When the tables turn and we become the “caregivers” rather than the “cared for” in the lives of our parents, fear can easily take over. Though the years we’ve depended on our parents to be the lifeline and support for us in most every aspect of our lives. They’ve supported us through hard times, loved us when we were un-loveable, and been the solid rock of the family foundation.
Taking the helm in the care of our parents means turning loose of the dependency and becoming the one to be depended upon. What we fail to realize is that not only is this a frightening time for us, but it’s an equally scary time for our parents.
For years, our parents have been strong and able. They were raised in an era when caring for yourself was a necessity. Therefore, handing over the shards of independence cuts deep into their being, and it’s difficult to accept help when the time arises.
The stress which accompanies the care of an elderly parent can be overwhelming. Not only do children deal with the financial issues and the physical needs of their parents, but mentally shifting the thought process toward being the caregiver becomes more difficult. Separating our love for them from their care is tedious.
Many times our parents fight the need for help—they refuse to see their physical needs have increased. Finding a caregiver who can gently aid in this transition is vital. Being a caregiver is a tough profession, and often filled with frustration and hurt. However, being armed with the tools of knowledge can help ease the transition.
Encouragement is a must—reminding seniors that their opinion still counts and then respecting that opinion as well.
Respect and integrity—one of the hardest things to manage is to remain in control of how we treat our seniors both physically and mentally. Even a parent in the deepest stages of dementia recognizes respect and had a need to have their integrity honored. It’s easy to take the care of our parents to extreme and treat them as children rather than adults who simply need assistance. Honor their integrity and respect them fully for they are still our parents.
Pray – Doctors and hospitals nationwide are beginning to recognize the power of prayer. Pray daily for the empathy and gentleness necessary to handle the situations that arise with our elders. Pray for their health, their understanding and pray for the family as a whole. The knowledge of praying friends uplifts those who are in need.
Work with seniors, not against them—Digging in with stubborn heels is not always the appropriate way to handle things. Relax and move slowly into the transitions when ever possible. Allow seniors the opportunity to adjust.
Caregivers hired from outside the immediate family will generally have the upper hand in dealing with aging parents. A caregiver trained in the appropriate manner will come into a home, encourage, assist and gain the trust of the parent, providing and making inevitable changes for seniors easier.
Choosing a company who has the ability to train and teach the art of good caregiving is important. Comfort Keepers provides caregivers who are trained in unique and loving caregiving skills.
Seek the help of a good company such as Comfort Keepers. Allow them to assist your loved ones into and through the transition of aging.