Our Parents’ Wellbeing: How Do We Really “Gnow?”

How do we really “gnow” our parents are OK?

That’s right, GNOW. Gnow is our cross between knowing and that gnawing maybe-I-should-look-into-that feeling. Gnow is our word to reflect “knowing + gnawing”. As in “I think I know, but“, or “Yes, I know (but do I really?)”. Enter uncertainty.

Caregiving for elderly parents, Raleigh-Durham, N.C.Janice telephones her aging relatives to see if they are OK, or if they may need anything. John inquires about the recent medical appointment or whether his folks have been able to run errands, what with all the bad weather we’ve had lately… They want to gnow.

Do we accept our parents’ answers? Do we drop it and move on, satisfied that all is well? Another confirmation completed (‘nuff said) or are things better left unsaid?

We politely work our question into the conversation to obtain the answer we seek. “Uncle Phil, how’s the knee rehab coming along?” Mom, I am going by the market; do you need anything?” Here we are in the Gnow and not In The Know. Because we are unsure.  Great examples of this in “The Talk.”

“I know, I know” is often a declaration that we may be on top of things (except we aren’t). It’s the press release, said like it is plain for all to see. Don’t come at me… End of conversation.

Our dilemma comes when a “There’s no problem here” from Mom and Dad begins to sound akin to “Er, there’s no problem here, Officer”! Someone has doubt, guilt, fear, something doesn’t add up. Something is amiss (and gnawing). After all, you’ve been around the block a time or two.

Adult Children and their parents as normal human beings both play this game. The Adult Children often know, want to know, or say they Gnow. The undercurrent could be one of guilt (that I don’t know) and gnawing (that I should know) or a nagging suspicion (I’ll bet there’s more to know) or deference (I don’t want to know).

Our parents might like us to know, will have us know (as in “I will have you know-”) or would have us not know. There may be times when our parents say to themselves “Don’t let the kids know” (lest they then Gnow). Close it up, don’t want you to worry, and don’t want to be a burden, thinking “You’ll put me in a home next week for sure.”

Our aging parents operate within a different kind of gnow.

Admit it. You gnow the feeling. Have you ever doubted an answer from a loved one, or anybody, for that matter? Is the boss shooting you straight? Did Bob really pay $___ for his ___? Is this excuse involving my teen’s broken curfew plausible? I’ll just bet.

There it is: you want to Gnow.

Haven’t we all lived in the gnow? Nodding “Mm hmm, I know that (but I don’t)” or exclaiming “Oh, everybody knows that (except me, and I’ll not admit it)”.

A bit of gnow is a crucial requisite for an Advocate, I believe. It is our job to determine for our families as best we can the matter at hand and who knows it. And who Gnows it. Then we create a plan of action to address the presenting matter and work to ensure that all parties are placed in the know.

This work includes communicating with family members, medical providers such as physicians, therapists, pharmacists, and more. Advocates are often an extension of their strategy and bring the educational piece. We also interface with or refer to a financial planner or an attorney. We’ll be referring to home care agencies, organizers or remodelers.

Think about it. These professionals are doing a more effective job for you if they are in the gnow. Your team takes on the gnow so you can remain In The Know.

Oh, I know that.

Do you gnow how to best assist your aging parents? If you would like to operate in the know we hope you will CONNECT WITH US or call us at (919) 628-4428 to schedule a free initial consultation.

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