It is one of the toughest family dynamics, when your parents are older and begin to need help with mobility and general healthcare. All the time growing up they looked after you and now the roles are reversed. It is difficult to cope, sometimes, with this change in dynamic. And it can be hard to understand when your parents refuse help or become anxious about their life or healthcare situation. By considering what your parents are going through, you can gain a better understanding of what they need, and how to create workable solutions that give them a great quality of life.
Pride Can Get in the Way of Practicality
Everyone has times when they are reluctant to ask for help, and for an elderly parent who is starting to deal with limited mobility and the need for assistance in managing their life, it is even harder. Understand that it can be problematic for an elderly parent to ask for your help. It can often feel like a loss of control. Often you will not know when they need assistance until it becomes completely obvious – and by that time it may be more difficult to provide solutions. Instead of harassing your parents and telling them they must ask for help, try to anticipate their needs and respectfully offer your assistance when you see they need it. By not making a big deal out of it, they are more likely to accept your help and be able to live a more comfortable life.
Save Time for Communication
At your stage of life you are probably rushing between work commitments, family commitments, and social life so it can be hard to find time to talk to your parents and find out more about their health concerns and needs. This can be frustrating for your parents, and can also result in communication difficulties further down the line. You may not have the time for long conversations every day, but you should try to sit down for a chat often. Again, you don’t need to make a big deal out of it or an inquisition – give your parents the time and space to connect with you and they are more likely to voice their concerns and you can better understand their fears and needs.
Hard Issues need to be discussed
If there is a big issue that needs to be handled, such as living situations and care, it is best to approach the issue sooner rather than later. Admittedly it is difficult to talk to relatives about their need for extra care, but if you do not broach the subject you could end up causing health problems for your parents. Live in care is an option for many seniors and for families that cannot care for their relatives at home themselves. Agencies like www.coriniumcare.com provide in-home solutions for people who are having problems managing day to day tasks and have limited mobility. Talk as openly as you can with your parents about their fears and their anxieties. You may be able to solve some of these by keeping an open dialogue. Try to remain positive and give your relatives the chance to express their thoughts and feelings.