What Not to Say to Aging Family Members
If you are a family caregiver living with a parent, grandparent, or other elderly loved one, you know how easy it is to let impatience and exhaustion get the best of you. When you’re spending so much of your life making sure that the health needs of your loved one are met, it’s easy to forget that the words you choose are just as important. In order to better serve you and your family during this challenging season, we’ve compiled a list of a few common, hurtful slips and positive alternatives to use when talking with your senior:
“How could you forget that?”
Odds are that your senior knows their memory and cognition aren’t what they once were. Caregivers will inevitably tire of being asked the same things over and over again, but it’s critical to understand that your senior is likely saddened and frustrated by the fact that they don’t remember things like they used to. Instead of lashing out in frustration when your loved one asks you how to use the TV remote or where the bathroom is for the fiftieth time, try implementing practical solutions to help them.
When your verbal reminders don’t ever seem to sink in, signs, sticky notes, labels, and other visual cues can be very helpful. These can be especially useful if your loved one regularly asks you questions about how to operate devices or where to find certain things.
“What are you talking about?”
It’s fairly normal for seniors to trail off and change the subject during a conversation. Focus and attention span tend to wane as people age, and your loved one may just be experiencing an age-related decline in their ability to concentrate, which is no fault of their own. Instead of pointing out their seemingly unwarranted or unrelated change of subject, you can either roll with it or gently bring the conversation back to the previous subject by saying something like “I was just telling you about the time we took the kids to Disney. Can I show you some pictures?”
“You said that already.”
Aging seniors are going to repeat themselves – it’s inevitable. Verbalizing your frustration when your senior tells you the same story for the eighth time that day will only hurt them unnecessarily. In your senior’s mind, it’s the first time they’ve brought it up, and your reaction can hurt them if you aren’t careful.
Compassionate, Private Home Care in Jacksonville
Caring for an aging loved one can be taxing, overwhelming, and frustrating for reasons beyond memory deterioration. When it comes to getting your senior to doctors appointments, helping them dress and bathe, and keeping track of their treatments and medications, you may benefit from having an extra set of hands. That’s where we come in. A Care Connection is locally owned and operated and we are motivated by compassion and concern for the wellbeing of your family, not by profits.
To make us your Jacksonville home care agency, call (904) 899-5520 today or send us your information to receive a complimentary consultation.