Communicating with aging parents

Aging parents - helping with errandsOne of the most challenging tasks we face as adult children face is convincing our aging parents that it may be time to accept some help. From smaller tasks such as grocery shopping and cleaning, to major changes regarding driving and living arrangements, your parents deserve respect and understanding.

Here are some tips for communicating peacefully:

  1. Be patient. Start the conversation but don’t be surprised if you’re met with stubborn resistance. This is their life and their decision, so listen carefully. You may have a solution to their concerns but first you need to understand what those concerns are.
  2. Start small. Offering to help with something like grocery shopping can pave the way to your parents accepting help for bigger things. They can see first hand the benefits of accepting a little help without feeling a loss of independence.
  3. Ease their fears. By listening with an open mind, you may understand that some of their concerns are based on assumptions. Offer ways to alleviate those fears with practical solutions. Do your best and if you’re met with resistance, defer to point 1 above.
  4. Be loving. When you listen to their concerns, take note of your body language. Is it frustrated? Determined? Bossy? Soften your gaze, open your arms, and put yourself in their position. Getting old is not easy and it’s not for sissies, so be mindful of that.
  5. Get support. Becoming more of a caregiver to your parents is a massive change in your relationship. Support from friends, siblings, online forums and professionals can lower stress levels and help you communicate more effectively.

Errands can be a lovely way to spend quality time with your parents, but if you do need help, contact Leave It To Me. We help people all the time with grocery shopping, medical appointments, visits to the pharmacy, arranging cleaning /gardening services, and much more.

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