What are the Fundamentals to Helping an Older Parent That Doesn’t Want To Be Helped
Faith & Family

What are the Fundamentals to Helping an Older Parent That Doesn’t Want To Be Helped?

It can be hard being an old person in the modern world. In so many ways, an older parent is left behind because they need to keep up with the modern world, and we see this most in our grandparents. When we are of a certain age, especially in our teenage years and twenties, we may not necessarily give them the time of day they deserve, and this is because we’re finding our own ways in the world. But it’s critical that we celebrate our grandparents and give them the care they deserve. As we get older, there will come a point when we need to look after them, and this is why people of a certain age need the right things to help them thrive. What can we do?

Give Them Support in Their Home

Approximately 13 million seniors end up in hospital every year, with the hospital stays being  brief, but can also last weeks. We need to support them in the household by ensuring they have all of the relevant things that can help them in their day-to-day lives. This could be a walking aid, or a hoist to help them if they shower. 

The toughest thing is speaking to them and coming to a solution that meets both your and your parent’s needs. The fact that there are aspects of life that we won’t be able to help them with, and a very common reason older people go to the hospital is a slip and fall. Slipping and falling is a part of normal life for many seniors, the fact that there are so many slip and fall lawyers out there shows that we need to be more switched on when it comes to helping them. We can help them in their household, but we also need to come to a conclusion that helps them feel supported when they are out and about. 

Dealing With Conflict

The fact is that if you are trying to help your parents but they are refusing to have any support with something like a wheelchair, this is because the very notion of the wheelchair sends them the message they are unable to look after themselves, which understandably, results in conflict. 

The most important thing that we have to remember to minimize hospital stays and help them as they get older is for them to recognize what would happen if they didn’t have simple support in place. 

We can encounter older relatives that are stubborn, but what happens is that we end up getting frustrated, but we also don’t let them voice their side of the story. There can come a point where they have displayed enough evidence they’re not able to look after themselves, and this means that we end up discussing putting them in a home. But the reality is that we’ve got to meet them halfway to get to the point where they understand the impact of a slip and fall in their own home when no one is around. 

Compromise can be very difficult, especially between a parent and child. Your mother or father may be incredibly stubborn because they feel like they are still the mature one and you’re the child, but this is where you’ve got to get extra help on board, for example, care home specialists, or additional medical support. 

Helping Them Retain Their Dignity

This is such a delicate balance because we need to ensure that our parents are living their best lives. As younger people, we can feel like we have to overcompensate and do things for them, especially if they have shown they’re not necessarily able to make complex meals. However, we’ve got to do everything with their interests at heart. 

This is such a simple thing, but we can overlook it because we’re trying to provide it, and in turn, we end up overprotecting. We must always ask ourselves before we do anything, “what would they want to achieve from this?” 

Dignity is something we all have a right to, and even if it’s got to the point where your aging parents are showing signs of age-related cognitive decline, and they need extra support going to the bathroom, dignity is something that we all need to preserve. And we can do this by understanding what they want to achieve, and doing this in conjunction with the bigger picture. 

There will be times when they may want to do something that compromises their safety, which is where we’ve got to bring in specialists that can help them to understand the bigger picture as well. 

Maintaining Your Relationship

The toughest thing about looking after someone in old age is that you still have a relationship to maintain. The problem is that you are looking after your parents and they are not looking after you anymore. The roles switch, and this means you start to take over certain duties and this results in the aforementioned conflict because you’re not doing the things they want in the way they want it, but you are also experiencing the impacts of stress because you have other aspects of your life to maintain too. 

This could mean trying to be a good parent at the same time, as well as holding down a job. You have to decide at what point it becomes too much. You’re not neglecting your parents if you take on extra support, but the most important thing to remember is to allow yourself the space so you can be the best care possible. 

When our parents are getting to the point where they are spending time in and out of the hospital, and they are getting to the point where they need extra support, we have to expect some form of conflict, and it’s important to remember that it’s nothing personal because they want to assert their independence. We must preserve this as much as possible, but also recognize that when it comes to looking after someone, there’s a lot more at stake than just feelings.

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