By: Y Feinerman, Family First Editorial Staff
Happy Independence Day!
While you celebrate Independence Day with fireworks, do you have a strategy on how to deal with your aging independent parent?
How to keep the fireworks in the air and not between you and your loved one.
Educate - What is happening to them?
The first step is to understand the aging process and increase sensitivity for your loved one.
As we age we are faced with physical limitations. Our parents might have trouble with day to day tasks like climbing stairs, walking long distances, opening jars, getting in and out of the bath and have vision problems.
Cognitively, aging parents can be more forgetful resulting in missed appointments, forgetting people’s names and basic information.
There are many of us with parents that are suddenly faced with a decline in their social activities, as going out to eat, going to parties, playing sports and traveling become more and more challenging.
Aging - the emotional reaction
Losing one's independence is frightening!
Thoughts that cross their mind:
How will I manage on my own?
Who will take care of me?
I don’t want to be a burden on my children.
My daily life has become a source of frustration and anxiety.
This is not what I planned on!
Face reality - Your independent parent needs YOUR help
Despite the danger signs, we want to believe that your parent is capable of taking care of themselves and can have the freedom to make decisions.
The reality is that aging parents, especially those with memory loss need our help.
A recent survey by the Pew Research Center discovered that
How to help
You, together with your family, and support system are now responsible for the care of your aging and elderly parents.
Remember, you are now your own children’s role model. You too will age :)
Include your parents in your day to day life
Incorporate help from other siblings and family members.
Enlist the services of a home health care agency.
Schedule social events and senior activities for them
Install stair lifts, bathroom railing and a walk in shower.
Purchase a wearable senior alert system that can call for medical help
All of the above!
To allow your parents maintain their independence while still making sure they are safe and cared for, a home health care agency is an ideal option.
Home health care nurses will design a custom-tailored plan:
Communication with family
Communication with physicians to maintain medical regimen
Weekly contact between nurses and each client’s caregiver.
Ongoing coordinated care with realistic, attainable goals.
What they need - how much they need!
Having a responsible trained caregiver spend a few hours a day, with your aging parent, will provide you with the peace of mind that they are being professionally cared for.
Before we continue - let’s remember that more times than not, our aging parents find it challenging to accept help.
Be patient - it takes time.
Remind them they are winners - hey they made you!
Communication is the key to helping your parent cope!
Listen to them, ask them how they feel and what they want
Don’t pick arguments
Plant an idea, step back, and bring it up later.
Respect their right to agree or disagree
View conversations as “door openers” and not “closers”
Don’t go in with the idea that someone has to win - rather you are working together.
Don’t confuse defensiveness with a lack of love.
Stubbornness is a coping mechanism - be respectful.
Your Aging Parents Want Your Help
A recent study by Zarit analyzed the wishes of aging parents. He found that despite a fierce determination to remain independent, aging parents hope that their children will be there for them.
Aging Independent Parents
Independence Day celebrations are once a year and we love to celebrate. Celebrating the love of your parents isn’t once a year, it is a daily event. As difficult as it is, to watch our parents age and lose their independence, as children, we must be there for them to ensure that their aging is with class, good health, and professional care.
Y. Feinerman is the digital marketing manager for Family First Home Health Care. Yocheved is passionate about family and is known to be the "go to person" for family life cycle events and FUN!
Family First is a consumer-directed private care registry, with the purpose of putting our client in control. We are committed to referring those caregivers who can provide high quality, innovative care and who strive for excellence. Caregiver screening and referral are our business. Each of the caregivers on our registry undergoes a rigorous background screening and a credential verification. Click here and F1HH will be in touch with you within 24 hours.