Navigating how to help aging parents can be a tall order in any situation. Aging parents may not always want help or even realize that they need help. Balancing the right amount of help with the right amount of autonomy for seniors is a tricky task. Here are a few ways to help aging parents without being overbearing.
It is a process of learning how to help aging parents. A critical part of that process is patience. Figuring out the needs of your parents can take time. Identifying what help is needed and getting everyone on the same page doesn’t happen overnight.
It is just as important to be patient with your parents as they navigate a new world where they need a little extra support. This time of transition is not always easy, and losing your patience with them will not help the situation.
Aging parents who need support don’t deserve any less respect than independent seniors. Always stay respectful and approach conversations about assistance in a delicate way. If your parents do not feel respected, they may push you away and not accept the help that they truly need.
Getting older and needing help with everyday tasks is not always easy. For parents, it can be difficult to accept that they cannot do the things they once could. Being empathetic to their situation is an active process and takes practice. It is easy to get wrapped up in the day-to-day and forget how they are feeling.
Take a moment to reflect on their point of view and be thoughtful in how you communicate and approach new challenges.
Focus on Empowerment
When parents need extra support, that does not mean they should lose their independence. One of the primary ways children become overbearing when their parents need help is by doing too much. There is no need to wait on your parents hand and foot or to do things for them that they are perfectly capable of doing.
Focus on empowering them to adapt to their new situation. Help them find new ways of completing tasks safely. You can do this by utilizing new tools or investing in occupational therapy.
Finding ways to allow seniors to keep their independence isn’t always easy. Children can be tempted to take the shortcut and simply do most things for their parents. However, empowering aging parents to maintain their independence can go a long way for both their mental and physical health.
Ask a Professional How to Help Aging Parents
If this is your first time supporting an aging parent, it can be overwhelming to navigate. There is no one-size-fits-all solution, and every family’s dynamic is different. One of the best things you can do is seek help from a professional.
There are several types of professionals who can be helpful in your situation. An occupational therapist can work with your parents to teach them new ways of completing tasks and help them better navigate their environment.
An in-home caregiver can help take some of the responsibility off your plate and provide the care that your parents truly need. A senior consultant can come to your home and help you identify where there are gaps and how to fill them.
A therapist can help keep your family dynamics on track and ensure that everyone is in a good mental health space during this challenging time.
These are just a few ways to help your aging parents without being overbearing. Remember, there is no perfect way to approach this time of transition. While you should do everything you can to empower your parents and remain empathetic, you must give yourself some grace as well.
If you or your family member is considering in-home care as part of a plan to age in place, contact Family Matters In-Home Care today for a free consultation. Our team is dedicated to supporting your family and helping older adults enjoy life in the comfort of their own home for as long as possible.
Some of the services offered by Family Matter In-Home Care include: Alzheimer’s & Dementia Care, Bed & Wheelchair Transfer Assistance, Companionship, Housekeeping & Meal Preparation, Personal Care, Recovery Care, and Transportation.