Empathize With Them and Don’t Overreact
Aging is not something that happens overnight, and so the feeling of aging does not happen all at once, either. It is an accumulating series of losses — loss of employment due to retirement, loss of health, and energy due to fragility, loss of friends, loss of mobility and independence. Consider how you’d feel if you were in their situation. Be kind and gentle with your aging loved one and help them adjust and adapt to the changes. Do not get frustrated and angry with them if they resist your help or the need for additional care. Help them understand that it is for the best and that you only have their best interests in mind. Empathizing with them will help any transitions go much more smoothly. Working together on a strategy to take care of your aging parents is a great way to keep everything on friendly terms and to help them not be so reluctant!
Keep in Touch With Them on a Regular Basis
Among the biggest issues facing the elderly who are in nursing homes or assisted living facilities is the feeling of being abandoned or forgotten. The one thing aging parents wanted from their kids was simply to hear from them. A phone call, a visit with the grandkids, a card, anything to show that they are not forgotten and are still loved and considered to be an important part of the family. Checking in and seeing how they are doing is one of the best ways you can help a loved one adjust to the changes and adapt to the loss of their independence. They still want to be part of the family and it is important that you make them feel valued and appreciated and loved. Parents love their children and children love their parents, so keeping in touch is the best thing you can do to keep those bongs strong even when a loved one is not living with you anymore!
Encourage Them to Stay Active and Engaged
Many aging parents who are in an assisted living facility or adult care center tend to be isolated and often suffer from physical and mental decline much more quickly than when they were at home or living with family. This is because they had to stop many of the activities they used to do that gave them a sense of purpose and value and that helped them not become bored with day to day life. Physical activity is key for improving mood, endurance, balance, and strength and delaying cognitive decline. Encourage them to continue their hobbies like sewing or puzzles, get them involved with activities their center offers, and help them find ways to keep their minds and bodies engaged and active. This is an important strategy that can have a big impact on how easily your loved one makes the adjustments.
Help Them Learn to Use Various Technology
Most of the elderly population is at a disadvantage when it comes to using modern technology like cell phones and computers. You can help your loved one stay connected with friends and family members by teaching them the basics of technology that can help them. Teaching them how to use a computer to send an email or how to get onto their Facebook page and talk to you or see pictures of the grandkids can really help them in many ways. It will also help you maintain a connection with them on a regular basis for their own benefit as well as help to give you peace of mind about how they are adjusting as well. It can take time but helping them use technology can be a big help. Taking care of aging parents can be challenging, but with the right strategy and steps, you make it easier for everyone!
To learn more contact us today here at Sunny Day and let us show you how we can help your loved one cope with the aging process and adjust to their new life.