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Have You Said These Common Yet Hurtful Things to Your Aging Parents?

Aging Parents It is always best to tell the truth, right? Still there are occasions when some truths are better left unsaid, or at the very least worded more positively, particularly if communicating with aging parents. While we could have the very best of intentions in attempting to help older adults navigate life, we can help alleviate problems with hurt feelings in our senior parents by rethinking statements such as the following

  • Don’t you remember…? Short-term loss of memory is quite common in older adults, and pointing it out so candidly can be belittling. Instead, try non-verbal methods to help jog your loved one’s memory, like strategically placing positive reminder notes around the house, like on the refrigerator, bathroom mirror, TV remote, etc. If a spoken reminder would definitely be helpful, be sure to try to keep your tone light; and ask if the senior would like someone to assist, such as in scheduling a medical appointment on her behalf or picking up a prescription.
  • You’re simply not trying hard enough. The simple truth is, many older adults develop physical or cognitive impairments that can make once-simple tasks extremely difficult. It’s just as important not to take control over tasks the individual may still do, but which may take a bit longer to do. Offering to serve as a partner in accomplishing a challenging task can be effective, like asking the senior to deal with part of the task as you tackle another part of the task.
  • I'm aware; you already told me. It can be frustrating to hear stories you have already heard before from a senior loved one, however it’s important to stay patient and offer the older adult the respect you would want if the tables were turned.
  • When you die, am I able to have...? No one really wants to feel as though their possessions are of such value that somebody cannot wait to get their hands on them. In the event that the senior doesn't have a will in place that outlines his or her wishes, it’s certainly a smart idea to have that looked after, but let the person the freedom to choose to whom his or her belongings must be given.
  • Wake up! Let go of any embarrassment you may have regarding your senior family member drifting off to sleep at inappropriate times, such as during a film, a religious service, or a concert. Altered sleep patterns, prescription medication side effects, among other factors, makes it difficult for some older adults to sleep well throughout the night.

Communicating with aging parents can be challenging, but with a little effort and help from trusted caregivers like those at Independence-4-Seniors Home Care of DuPage IL, you can keep the dialogue open and positive. For more effective communication tips to help senior family members retain the dignity they deserve, call us today at (630) 323-4665.

Posted February 05, 2018
Tags: Caregiver Health, elder abuse, Family Caregiving

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