If you have elderly parents, you might feel as if they are your responsibility. As well as taking care of your core family unit, this means you have a lot on your plate, and things are bound to get stressful. To help you cope, it’s a good idea to take charge and manage the different elements of their lives to avoid nasty shocks and surprises.
Of course, while this tactic is efficient, it does the one thing elderly parents hate – takes away their independence. The trick is not to take over their lives but to coexist so that everyone is happy. It’s tough, yet it’s doable with the following advice.
To assume makes an ass out of you and me. Why? It’s because you see the situation from your perspective, not from your parents’ point of view. When this happens, it’s easy to see how tension can arise out of nowhere. For example, you might decide it’s best for everyone if your parents move into the family home. However, they could disagree and prefer to retain their independence by investing in live in care services. Individuals are different, which is why it’s essential to double-check that your opinions are on the right lines.
Try And Stay In The Background
It’s hard to stay in the background when your mum or dad’s wellbeing is at stake. After all, you’re only trying to help and do what’s best for them. Still, imagine how annoyed you would be if someone started telling you how to live your life. There’s nothing wrong with attending doctor’s appointments and listening to the advice, yet you shouldn’t act as if you’re the boss. They are in charge of their health until otherwise stated. Until that point, all you can do is listen and offer your opinion.
The best way for your parents to keep their independence is to continue with their usual routines. Therefore, you should encourage them to leave the house and go to the supermarket as it means they are active. It will also increase the chances of socialising and interacting with others, which is always vital for a person’s health. If they aren’t mobile, it’s important to advocate social interaction by driving them to a function or dropping them off and picking them up later. The elderly aren’t totally independent, yet it doesn’t mean you should be there all the time. Sometimes, you only need to be the chauffeur!
You’re not a bad person for taking over. If anything, you might not recognize that your behaviour is unhealthy, especially if your parents don’t address the situation head-on. That’s why it’s crucial to speak openly and honestly to one another. Not only will you learn things that will enable you to improve your long-term relationship, but you’ll blow off steam by getting your feelings off your chest. There’s no reason to overanalyse every tiny detail, but you should communicate about the issues that play on your minds.
Sometimes, you have to resist the urge to do what you believe to be the best for your parents.