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Elder Care: How to Manage Care for Your Parent

Are your parents or an elderly loved one refusing personal care and assisted living? Is it hard for your family to give them the help they need? Here is some advice on how to put an unwilling parent or relative at ease.

Before pushing your parent or relative to give up their independence, you must understand what you’re asking of them. In their eyes, they can still handle anything! And remember, you are their child. Now you’re asking them to reverse roles and let you take care of them.

Here are some tips for managing this process:

  • Get ahead of the crisis. Start having conversations about caregivers and assisted living before health problems occur. Ask your parent how they would feel about a driver or a housekeeper. Ask about his/her plans for assisted living and other help should the need arise.
  • Be patient and ask deep questions. When asking questions, give him/her time to respond. The process may take many conversations to get any answers; do not get frustrated. Fully try to understand why your loved one is refusing care.
  • Provide options. Keep your loved one in the loop. You might include him or her in interviews for the housekeeper or let him/her choose when the home aid comes each week. Show your loved one that he/she still has some freedom and that you respect him/her.
  • Accept your limits and pick your battles. You cannot watch over your loved one all the time. If they are still safe do not discourage their behavior, even if it is irritating to you. Treat them like the adult they are. Dealing with a stubborn child is not the same as dealing with a stubborn parent.
  • Find an outside outlet for your feelings. If you are angry, sad, or frustrated that your parents won’t listen to you, vent to someone outside of the situation, not your parents.

As you try to take care of your loved one, be sure to take care of yourself. Do not let your frustration out on your elder family member. It is hard to change roles from child to parent, and it will take time for your elder to realize the change in roles, but be patient. Giving up one’s freedom is never easy, so try your best to understand their feelings.

Whether it is preparing a will, estate planning, or care agreements, Kelly and West can prepare the right documents. Allow the experienced attorneys at Kelly and West help you understand the ever-changing elder law.

 

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