I never needed my mother to tell me what to do, but it was always a comfort that I could call "occasionally" to get her take on something. Now that she is in a mental decline, that is pretty much gone but it depends on the day.

Does anyone have any thoughts on how to talk to their parent (with issues) so the parent knows they were valued and are still valued?

Of course, it might just be lip service, but I think it does matter.

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Find a way to enrich your mom's life that doesn't include sharing "issues" with her. She has most likely transcended beyond those earthly dramas. Let her know how much you love her. TELL her how meaningful she is in your life. Share funny stories. Talk about your pets. Other loved ones. Issues? I just don't see it as I think of my mom in that same place.

Just remember. Your mom loved (loves) you to bits. She has known all her life how much you respected her take on things, how often you sought her council, and how much you love her. That's like a tattoo on her heart. Just help her be happy.

Whew. Brings back loving memories of mom. And reminds me how often to this day I want to pick up the phone, hear her voice and share some news.

Sometimes that's all there is.

It's a real bummer when you realize your own generation are rapidly becoming the elders and those we once turned to who were older and wiser are no longer there for us. Many times when I have needed some handy work done I have wished my dad was still here to help out or give advice. My mom is still with us, well, her body is anyway; the woman I used to share my failures and victories with is gone, and I miss that.
I think a lot of the loneliness felt by some older people has a lot to do with the realization that all those supports, parents, extended family, peers, even their spouse, have left them behind and there are few left who remember or understand the life they have lived. Spend time sharing stories about the good old days, page through photo albums, ask what she was doing during important historic events or what her favorite childhood games were. If she is beyond even that than I think all you can do is try to be a kind secure presence in her life.

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