Having aging parents can create a myriad of challenging circumstances for both you and them. When your parent arrives at a point when they need extra help but are refusing, the situation becomes increasingly difficult. Accepting aging does not come easy, let alone accepting loss of freedoms, memory, or health. Finding a way to align support with freedom for your parent is a balancing act and requires communication, compromise, and empathy.
Fear in Aging
Growing old can be disconcerting and can come with fears of being unable to care for yourself, new losses of freedom, and increasing health issues. With these losses and fears come related emotions. It could be that anger has set in on their side, as well as yours. Taking time, as their caregiver, to show your elderly parent understanding through their situation can be an effective measure of aid.
Easing into Care-giving
Planning the transition of your parent from long held freedoms into receiving eldercare could prove to be the help you and them both need. Try breaking the most important concerns into smaller achievable goals to make the task seem less daunting. Instead of insisting that your parent no longer drive for safety reasons, perhaps show them how to use Uber or offer to chauffeur them to various errands; it could also coincide as a time for both of you to visit. Suggest a house cleaner for maintaining home cleanliness, or a food delivery service to ensure they have groceries. Some items may be of more concern, such as medications being skipped, or medical appointments being ignored. Start with suggesting a reminder on a cell phone to notify your parent. Prioritizing can help both you and your parent know what to tackle first and lead to conversations that could require difficult discussions.
Empathy and Support
Empathy, support, and open communication can go a long way to gauge where your aging parent is in the process. Emotions are no doubt high when these topics arise and taking time to talk compassionately with your parent can provide the insight and clarity that you need to prioritize steps for your elderly parent. If your parent needs more than a house cleaner or a driver, offer empathy, patience, and engage them when choosing a caregiver or care facility. It could be very frightening for your parent to move and live with other people they do not know in an environment that is unfamiliar, such as a skilled nursing care facility. Reassure your parent that you are present, involved, and care deeply.
Wherever your parent is in the stages of care-giving, Jefferson Park at Dandridge can offer additional support. One suggested resource is a book by Barbara Kane, “Coping with Your Difficult Older Parent: A Guide for Stressed-Out Children.” If you feel it’s time for your parents to receive more long-term care by living in a skilled nursing facility, give Jefferson Park at Dandridge a call at 865-397-3163 or contact us online to speak with one of our team members about our services.