Life is full of changes and these changes often require us to take on new roles and responsibilities. When a parent is aging, their needs change. Some of these changes are predictable, while others are sudden and require immediate intervention*. These changes often impact the nature of the aging parent's relationship with their children.
*If you fear your parent(s) is/are not safe at home it is important to get help immediately. Call 911 if there is a medical or an extremely unsafe situation. Then call
Clare Senior Advisors to help you make a plan to keep your parent(s) safe (and hopefully happier).
Over time, the relationship between an adult child and their aging parents can change in unexpected ways. Many adult children find themselves managing their parents' finances, doctor's appointments, grocery/supply needs, and even personal cares (i.e. bathing, dressing, food preparation, etc...). These new responsibilities can increase stress for all parties. Aging parents may experience depression as a result of their lost independence and their adult children may feel burdened with an ever changing/growing list of responsibilities. This burden may leave them scrambling to find a way out. While they may need to unburden themselves for the sake of their, or their parents', health and wellness, they find it nearly impossible to say "no" to an aging parent's request for assistance.
Why is it so difficult to say "no" to an aging parent's request for assistance? The short answer is LOVE! Adult children love their parents so deeply that they often feel obligated to put their needs second to those of their parents. Simultaneously, aging parents who ask for help would likely understand if their children said "no." Over time, innocent requests for help/assistance can lead to stress and even resentment. If you are stressed out or struggling to help your parents stay safe in their (or your) home, you need to know that there are people who can help.
Improving communication between you and your parents is the first step towards a happier and safer life for them. Once they are safe and happy, you can return to your role as their daughter (or son).
Here are some strategies our clients have used to help get the conversation started:
Contact your parent's physician ahead of their next appointment and share your concerns. The physician can then address these concerns at the appointment and help your parent(s) understand the steps that need to be taken for their safety and wellbeing.
To get the conversation going, ask open ended questions about the future. i.e. if all of a sudden you weren't able to safely climb stairs, what would you do? If I took a new job and wasn't able to help as much, how would your needs be met? Winter is around the corner, how can we make sure you are safe if I'm unable to visit you?
Have a "choice vs crisis" conversation with them. In the event they had an unplanned but serious medical emergency, what would happen next? Have they done the homework and made decisions about who will help them if something were to happen? If they have, then their choices are known and you have a plan to follow. If they haven't, the crisis will likely drive most decisions. All of us want control over our lives, so having this conversation may empower them to make choices about their future.
In our lives there are moments when we neeed advice from trusted professionals. Helping your aging parents remain safe involves navigating an often complex and intimidating senior living/health industry. Clare Senior Advisors' team of experienced professionals have been helping seniors (and their families) stay safe in their homes and/or transition successfully to Independent Living, Assisted Living, Memory Care, and Nursing Homes for years. We have served 500+ seniors throughout the Omaha, NE area and are ready to help you and your family navigate the complex Senior Health industry. As always, our services are free to you.
Clare Senior Advisors was founded in Omaha, NE to serve seniors in the Omaha Metropolitan area.