When a parent starts in any way depending upon their child, a world has turned upside down for both.
Be prepared for new change. Have patience spend time with them. Do not run away by considering them as burden or a problem.
One day you are going to be old and will face same problem.
Be sensitive, think from elders perspective and learn what to tell and not to tell your elders.
- How can’t you remember that? Never say this. This is a criticism that aged heart cannot take. We all forget things from time to time. Gently remind them or use a sticky note or note book to remind them. Help them to write it down.
- You could that if you really tried: With shaking hands and losing memory- aged ones will have hard time to get around. Instead of telling you could tried, say let me help you and you can come along.
- How can you not do this? It is not so hard Things may be hard to handle or not easy to carry with their age related condition. Again, help them to do it – do not criticize them.
- Didn’t tell you yesterday? Be careful with your tone here. You will hurt them again. Instead, oh..I think I told you, don’t worry… here it is.
- Did not show you how to do it just other day? Write it down – if something like handling new remote, TV or any new appliances get sticker or note pad and write down the instruction and leave it on the table where they can reach if they want.
- What does that have to do with what we are discussing now? If they go out of track during a discussion – listen to them and slowly bring them back to conversation.
- How many times you are going to tell me that story? Or you already told me this several times – If you say this then elders feel that you are disgusted listening to them. Instead, say.. don’t tell me you did this next and continue the story with them and they will realize that you already heard the story before from them.
- Ya, blah..blah.. blah..I don’t have time: Never say this. It is disrespectful. Politely say ” can I come back to you after sometime” We will talk over a cup of coffee or tea, is that okay?
- I want your earrings/jewellery after you gone: Or who is going to get what?- If it is going to be yours then, it will come to you. Don’t show a hurry for their death. They will give you or things will come to you at right moment. Don’t expect their death.
- You don’t know your grand children name? They may be undergoing memory loss, so understand and gently remind them about the names.
- Why do you eat so much? If they have indigestion – don’t show your anger. After all they are humans and may like to eat something which may be causing problem. Tell them “probably it is not going well with your system, don’t worry…let us take care of it”
- Why the house is so messy? Why you don’t keep things proper? – What strength they will have to clean the house or bathroom? If possible hire a maid and help your elders to keep the house clean and neat. They will like it and will try to keep it clean as much as they can.
- You complain too much- If things are not suiting their body, elders may keep talking about this. Have patience and show empathy. Just say ” oh, I did not know… I will take care of it”
- Let me handle your finances- When it comes to aging parents, money and finances can be a very touchy subject. If you ask them about handling finances they may get scared or feel like running out of money. Finance is the most coveted asset for anybody. Tell them gently, if they need any help you can assist you or take you to bank.
- Are you okay to be alone? If your parents reached the point where they need assistance, then go with them. Make time. Do not ask are you going to be okay alone. Instead, show support and go with them to medical tests, banks, post office etc. This will help them to feel more secure and brave.
- “You old people” - Yes, they are old. You don’t need to call them by this name. You are going to be old too. If you find any mistake or something wrong tell them gently or if it is something very negligent then, let it go. Unnecessarily don’t make a issue and make them feel guilty and horrible.
- How can you do this to me? With age and memory loss, if they forget to do something or unable to reach you or could not handle a situation – they may not able to do what you were expecting them to do. Instead, tell them probably I will coach you, I will be with you or things are going to be okay. This give a great relief for you as well as for them.
Try to think from your aged parents or elders perspective. Be tactful in how you approach delicate subjects with aging parents. Learn to take care of elders because, you are going to be in their shoe one day!
Online Grandma @ www.werindia.com