A Roadmap for Making Peace with Your Elderly Parent
There comes a time in our lives where one story ends, and another begins.
As you now know, one of the major stories of your life, the one about the relationship with your parent, will change as they get older. Once the tables turn to a certain age, you will become responsible for their care, medical assistance, and even their finances. As a result, it will be difficult for them to cope with this loss of responsibility and independence.
This can lead to awkward, even painful conversations that could seriously impact your relationship and even cause hostility and aggression. Given this, we’ve put together a short “roadmap” to help guide these unique conversations and promote peace amongst yourselves.
The first step is realizing that you can’t, and shouldn’t, have to tackle this on your own. Admit that you need help and relieve yourself of the pressure. Ask for help the minute you begin to sense that your parent is unhappy about the changes they are going through. Although you may already console in your significant other or sibling, make a game plan and escalate it to a professional.
Look for help
Speaking of professionals, whether it be your loved one’s doctor, social worker, geriatric nurse, family psychologist or even a seasoned homecare agency director like myself, it is critical that you look for help in the right places. Many great homecare agencies will be happy to sit down with you and your family and go through the best options on how to resolve any sort of conflict with a parent.
Loop in an ally
If you are trying to communicate your concerns to a loved one about their health, their living situation, and more, ask their closest friend, priest, sibling, or even neighbor to join the conversation. This individual will help guide the conversation and serve as a buffer. Just be sure they are someone your parent trusts and confides in.
Accept your limitations
We all have free will. If your parent refuses to listen to you or refuses your help no matter how hard you try, you must let it go and come to terms with it. It isn’t your fault.
Although this journey will never be easy, the ways in which you maintain your relationship with an elderly parent can significantly impact your life. Just don’t forget to seek out your team for moral support!