Once a parent reaches a certain age, they may start requiring help in more or even all aspects of their lives – showering, eating, taking their medication, among plenty of other day-to-day tasks. Typically, their adult children take on the responsibility of managing their daily activities, but not everyone is experienced with caregiving. Wrong approaches to caregiving affect parent-child relationships more than we can imagine.
How Caregiving Affects Parent-Child Relationships
Older parents struggle to balance their desire to maintain close relationships with their adult children and their desire for autonomy. Most of them are aware of the effects of asking for help on their family dynamics, so they are less likely to do so even if they are struggling with daily activities. Having your aging parents ignore or minimize their needs can lead to more pain down the road for both parties. At the same time, the urge of adult children to take control of their parents’ lives and micromanage them may make this situation even worse, potentially even causing a rift between both parties. As children of aging parents, how can you provide assistance in an understanding and respectful manner? How do you explain that admitting to needing help does not signify the end of their independence?
Helping Aging Parents Without Being Overbearing
When the time comes that your elderly parents need more help than usual with their daily activities, it helps to understand that they are also being confronted with their limitations. A loss of autonomy and independence can make anyone feel worse about themselves. This could even lead to them being in denial that they require support in most aspects of their life. Here are a few rules you can follow which will make a positive difference in the way they accept care and the way you provide care:
- Allowing them to take the lead – Instead of doing everything for your parents, try to complete tasks alongside them to maintain their self-esteem levels.
- Let your parents ask for help when they need it – Resist the urge to swoop in whenever they are faced with difficulties. Letting them dictate when you can help can show that you’re supportive of them and perhaps they may feel more comfortable opening up about their difficulties in the future.
- Prioritize their safety – It is important to still step in when it feels like your parent is behaving recklessly despite their protests, especially for parents with cognitive disorders.
What to Avoid
Expecting too much from your aging parents could lead to serious conflicts, so it’s best to focus on your own capabilities. Communicating to manage expectations could prevent them from feeling disappointed or feeling like they’ve disappointed you. The most important part is to do your best to listen to their needs, learn more about their capabilities, and assist them respectfully.
Why Choose The Park Oak Grove?
If your parent is craving a more physically and socially active lifestyle, why not consider a move to our retirement community? It will leave you with added peace of mind knowing we provide round-the-clock assistance, top-notch, amenities, and unparalleled services.
If you have any inquiries about our range of services, don’t hesitate to contact us today!