•  Social Media Team  
  •  Thursday, June 1, 2017  
  •   0  
  •  Aging — Parents

When you use an approach that promotes respectful communication, giving advice and providing care becomes much easier and more helpful to your loved ones.

Providing care to aging parents: the challenge

We all want the best for our parents and grandparents, so we often give advice or take actions that we feel will help them. Sometimes we don’t just give advice, we downright tell them what they have to do, which can be a problem because most people, seniors or otherwise, don’t want someone else running their lives. Think about it: would you want pushy life lessons or daily oversight from someone whose diapers you once changed? They are still your parents, and they likely still feel like a mother or father; when the caregiving roles are reversed, it can create frustration.

Fortunately, there are respectful, caring ways to help seniors who may be unable to help themselves while allowing them to maintain their personal dignity and respect.

Communication is the key to caring for {aging parents}

Perhaps the most important element of caring for an elderly parent is communication. Whether you’re providing general advice on how they should arrange their homes or trying to convince them to eat a healthier diet, you can’t just tell them to do it; you need to tell them why you think it’s a good idea. Remember: communication is a two-way street, so listen to their feedback and take into consideration how the decision will affect their personal lives.

Try this strategy: discuss how decisions will benefit others

Being helpful is important to many people, including elderly parents. Sometimes, how decisions will help others can be a major factor in an elderly parent’s choices. For example, let’s say that you’re trying to convince your elderly father to quit smoking, but he doesn’t seem compelled by arguments that would affect his personal health.

Maybe reasons about the harmful effects of secondhand smoke on his wife or grandchildren will help him drop the habit. If you’re trying to convince your mother to accept in-home care, you can emphasize that this care will cause you and your siblings less worry and stress. That just might be enough to convince her.

Final word of advice: vent frustrations elsewhere

If we can offer one final piece of advice, it would be to vent your frustrations, which are likely to occur, away from your elderly parent. In many cases, your mother, father, or grandparent already feels like a burden. Revealing your frustrations will only make them feel worse. It’s good to get your frustrations off your chest but do so with a sibling, friend, or spouse. When you release your frustrations elsewhere, you’ll be more prepared to give caring, respectful support to your elderly parent.