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香山リカのココロの万華鏡:「昔は昔、今は今」 /東京

April 27, 2014(Mainichi Japan)
Kaleidoscope of the Heart: That was then and this is now
香山リカのココロの万華鏡:「昔は昔、今は今」 /東京

When the Olympics last came to Tokyo in 1964, Japan was in the midst of its postwar growth boom. The young parents of those hopeful times have, however, become the seniors of today; the "elder care" generation, so to speak.
 前回の東京五輪の頃、高度成長時代のまっただ中に家庭を築いた人たちが、いまいっせいに“介護される年代”を迎えている。

Members of that generation, joining the workforce as Japanese society basked in its growing wealth, took to their jobs with a vigorous, proactive attitude, building tightknit nuclear families as they went. Their lifestyles began to reflect the benefits of economic success as well, with new cars appearing in driveways and pianos in living rooms. Parents also found they had the time and money to enhance their children's education, and it was in this era that the term "kyoiku mama" (education mom) -- mothers who pushed their children to succeed academically -- was coined.
 その多くは核家族、どんどん成長する社会で前向きに仕事に取り組み、自動車やピアノを買うなどして生活を豊かにしてきた。子どもの教育にもお金や手間がかけられるようになり「教育ママ」という言葉が生まれたのもその世代あたりからだ。

Age has imposed its various frailties on this energetic generation, dementia not least among them. Their children, of course, understand intellectually that their parents are getting old, and that dementia may lay siege to once nimble minds. Still, they find it hard if not impossible to accept this in their own "always energetic" mothers and fathers. One patient of mine, a woman in her 50s caring for a mother with dementia, admitted to me, "I could do something to her, become a 'care abuser,' if things keep on like this.
 そんな人たちも高齢期になればからだも弱くなれば、認知症になることもある。頭ではわかっているのだが、長い間「いつも元気なパパとママ」を見てきた子どもたちは、その事実がどうしても受け入れられない。認知症の母親の介護をする50代の娘が「このままでは“介護虐待”をしそうです」と相談に来たことがあった。

"In my neighborhood, my mother was known as an amazing 'education mom,'" the woman continued. "Now, she has to ask me everything, even what season it is. When I was a little girl, one of her favourite phrases was, 'Try looking it up yourself.' Remembering that now, when my mother depends on me for everything like a little child, I just can't find it within myself to be kind to her. I yell at her without noticing, and sometimes I find myself ready to hit her. I scare myself."
 「近所でも評判の教育ママだった母親が、いまでは季節もわからなくなってなんでも私にきいてくるのです。子ども時代は『自分で調べなさい』が口グセの母でした。それを思い出すと、いま幼児のように私に頼ってくる母親にどうしてもやさしくできません。つい声を荒らげてしまったり手が出そうになってしまうこともあって、自分でもおそろしい」

The problem isn't that the woman hates caring for her mother. Rather, she is deeply saddened and disturbed that her once super-human mom has changed so drastically. These feelings are transformed into anger, into thoughtless verbal attacks and the temptation to do violence.
 介護がイヤなわけではない。ただ、あんなにしっかりしてスーパーマンのようだった親が昔とはさまがわりしてしまった姿を見ると、なんともいえず悲しくなる。それが次第に怒りにかわり、心ない暴言や暴力につながることがあるのだ。

I have had a number of patients in the same boat, and they always tell me something like, "I can't forget how hardworking my parents were and how good life was at home when I was young." That image of strong and loving parents persists in the minds of their children, even if these parents are now in a very different stage of life. That was then and this is now, as the old expression goes. It's quite frankly odd to pine for the days when "mom and dad could do anything." By the same token, there's also no need to wall up memories of better times because remembering them makes us sad.
 そういう人たちに私はいつも「その昔、念願のマイホームで頑張っていた両親や楽しかった家庭の思い出は消えたわけではない」と話す。それがあくまで両親のメインの姿で、いまはそのときとは別のステージで生きている。あのときはあのとき、今は今。「昔はなんでもできたのに」と比べるのもおかしいし「昔を思い出すと悲しくなるから」と記憶を封印する必要もない。

Watching our parents come to need nursing care is no fun, but we must set that aside. Instead, remember the good times. Perhaps they took you to Expo Osaka 1970, and the whole family had a blast. Maybe your mother was dressed to the nines for the big outing, and oh was she a sight to behold. If we find ourselves thinking, "Yeah, but look at her now," keep that talismanic phrase "that was then and this is now" firmly in mind. Resist the comparison.
 目の前の介護が必要な親のことはさておいて、「家族で大阪万博に行ったわねえ。あのときはみんな生き生きしていて本当に楽しかった。ママも私も精いっぱいおしゃれしてたっけ」と心おきなく昔の楽しかった思い出に浸ったってよいのだ。「それなのに今は」と考えそうになったら、「昔は昔、今は今」というフレーズをおまじないのように唱えてみよう。

Very importantly, when it comes to caring for parents with dementia, we cannot do everything on our own. Make full use of elder care services, and don't be afraid to ask friends for help from time to time. Believe me when I say that the psychological burden must be shared.
そして介護の問題はひとりで背負わず、介護サービスをフル活用したり友人に頼ったり。とにかくシェアの精神が大切、ということもつけ加えておきたい。

(By Rika Kayama, psychiatrist)
毎日新聞 2014年04月22日 地方版
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by kiyoshimat | 2014-06-10 07:53 | 英字新聞

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