高齢になってくると、若いころには予想もできなかったような問題があれこれ出てくる。病気の治療をどうするかということから、買い物や掃除などの日々の生活のことまで。

If I lived nearby, I could stop by my parents' house on my way back from work. However, since I don't live nearby, I can't very well hop on an airplane and fly across the country every time a light bulb needs changing.
近くにいれば「じゃ、今日、帰りに寄るね」と言えるが、電球ひとつ取り換えるために飛行機に乗って駆けつけるわけにはいかない。

I admit, while saying to my parents, "I'm sorry I can't do anything to help," part of me is secretly relieved that I can get out of the situation without having to do anything. I take advantage of my physical distance as a means to avoid caring for or helping out my parents.
 私など、「何もできなくてゴメンね」と言いながら、心のどこかには「やらずにすんでよかった」という思いもある。遠くにいるのを、介護や手伝いを避ける方便にしているのだ。

However, patients who come to see me at my office are more dutiful. Some even complain of mental and physical stress caused by worrying about their parents. "If my mother calls me and says she's not feeling so well, my heart starts to race," they may tell me. Some of these people fall more and more into negative thinking, and even come out with things like, "I knew it was a mistake to come to Tokyo for work. I should have stayed in my hometown."
 ところが、診察室に来る人たちは、もっとまじめだ。「ちょっと具合が悪いのよ、なんて郷里の母親から電話が来ると、ドキドキしちゃって……」と心身の不調を訴えてやって来る人もいる。中には、どんどんマイナス思考に陥って、「やっぱり都会で仕事をしよう、と思ったのは間違いでした。ずっと実家にいればよかった」などと言い出す人さえいる。

Although I admire these patients' kindness and love for their parents, I don't think it is right for them to blame themselves.
 その親への愛情ややさしさはすばらしいと思うが、そこまで自分を責めるのは、やっぱり間違いなのではないだろうか。

I say to these patients, "Maybe your parents act needier now, but in the past, didn't they say how happy they were that you had made your own way in Tokyo?"
 そういう人には、「どうでしょう、今はご両親も弱気になっているかもしれませんが、かつては都会で自立しているあなたに喜んでいたのでは?」と昔のことを思い出してもらう。

When I tell them this, even patients who initially respond, "No, all my parents ever say is that they had wanted me to live nearby," start to gradually remember. "Now that you mention it, I seem to recall my mother bragging to the neighbors about how hard I was working in Tokyo. I made her stop it because I was embarrassed."
すると、最初は「いえ、近くにいてほしかった、と嘆くばかりです」と言っている人でも、次第に記憶がよみがえってくる。
 「そういえば、近所の人に“ウチの子、東京でがんばってるのよ”と自慢した、と言っていたこともあったような。“お母さん、やめてよ、恥ずかしい”と止めたのですが」

For any parent, the goal of raising a child is not to bring up someone who will take care of them in their old age, rather it is to bring up someone who will stand on their own two feet in the world. People living far from their hometowns have fulfilled their parents' dreams by making their own, independent lives. Those parents surely feel proud of their far-away children and feel satisfied for having raised them in that manner.
 そうそう、どの親にとっても子育ての目標は、「子どもに介護してもらうこと」ではなくて、「子どもを自立した人間に育てること」。遠距離介護に悩む人たちは、「親の願いをかなえて自立した子ども」でもあるのだ。きっと親は、地元を離れてがんばるわが子を誇りに思い、そんな子育てができた自分にも満足しているに違いない。

Those people caring for parents from afar, don't attack yourself or feel ashamed. Do not feel you have failed as a child. Have confidence. It's sufficient to do what you realistically can to help your parents. (By Rika Kayama, psychiatrist)
 遠距離介護をしている自分を、責めたり恥じたりしていないで。自分は「子どもとして不合格」だなんて思わずに、自信を持って。その中で、できる範囲でケアしてあげれば、それで十分。
 悩む人たちに、そう声をかけたい。

毎日新聞 2011年2月8日 地方版
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by kiyoshimat | 2011-02-14 06:47 | 英字新聞

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