5 Ways to Avoid Conflict While Caring for Elderly Parents
One of the most difficult things you may have to do in life takes on the responsibility of caring for your senior parent, especially if they’re gravely ill or even dying. While you may still be able to create countless joyful memories together, it won’t be easy.
You may begin to lose sight of whether things could ever get better. You may think to yourself,
I don’t want to lose my best friend or I can’t do this on my own.
That is totally understandable – especially if you really do consider your senior loved one your best friend.
But we are here for you! We’ve put together some tips on how to avoid conflict and stay positive as you continue your journey.
Take their wishes into consideration
Although it’s easy to assume that you’ll be taking on all of the responsibility when it comes to planning care for your loved one, you still love and value the person your parent is. So, be sure to reach out to them for help when things are going awry at work, ask for their input on anything from family vacation ideas to gardening tips. The more you can communicate about something other than their health needs or risks the easier it’ll be for both of you to stay sane.
Once you begin taking over your aging parent’s responsibilities, they may express gratitude and appreciation. Or, they may lash out. They’ve been your parent and your provider for so long that it’s only natural that they’ll push back. It’s difficult for older parents to learn to trust their child, no matter how old they are! Be sure you are prepared for this. Try bringing in their close friend, family member, or even someone more neutral like their doctor, to help guide the conversation.
Take it slow
As with every major life change, be sure you’re taking it to step by step. The same goes for your parent. No one can ever be prepared for surrendering their independence and ability to live autonomously. Although you can expect what’s coming, preparing for it and being aware of how it’ll really pan out is virtually impossible. This is why there is no reason to really stress, especially given the many resources out there like home care that can change your life!
Some great advice I once read about living with an aging parent was the importance of being tough. Simply put – don’t allow your parent to “push your buttons”. Your parent knows you better than anyone, so if there is ever a time they may try to exert authority over you, they’ll do it by bugging you about things like the way you organize your home, your appearance, your children, etc.
During this difficult time, realize that each of us copes with aging and death differently. If you’re ever in need of a helping hand or need someone to help you communicate more effectively with your parent to arrange care options, give us a call!