So, here's a few Do's and Don'ts from ElderCareLink, to help you through.
When you're dealing with an aging parent or loved one, it's easy to get wrapped up in feeling like you're parenting a huge child. This attitude can lead to resentment from both parties. It's extremely important to remember that you are providing care to an aging adult you love, not a lost child but a person with hopes, dreams, desires and decades more time walking the planet than you have.
- Be clear, not condescending. You can't imagine what it's like to lose your cognitive abilities, but you can probably pull up a memory of anger related to being treated like a fool. Choose your words, your demands and your tone with care -- and love -- when communicating with your aging loved one.
- Be supportive, not judgmental. Losing control of dexterity, losing the ability to bathe, dress and feed yourself, losing the ability to make it to the bathroom in time -- all of these things can lead your loved one to despair.
- Be kind, and try to understand what your parent or loved one is going through when s/he has an accident.
- Be firm, not dictatorial. There are decisions you'll need to make for your parent or loved one's well being. Stop there. Putting unnecessary rules and regulations on your aging loved one's behavior will only sow seeds of resentment. Give her/him as much independence as possible, whenever possible. You'll both appreciate it.
You have been officially alerted....