Are These Products Worthwhile?

How many of y’all read the post on relationships: Did it move you to act?

The proposals for Park Aid and ITN Men’s Caregiver Support groups are both great ideas. Do they work? Yes, but not when they remain unimplemented. With any opportunity for advancement there must be an associated buy-in or the idea just gets pittered away.

Consider 4 Stages of Denial-Happening:

  1. It WILL NOT happen to me
  2. It CAN NOT happen to me
  3. It IS happening to me
  4. It DID happen to me

Apply these to the Park Aid mechanism. It WILL NOT happen implies I am outside the target group. It CAN NOT happen indicates some other device is already in place. It IS happening and it DID happen are merely assertions that chance occasions for improvement were overlooked.

For some, Opportunity = Motivation. Similarly Missed Opportunity can also = Regret. Some invitations include the abbreviation “RSVP” with the qualifier “Regrets Only.” The difficulty of caring for older adults or the problem of parking a car in an assigned space might lead to regret. Is there a cure for regret? Think about fire prevention as one cure for extinguishing blazes. What can be done if it is too late to prevent regret?


I saw Jack at the gym this morning. We struck up a very easy camaraderie over the last two years. In response to my noticeable absences and drop in attendance the past 8 weeks he asked “Where have you been?” I pondered how best to reply. He continued to probe. “Is this your first day back? Where did you go?” By now the interrogation piqued the interest to at least a half dozen guys in the locker room. I knew I must answer the questions truthfully. “My Mom died in March and my Dad died in June. I’ve been tied up with family matters.” (Boy, talk about letting a downer slip in  the room.) As if to restore the unspoken requirement for distance between fellows in the group I added “…but I’m doing okay.” After an awkward silence and equally long pause Jack stated, “You have siblings.” I nodded and he continued, “I have two sisters and they took care of all that when my folks passed away.”

I do not regret installing the Park Aid in my neighbor Fern’s garage space one day while she was away. A couple years later she and Doug moved out and a younger couple moved in. The Park Aid came down. No regrets. After a short while in the retirement home Fern died. Still no regrets. I might have regretted placing self-imposed restrictions on neighborliness if there had been some but that did not happen. And because Doug had been a great neighbor I naturally transferred all that good will onto the new neighbors.

What does it cost to give away good will? I read once that “ten atta-boys get wiped out by one aw-sh**.” I will suggest that causing others to fail at having regrets is worth a thousand blessings. The price of the Park Aid and the ITN program is right: FREE. What is your excuse now for not becoming a better caregiver?

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