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Are you wondering how to deal with aging parents living with you? Time passes so quickly. For children, parents are often the constant within the many changes that life brings as time moves along.
But then comes that moment when we realize our parents have aged before our eyes and have become adult children. They have physical limitations they never had before. End-of-life topics might come up more frequently that can cause feelings of grief or discomfort.
Learning how to deal with aging parents getting older in a healthy way helps adult children and their parents in this new season of life. In this blog, we’ll be taking an honest look at how to cope well with aging parents moving in with you.
How To Deal With Aging Parents?
- Learning how to deal with aging parents getting older isn’t something anyone enjoys, but it is important. Coming to terms with the fact that human beings grow old and frail isn’t easy, especially when those human beings are our parents.
- Have you noticed a decline in your elderly parents during the past several months or years? It can feel scary, especially if you are watching them make decisions that you think aren’t the best for their situation.
- Dealing with aging parents can also be frustrating, especially if they refuse your assistance or advice. However, if you can find a way to communicate with them that helps them maintain their own autonomy and independence, you can convince them to make the healthiest decisions possible.
- That said, we owe it to ourselves to attend to these feelings of anxiety linked to our childhood vision of who our parents are. We can simultaneously take steps to prepare ourselves for a new role going forward with aging parents. So, instead of spending money on medicines and doctors, follow a healthy lifestyle.
Discover A New Side Of Your Parents
Know your parents in a hobby or activity they love to uncover a new side of them. Here are some steps you can take:
- Dealing with aging parents can be challenging because our perception of them is often rooted in our childhood experiences.
- However, as they grow older, these perceptions may no longer align with reality.
- One way to navigate this transition is by taking the time to reconnect with your parents and getting to know them anew.
- By viewing them as unique individuals with their own interests and experiences, you can gain a deeper understanding of who they are outside of their parental role.
- Engaging in conversations about their hobbies, passions, interests, and even their regrets can provide valuable insights and help alleviate any anxiety you may have about the aging process.
How To Take Care of Aging Parents?
Caring for older parents can sometimes be overwhelming because of the challenges that may come your way. However, here are some tips that can help you face those challenges and take care of old parents, ensuring there is no emotional or financial stress.
1. Understand their needs:
Take the time to analyze your parents’ situation and identify their social, daily, health, and emotional/financial needs. Below are the key areas that you can consider to best understand their needs:
● Their social interactions
● Everyday routine and primary responsibilities
● Health and medical requirements
● The emotional and financial support they need
2. Assess your situation:
Consider your job, health, relationship dynamics, and willingness to learn how to care for your parents effectively. It would be advisable to think about the following points:
● Does your job allow you to be there with them?
● Given your health, are you able to accept responsibility?
● What are the relationship dynamics between you and your parents?
● Are you willing to learn the best ways of taking care of your old parents?
3. Talk to your parents:
Regularly communicate with your parents, even if you live far away, to show your love, concern, and interest in their well-being. Show your love and concern – interact and question.
● How was their day?
● Did they eat and sleep well?
● Are there any concerns they wish to raise?
4. Encourage social connections:
Combat loneliness by encouraging your parents to participate in social gatherings in person and online, and introduce them to technology for staying connected. Here’s what you can do to improve your parents’ social connectedness:
● Introduce them to the world of the internet
● Organise activities and events of their interest
● Help them join online and offline elderly communities
5. Consider hiring caregivers:
If caring for your parents becomes too challenging, explore elder support services and discuss the option of professional caregivers with your parents, addressing their concerns and giving them time to adjust. Take the following things into account when doing so:
● Listen to their concerns
● Introduce the caregiver as their friend
● Give them time to get used to the idea
15 Tips For Coping With Aging Parents
Dealing with stubborn elderly parents can be challenging, but there are strategies to make conversations more productive:
- Be Patient And Persistent: Understand that resolving concerns may take time and multiple discussions. Avoid overwhelming them with too much information at once.
- Choose Your Battles: Avoid power struggles and ultimatums. Involve your parents in decision-making and show that you value their opinions.
- Be Sensitive: Criticism can put your parents on the defensive. Use “I” statements to express concerns and show empathy.
- Consider Timing: Have discussions when everyone is relaxed and avoid talking when emotions are high.
- Stay Calm: Speak with love and tenderness to reassure your parents that change is manageable.
- Seek Support For Yourself: If you feel overwhelmed, seek outside help through counseling or support groups.
- Spend More Time With Them: Prioritize spending quality time with your parents to strengthen your relationship and show your commitment.
- Ask Questions: Engage your parents in conversations by asking open-ended questions to encourage reflection.
- Find Solutions Together: Focus on addressing their concerns and work collaboratively to find solutions.
- Highlight Benefits: Emphasize the positive aspects of proposed changes, such as increased social activities in assisted living communities.
- Involve Other Family Members: Seek support and understanding from siblings or other family members to address concerns collectively.
- Seek Input From Friends: Include a close friend or neighbor in discussions to provide an outside perspective.
- Consult Their Doctor: If necessary, contact their doctor to express concerns and also seek professional advice.
- Outline Consequences: Hence, communicate the potential consequences of their decisions calmly and without punishment, emphasizing the impact on others.
- Accept Their Autonomy: Remember that your parents have the right to make their own decisions. Respect their choices, even if you disagree, unless their safety is at risk.
Common Issues We Face While Taking Care Of Aging Parents
There are some common challenges faced while caring for Aging Parents are explained below:
1. Helping With Daily Tasks
Aging parents may need assistance with daily tasks such as house management, finances, shopping, and meal preparation. Balancing personal life and providing support to parents can be challenging for adult children.
2. Ensuring Safety
Elderly parents are more vulnerable and require a safe and secure living environment. Communication gaps and other commitments can sometimes compromise their safety and well-being.
3. Dealing With Health Issues
So, aging parents often face health issues that require monitoring, medication, and emergency assistance. Working children may find it difficult to be available for their parents’ healthcare needs.
4. Financial Stability
Retired parents rely on savings, pensions, or support from their children. Managing their financial affairs can become challenging, especially if parents have limited capacity or face exploitation risks.
5. Quality Of Living
Ensuring a good quality of life involves emotional support, social interaction, and overall well-being. Busy schedules or living away from parents can result in insufficient interaction, also leading to loneliness and potential mental health issues.
6. Emergency Assistance
Providing timely emergency assistance becomes crucial, particularly when parents have severe health issues or are bedridden. So, It can be challenging for working children to be available immediately in such situations.
7. Sacrifices At Work
Balancing work and caregiving responsibilities can be demanding. Some children may have to make sacrifices in their careers, such as changing jobs or temporarily quitting work, to prioritize the care of their elderly parents.
How To Deal With Aging Parents -Specific Examples
Dealing with stubborn, aging parents can be challenging, especially when specific situations arise. Here are some examples and their solutions in simpler terms:
Anger, Hostility, And Outbursts
- Understand that aging can cause frustration, so try to empathize and not take it personally.
- Take breaks with respite care to recharge and gain a fresh perspective on the situation.
- Address abusive behavior calmly and express how it makes you feel.
- Prioritize personal safety and consider seeking respite care or professional help for both yourself and your loved one.
Refusing To Shower Or Bathe
- Recognize that fear and vulnerability may be causing the refusal.
- Then work with their physician to understand the underlying reasons and explore alternatives like waterless products or adaptations for maintaining hygiene.
Using Inappropriate Language Or Making Offensive Comments
- Stay calm and let them know you don’t appreciate their behavior.
- Be aware that this may be a result of cognitive decline, so consequences may not be remembered or effective.
Paranoia, Delusions, And Hallucinations
- Consult with their medical team to identify potential causes such as medications or infections.
- Make necessary adjustments in medication or treatment to alleviate these symptoms.
- Gradually declutter their living space through small cleanout sessions.
- Address safety and sanitation concerns and provide alternative outlets for their desire to hold onto items, such as designated rummage drawers.
Refusing To Accept Care
- Have open conversations to understand their concerns and find ways to offer help they’re comfortable with.
- Additionally, Involve professionals and consider home care or senior living options if necessary.
Extreme Frugality Or Overspending
- Hence, discuss their financial worries openly and work with a financial advisor to create a budget that includes essential items.
- If cognitive decline is suspected, seek professional advice from their physician to ensure sound financial decision-making.
Remember that seeking guidance from experts, such as those in senior living communities, can provide valuable support and knowledge in dealing with these specific challenges and providing the best care for your loved one.
Dealing with aging parents requires us to navigate complex emotional and practical challenges. By approaching these situations with patience, understanding, and resourcefulness, we can nurture our relationships and provide the support our parents need.
Remember, every situation is unique, and it’s important to adapt these strategies to fit your specific circumstances. With love, communication, and a willingness to seek outside help when needed, you can navigate the journey of caring for aging parents while maintaining their dignity and your own well-being.
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Frequently Asked Questions
How To Deal With Aging Parents With No Money?
Explore financial assistance options like government programs, consider downsizing or selling assets, and also consult with a financial advisor to help navigate the situation.
What Is The Best Diet For Aging Parents?
The best diet for aging parents should focus on nutrient-dense foods rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats while reducing processed foods and excessive sugar intake to support their overall health and well-being. An old-age diet chart includes enough protein.
How To Deal With Irrational Elderly Parents?
Stay calm and patient, validate their feelings without arguing, and seek professional guidance or support groups to learn effective strategies for communication and managing irrational behavior.
How To Deal With Aging Parents Who Refuse Help?
Approach with empathy and understanding, try to identify their concerns and address them, and consider involving a third party such as a counselor or mediator if needed.
How Can I Reduce My Sugar At Home?
Limit sugary snacks and beverages, opt for healthier alternatives like fruits and unsweetened drinks, and gradually reduce sugar intake while experimenting with natural sweeteners like stevia or honey. And no sugar diet is the best assistance on the path to perfection.
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All recipes from Fitelo’s kitchen are devised to suit specific needs. And what may suit one condition may not be applicable to the other. However, always consult your nutritionist or dietitian before adding any of these recipes to your diet. Read More.