aging parent

How to Support Your Aging Parent During Illness

aging parentThe aging process is not easy. Illnesses abound and the ability for your parent to do the things he or she once did is decreasing. This can be quite devastating for not only you, but for your aging parent as well. Knowing how to support your mom or dad during this stage of life will make him/her and you deal with it much better.

Offer Assistance

Instead of jumping at the chance to help, offer your assistance. This way your aging parent will still feel as though he/she has control. This matters because while your parent may not be able to do as much as before, he/she can still decide on needing help.

Listen

It can be hard to sit and just listen, but it means so much to your loved one. As everyone is bustling around with their busy lives, your loved one’s life has slowed down. Taking time to stop, listen, and hear your loved one will make him/her feel wanted and worthy.

Remain Positive

Your older loved one may be feeling negative, and that can bring on depression. While you can’t do much about the reality of the illness or disease, you can point out some of the good things in life. One of those good things is you because you care.

Encourage Medical Compliance

It can be difficult to get your parent to the doctors or take his/her medications. You don’t need to yell, threaten, or guilt your loved ones into being medical compliant. Instead, try encouragement. You may want to bring up all of the times you didn’t want to go to the doctors or take medications as a kid, and how your parent wanted you to take them. You can also suggest that you and your parent do something fun after the medication or appointment to entice him/her into it. Have fun with it to provide the encouragement your loved one needs right now.

Think About What Your Parent Wants

It can be easy to think of yourself and what you would want in your parent’s shoes. This doesn’t always translate correctly though. Your parent may want something different from you than what you would want from your children. You know your parent’s personality and way of doing things, so keep that in mind as you’re helping. If you don’t know, just ask. It will be appreciated.

Take Care of Yourself

Don’t forget that you need to care for yourself too, or you won’t be able to step up to the plate in being a caregiver. Take breaks, get enough sleep, eat well, and do what you need to do to keep yourself healthy mentally and physically.

Seek Help for Support

You don’t have to do it all. You can elicit help from friends, family, and those in the senior care industry such as myself. I have helped many family members with aging parents, as well as their parents. What I do is provide a listening hear and advice that can help you through the most difficult times. My clients find that I am easy to talk to, and provide the support they need to continue on with life with a hopeful, more positive outlook than they had before starting sessions with me. Contact me today for more information on personal consulting and how it can help you or your parent.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles from FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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